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PMB: Call HIM The Master Finisher: A Rejoinder to Femi Adesina By Umar Ardo (PhD)


I read with utter disgust, but not disbelief, the above-titled article credited to Femi Adesina, Adviser to President Mohammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, in which he extolled his principal as the master finisher of abandoned projects. Castigating former leaders of the country in the said article, Adesina said his principal has turned Nigeria into heaven of finished projects. Even though the Presidential Spokesman seems to be wallowing in self-deceit and fantasy, at least he is honest enough not to credit his principal as an initiator of anything.

Still, why Adesina cannot see things the way they are in the country today with regards to the leadership performance of his principal is also understandable – those whose eyes are veiled cannot see visibly! If not, what else could his principal possibly offer this country without security? People (men, women, children, babies) are all over the country being gruesomely killed, kidnapped, maimed daily; villages and towns ravaged and destroyed daily; schools are closed, markets and farms abandoned daily; deaths, cruelty and violence on the daily prowl everywhere; utter chaos and destruction pervasive everywhere; hunger, starvation and malnutrition pillaging the entire land, most especially in the North (apologies to the South); poverty, want and deprivation turning virtually all Nigerian communities into practically a destitute and disabled society; orphans of no orphanage, widows with no care littering and loitering our streets across the national landscape. Go to any mosque, church, market or hospital premises anywhere in Northern Nigeria (again apologies to Southern Nigeria) and I’ll shudder because I’ll see typical illustrations of dehumanised human beings wrinkling in penury, pains and suffering.

In contrast, let Adesina look at the lifestyle of his principal, of his children (all of whom are either married to billionaire husbands or getting billionaire princess to marry), relatives, family, in-laws, friends, appointees, public operators, etc. all living in extreme and obscene wealth, opulence, luxury and comfort rapaciously and insensitively reaping the country’s commonwealth like no-man-business. To this end, I agree his principal is a master finisher; first wanting to finish the Nigerian commonwealth onto himself and his own, and second aiming to finish Nigeria and Nigerians. But here, as in everything about governance, he’ll surely fail; Nigerians and Nigeria will not be finished – they will outlive him and his regime and come out even stronger!

Furthermore, taking Adesina on the so-called master finisher stunt, what is it that his principal did that is spectacular when the country is soaked in blood? Let his principal keep all the PIAs (the PIA Petroleum Industry Act itself is even a subject of dispute as it is rejected by its supposed first beneficiaries – the Niger Deltans), the so-called irrigation and dam projects (how have they impacted the lives of the people?) Any public project that cannot be seen to have impacted positively on the society, it’s all hot air (besides, what good is irrigation when the forests and waterways are taken over by deadly terrorists and bandits), the railways, the hydropower projects (besides, has his principal cleared the Boko Haram/ISWAP in the Shiroro dam area of Niger state?); let him keep all these and give Nigerians only one thing – security! The fundamental purpose for the formation of government – any government – is to first and foremost secure the lives and property of citizens, and second, to enhance their welfare. What of these two has his principal given Nigerians? It is self-evident that his principal gave none of the two fundamentals. So Adesina should not talk about completing abandoned infrastructural projects.

Besides, the infrastructure itself is in two categories – human infrastructure and physical infrastructure! Human infrastructure includes health and education, the number two category includes the rest – power projects, dams, roads, bridges, railways, etc. You therefore cannot jump one and go to two, because without one – two is unnecessary. And that’s exactly what his principal’s regime did – not that the infrastructure claim of his principal’s regime itself has been a success anyway! How many human infrastructures has he completed when schools are being closed? How many hospitals has he built when even the Aso Rock Clinic itself is without syringes (no thanks to First Lady)? Even the physical infrastructure claim is fraudulent. Has he rejuvenated and completed Mambila hydroelectric power project or Ajakuta Steel? Has he rejuvenated and completed any of the nation’s refineries? Has he constructed and provided electricity and stable water supply even to the federal capital city? Has he rejuvenated and returned Nigerian National Airline or National Shipping Line, or our Internal Waterways? Has he engaged the Republic of Cameroon for unlawfully blocking the Benue, a major international River, by erecting the Lagdo Dam at the head of the river thereby adversely affecting Nigeria’s waterway? Has he completed any railway line or dual carriage roads in any part of Northern Nigeria? Has he rejuvenated and completed the famous Shagari Housing Units abandoned all over the country as a result of the direct military intervention terminating that administration?

Please, Adesina should stop talking and insulting the intelligence of Nigerians. His principal’s regime is an unmitigated and disastrous failure in all ramifications. Let him allow Nigerians to leak their wounds in stoic silence in the hope that the mistake some of us made in bringing it into being will be forgiven even if not forgotten, and work towards bringing a better leadership in 2023.

Dr Ardo is a Public Affairs Analyst.


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