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Atsar Terver
Public Commentator
Port Harcourt
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This move is unmistakably an afterthought designed to shore up a battered image of this government after it has bungled fatally in the handling of the so called subsidy withdrawal. Recall that the Petroleum Minister has prior to the withdrawal of subsidy outlined what she claimed to be a blueprint for post subsidy safety net structure to provide palliatives against the effects of

 

What Manner of Transformation?

One of the oddest expressions on the mouth of the Goodluck Jonathan Administration is ‘Transformational Agenda’. Listening to the President and his aide’s recite this two-word phrase leaves one with a profound sense of their credulity being exploited in the same manner as when one pisses on your head and tells you it’s raining. Nothing in the body language, actions and inactions of the government points to a genuine desire to transform anything from the economy, education, security, to the fight against corruption.

 

There is nothing being done differently from the way it has always been with the PDP and her voracious agents in control. While executive aimlessness and recklessness persists, there seems to be a competition between them the Legislature to outdo each other in the art of corruption and subversion of the people’s welfare.

The people’s helplessness and resignation to fate in the face of government’s inability or refusal to be ‘touched with the feeling of their infirmities’ is mistaken for diffidence. Thus the government believes the people can be deceived and hoodwinked all of the time.

One legendary method used by government to divert the people’s attention from the core issues of bad governance, deeply ingrained corruption, lack of will or principled personal character on the part of our rulers, is the resort to formation of spurious (actually comical) intervention committees, panels, taskforces or agencies whose functions characteristically range from the ambiguous to the absurd.

This government has once again pulled out this trick with the recent announcement of a Petroleum Revenue Special Taskforce purportedly to sanitize the petroleum industry. Apart from obviously being a knee jerk reaction, this move has once again highlighted the insincerity of this government in handling the rot that is the petroleum industry. For starters, even if we assume there is a need for such a Task Force, there is simply no way, I repeat, No way that a taskforce working outside the framework and bureaucracy of the oil industry can sanitize it.

The choice of Mallam Nuhu Ribadu to head the Task Force is another gimmick not lost on critical observers. It has vindicated my earlier postulation even before the elections that Ribadu’s foray into Presidential contest against Jonathan was a ploy to divide northern votes and frustrate the chances of Buhari in the 2011 elections. I had long predicted that he was actually working for Jonathan and would be compensated with a ‘juicy’ appointment after the election. A host of other members of the task force are simply political jobbers lined up for compensation for one role or the other they must have played in helping Jonathan clinch the Presidency, while others are there to help cover the tracks of the president’s men in the oil industry that has come under serious fire following the sordid revelations of corruption in the sector in the heat of the subsidy debate.

This move is unmistakably an afterthought designed to shore up a battered image of this government after it has bungled fatally in the handling of the so called subsidy withdrawal. Recall that the Petroleum Minister has prior to the withdrawal of subsidy outlined what she claimed to be a blueprint for post subsidy safety net structure to provide palliatives against the effects of

 

 


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