2015 Through My Lens

Here are snippets from this column in the outgoing year. Some contained eternal truths; some turned prophetic. Be the judge!

The president’s [Goodluck Jonathan’s] weakest point has been lack of courage to rein in men and women of impunity who surround him and give his government all kinds of negative image. (Jan. 11)

The 130, 000 card readers said to have been purchased will still malfunction on Voting Day; and, reaching for the “Doctrine of Necessity”, INEC will ask its officers on the field to compromise a little. (Jan. 18)

We seem to be paying for the sins of what was called “expo” in the 1970s and early ‘80s… The “expo” graduates made poor teachers, poor engineers, poor doctors and poor accountants. (Feb. 23)

As fluctuations in oil prices have shown, it is not crude oil that will develop Nigeria. Human beings working under the right environment will do it. The paradox of having oil and yet importing all petroleum products makes clear our poverty of ideas. (March 8)

President Jonathan is likely to get 25 per cent in 25 or 26 states: he may not get it in Niger, Kano, Kebbi, Bauchi, Zamfara, Gombe, Sokoto, Borno, Yobe, and perhaps Katsina and Nasarawa. Buhari may meet the requirement in all but eight or nine states: he may not get 25 per cent in Enugu, Abia, Bayelsa, Cross River, Anambra, Akwa Ibom, Delta, Ebonyi and perhaps Imo. (March 22)

President-elect Buhari has promised to be president of all Nigeria. I know he will keep his word. (April 12)

Multiplication of biometric data, like multiplication of government ministries and agencies in Nigeria, can only lead to confusion and ultimately failure. (April 19)

There is another “east” that has suffered marginalisation just like the east of the Nigerian tripod: north-east. To this zone should the seat of Senate president go. (May 3)

There would be only one way of rescuing the Nigerian economy at this time: seizing the proceeds of corruption and other crimes… (May 10)

The greatest danger facing the country, and which may lead to its breakup, is the economy. (June 7)

I wonder who will save Nigeria from its politicians. And I’m referring to both civilian politicians and military politicians… Nigerian taxpayers have been overfed with politics of bitterness. (June 14)

Yesterday, in a part of Abuja, a 28-year-old man of south-west ancestry tied his trousers to a tree branch and hanged himself… Saving the poor is now an emergency. (June 28)

The mass media were once considered capable of causing wars; in the Internet age, they seem to have become even more dangerous. (July 5)

The injustice of clamping mainly innocent people in jail without trial fuels terrorism more than anything else. (July 12)

“Obama” to “Buhari”: You have the best brains in the world but you don’t allow them to blossom. That’s why the best of your brains are here… (July 19)

The important question to ask is: are those being investigated corrupt or not? Those that have not been “selected” will eventually be “selected” by another regime. (July 26)

Change doesn’t mean replacing one set of looters with another. And I hope APC members would understand this. (August 2)

When banks are ready to lend to the real sector of the economy, we would know. The interest rate would not exceed 3 per cent per annum. (August 9)

Governor el-Rufai should desist from transferring his deeds in Abuja to his home state. Kaduna needs builders, not destroyers.   (Aug. 23)

Throwing money at a few will not reduce poverty in the land. Only projects that benefit communities will. (August 30)

Honesty is always the best policy. The Presidency should have admitted that election-winning pledges are different from the reality. (Sept. 6)

TSA is the right way to go…The banks should not worsen the unemployment situation by sacking their employees. Let them cut costs by using small offices, not gigantic buildings that create an illusion of opulence. It’s time to face reality. (Sept. 13)

For the past 28 years, corruption has grown to become the only viable industry existing in Nigeria. It has also become the largest creator of jobs, employing tens of millions. That’s why any attempt to uproot it can’t be successful without pulling out the country itself. A major reform of our politics, our moral standard, our income policy and our economic system seems more desirable – and inevitable. (Sept. 13)

I know President Buhari likes cutting costs. But can he gamble also? (Sept. 20)

Until community policing gets official support in Nigeria, nobody should hope to be safe from armed bandits. (Sept. 20)

So long as Nigeria remains an import-dependent economy, so long will the naira’s value plummet. (Sept. 27)

Patriotism beckons on the new leaders of the country, for Nigeria’s restructuring is a matter of WHEN, not IF… We simply cannot continue on this ruinous path. Change must come. (Oct. 4)

Landlords should answer for the deeds of their tenants caught in armed robbery or found assembling IEDs. (Oct. 4)

The president should learn to listen to those who tell him the truth. And he can learn the truth mainly from those who live outside of Aso Villa. (Oct. 11)

Whether sick or not, those near age 40 and older are advised to do comprehensive checks at least once a year. (Oct. 18)

The real threat to the country is a revolution now building up in people’s stomachs. (Oct. 25)

Nigeria has no business importing even a grain of rice or wheat, if for national pride. Why do we import what we have and thereby create jobs for other nations? (Nov. 1)

Any attempt to implement the N5,000-for-25million programme is sure to fail… Give a man fish and you feed him for one day; teach him how to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. (Nov. 8)

Propounding great ideas alone won’t do; our nation has not lacked ideas… From 2016 there should be no more excuses. (Nov. 15)

You could suspect that Prince Abubakar Audu was killed, just by listening to the various views canvassed in the media since his demise. (Nov. 29)

Now we know why Abuja was awash in American dollars between December and March. At party conventions, delegates were paid bribes in dollars. Many of those involved in the campaigns were buying houses in Abuja with dollar cash. (Dec. 6)

I presume that a majority of Nigerians are tired of hearing about subsidy on petroleum products. They have therefore permitted the president to remove it…2016 will determine the success or failure of the Buhari government. It would do well to take all the hard decisions and let Nigeria swim or sink. (Dec. 13)



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