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Kali Gwegwe
 CEO, Nigeria Democracy Watchtower
2, Greenvilla-Customs Link Road
Biogbolo-Epie
Yenagoa, Bayelsa State


 

 

 

THE REAL REASON BEHIND BUHARI’S QUEST FOR EMERGENCY POWERS
by Kali Gwegwe

Barack Obama never asked for emergency powers to move the United States out of recession. He only deployed sound and sincere leadership skills. Nigeria has brains to help move this country forward. Buhari’s major problem is his strong belief that every other person is corrupt and therefore cannot be trusted with power. This is why he is the de facto minister of petroleum. Yet, he wants foreigners to come and invest their monies in a country of over 170 million, where only the president is clean.

 

Political leadership is not as difficult as President Muhammadu Buhari wants Nigerians to believe. In the same vein, economic engineering is not as complex as Vice President and Head of Nigeria’s Economic Team, Professor Yemi Osinbajo would want Nigerians to believe

 

 

The recommendation by the National Economic Team, headed by a renowned professor of law and vice president that President Buhari request for emergency powers from the National Assembly to push his planned stimulus for the economy is most unfortunate. It would certainly lay the foundation for Nigeria’s “return to Egypt.”

According to reports published by The Nation of 22 August 2016, “The objectives of the action-plan on the economy, which is in recession, include shoring up the value of the naira, creation of more jobs, boosting of foreign reserves, reviving the manufacturing sector and improving power.” It is shameful to hear that Buhari would need emergency powers to perform primary leadership tasks to help shore up the Naira, boost our foreign reserves, revive the manufacturing sector, and improve power generation and distribution. With every sense of responsibility, these are minor issues that can be addressed through sound fiscal policies.

Happenings in the last one year have confirmed the fears of several concerned Nigerians that the APC was not prepared for governance. The body language of party leaders and financiers during the campaigns had betrayed the fact that they were only interested in grabbing power for no good reasons other than fighting corruption and ending insurgency in the North East. Political leadership goes beyond all of these.

During the campaigns, the APC promised to make the Naira equal with the US Dollar. They never told Nigerians they would need emergency powers to do so. There was the talk of fixing the power sector in less than one year. Nigerians were not told they would need emergency powers to deliver on this promise. What about the millions of jobs they promised to create? Unemployed graduates were not informed that an APC president would need emergency power to pay them the N5,000 monthly social security benefits promised them. Many parents would have not voted for the APC if they were told that Buhari would need emergency powers to implement the Free School Feeding Programme. The truth is that APC took advantage of naïve and vulnerable Nigerians to get into power. This is not a healthy political culture.

With the amount of human and natural resources that God has blessed Nigeria with, a serious government should not be complaining of falling oil price or talk of recession. Buhari and his team are simply overwhelmed by the responsibilities of a democratic culture. No serious political leader will leave his primary responsibilities and be blaming his predecessor for his lack of foresight. Rather than work, the Buhari administration has resorted to lies and blackmails. The problem with lie is that you would need at least ten to cover one. So far, they have told more than 365 lies, which is the maximum allowed for any individual, political party, or politician. The sad thing is that not only have they been lying against Jonathan, they have been lying against themselves too.

The two most common lies are that all past Nigerian presidents and heads of state except Jonathan are saints. Secondly, corruption started in Nigeria in 2011 and ended in 2015. To cover these lies, they have ended up lying against themselves. Despite graphic evidence on large billboards that the APC erected all over the country during the electioneering season, promising to pay unemployed graduates stipends; both Buhari and Osinbajo have denied making such promise. Furthermore, as long as APC is concerned, illegal employment is not corruption. Still on corruption, the EFCC does not act on petitions against members and sympathizers of the APC. Is this how to fight corruption?

Let the truth be told. The decision by the president to seek emergency powers to fix the nation’s economy is a farce and is simply aimed at hiding the president’s major weakness. Buhari is simply not a democrat. As such, he cannot function in a democratic setting. Just as the saying goes, “A leopard cannot change its spots.” A left-handed adult cannot learn how to use right hand in old age.

It is no longer news that Buhari cannot tolerate civil engagement. His seeking sweeping powers to stimulate the economy are nothing but a clever way of introducing dictatorship through the back door. The legislature is what differentiates between a democracy and dictatorship. Members of the National Assembly should jettison sentiments and resist this rape of democracy. With a sweeping power, the president can conveniently break down the pillars of democracy, which is protected by the principles of checks and balance in the form of oversight functions by the National Assembly. The National Assembly cannot be a hindrance to national development. This fact was demonstrated prior to the 2015 general elections. The National Assembly gave Jega all the support he needed to conduct credible elections.

Despite the inability of the APC to ensure a synergy between the presidency and the National Assembly, there is nothing to indicate that the legislature is out to frustrate the president. Buhari is simply averse to opposing opinion. This is not a democratic culture and should be discouraged.

Barack Obama never asked for emergency powers to move the United States out of recession. He only deployed sound and sincere leadership skills. Nigeria has brains to help move this country forward. Buhari’s major problem is his strong belief that every other person is corrupt and therefore cannot be trusted with power. This is why he is the de facto minister of petroleum. Yet, he wants foreigners to come and invest their monies in a country of over 170 million, where only the president is clean.

 

 

 


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