Chief Mike Ozekhome SAN, has decried the Federal Government’s borrowing money to service debts, saying “the present government has mortgaged our individual and collective future with reckless abandon”.onstitutional lawyer and human rights activist,
Ozekhome pointed out that the present Nigerian government now borrows money to service debts, “not payment of the real debt”, he added.
According to him, the next generations in Nigeria have mountainous debts hanging on their necks.
TheNewsGuru.com recalls that sometime in December 2021, the media reported that the Federal Government hopes to push its public debt stock to N50.22tn by 2023, with domestic debt at N28.75tn and external debt at N21.47tn.
“This is according to the projections in the National Development Plan 2021-2025. The Debt Management Office had disclosed that Nigeria’s public debt was N38tn as of the end of the third quarter of 2021, with the total debt stock rising by N2.540tn in three months from July to September 2021. This shows that the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), plans to accumulate about N12tn debt in two years from 2021 to 2023,” a publication stated.
Lamenting the present government’s money borrowing situation, Ozekhome recalled his analyzing Buhari’s first 50 days in office, in a piece titled, “Is president Buhari overwhelmed by serious issues of Governance?”.
In his words: “Today, Nigeria is in a terrible quagmire; a deadly dilemma; a complete culde sac. There is trouble; real trouble. In all aspects of life, Nigeria is sick. Very sick. Critically ill To say she is on an uneasy life–support machine is simply saying the obvious.
“Everywhere and everything are toxic. Even the air we breathe is toxic. It reeks of odious and smelly putrefaction from caked blood of innocent Nigerians split open by afternoon baking sun (apologies, Ayikwei Armah: “The beautiful Ones Are Not yet Born”).
“Our farmlands are death mines,laden with deadly booby-traps set up by rampaging Fulani herdsmen.They hug AK-47 riffles that spit fire on a daily basis against innocent farmers who have offered no provocation. The once-upon-a-time teeth-stained, kolanut-chewing, smiling and friendly herders moved harmlessly across the highways, footpaths and farmpaths.
“We, as children growing up in the 60s and 70s, usuallly came out to sing with our near national anthem rendition, to herald them in. What has happened? I don’t know. Or, do you? They have since turned into vicious, blood-sucking monsters that decimate our local population.
“Our song in those days was, “Malu koga, malu, koga, daba daba koga; ikpisa yeghe the akhia; edunu kpotha mho abo; ne the gbea kpu pku” (translated: “cows with hooves, cows with hooves; they are led by weak elderly men; men who carry sticks, with which they flog the cows kpu kpu”). We would come out of our huts, hailing them, giving them water to conserve in their pitchers made of cow skin and tied to their shoulders. Those were the good beautiful old days. Not anymore.
“Today, however, like in Wole Soyinka’s metamorphosis of Brother Jero in “Jero’s Metamorphosis” (1973), which followed “The trials of Brother Jero” (1963), these once innocent herders have metamorphosed into murderous and remorseless savages, killing, maiming, piling and raping farm owners and peaceful indigenous land owners right on their farms and in their homes, with gusto, eclat and a vainglorious sense of triumphalism.
“In our homes and on the roads, Nigerians are no longer safe. In the markets, schools, workplaces, air, train, waterways and forests, death stares the average Nigerian on his wrinkled face. Nigeria has become a grissly killing ground. She has become the poverty capital of the world, snatching the diadem from India. There is seering agony, mass disenchantment and grave disillusionment.
“Hunger and abject penury live with us. Melancholy and gnashing of teeth overwhelm Nigerians. Hopelessness and haplessness sleep with us on the same wretched beds. Hot tears, sorrow, pains, pangs and blood remain gods and goddesses in whose pulpits Nigerians worship in their homes.
“Schools are hurriedly and prematurely shut down, not from fixed holidays; not from unanswered ASUU’s 7 months strike engineered by a clueless government; but to prevent students from being abducted and kidnapped by rampaging armed bandits and kidnappers that operate as a state within a state.
“The government watches helplessly, wriggling its hands with shocking resignation to fate. Non-state actors now commonly challenge the sovereignty and suzereignty of Nigeria, planting their flags on Nigerian soils, collecting taxes, from, and giving citizens passes and identity cards. Armed bandits kidnap school children and instruct their parents to procure for them, large quantities of tarodo, tatashe, tomatoes, maggi, onions, garri, beans, rice, palm oil, vegetable oil, salt and other condiments. They need the ingredients to feed their children and keep them alive for ransom to be paid for their release. This is glaring evidence of a failed state.
“Fighting corruption, a mantra once hugged by this government, during political campaigns, has since graduated from a kindergarten school to a post graduate institution, strutting about unchallenged, like a proud peacock. Government appointees brazenly steal billions of dollars, with the EFCC and ICPC still busy pursuing ruling government’s political opponents.
“They use the ugly and primitively stolen money to mop up scarce Dollars, leaving to the present horrific artificial shortage of dollars, a situation of one dollar exchanging for about N740. And still counting. Didn’t this government meet the dollar at between M160 – N175 in 2015? Gosh! We are now No.148 out of 180, and the second most corrupt Nation in West Africa. Courtesy, Transparency International’s Anti-corruption Perception Index). Inflation increases geometrically.
“Nigeria has never been so polarized and divided along primordial ethnic, religious and linguistic cleavages. Nigerians from all works of life appear shell-shocked at a country they can no longer recognise within seven years of Buhari’s disastrous government. Well, I am not one of them. I had seen this ugly situation coming.
“Like Nostradamus, the man who saw tomorrow; like the Oracle at Ile-Ife that gazes into the future and pronounces a future Ooni, I saw these perilous times coming. I had predicated all these in the very first 50 days of this government.”