The reactions following the recent launch of 10 new railway coaches for the Abuja Kaduna line revealed many Nigerians for what we truly are. It also showed many Nigerian politicians in their true color.
I have come to the conclusion that Nigerians love to be deceived. Otherwise why would the issue of the launching of the coaches in January 2018 cause more hoopla than the actual launch of the whole railway in 2016?
Why can’t Nigerians research facts for themselves? Why do they have to rely on politicians or political hired guns to tell them what to believe?
To be fair, it does take more than the ability to ‘Google’ to do research. You need to be certain that the links you are looking at have not been doctored to deceive you or muddle the truth.
On the issue of research, you could at least rely on some section of the media maybe 20 years ago but not anymore. Some of them are firmly in one camp or the other and they are not shy about shamelessly plugging one side of the debate.
Personally, I instinctively do not believe anything Ben Murray Bruce says. He supports Jonathan and as far as I am concerned, that is a failed test of integrity. It was obvious he was lying when he claimed Goodluck Jonathan completed the entirety of the Abuja Kaduna line.
How did I know Ben Bruce was lying? Reno Omokri and Goodluck Jonathan did not have the guts to make the same claim because they know it is not true. Governor El Rufai was absolutely right to remind Ben Bruce that he didn’t have a ‘Scooby’ on the initiation or completion of the rail project.
Don’t get me wrong, former President Jonathan deserves some accolades in the project to build new rail lines and modernize the existing rail infrastructure in Nigeria but like most things he did, he didn’t do it for altruistic reasons.
While the original contract awarded by Obasanjo had many issues one of which was the huge cost of the contract, the contract renegotiated by Goodluck Jonathan was awarded at a higher per kilometer cost of rail line than the Obasanjo contract. The Jonathan Administration awarded the 186-kilometer Abuja Kaduna line for $874m, which is approximately $4.7m per kilometer. Yet the Administration Jonathan was part of had the temerity to disparage the original contract awarded by Obasanjo when the price per kilometer was closer to $3m. http://www.thenigeriabusiness.com/eco159.html
Why is Murray Bruce wrong? The company that built the project said it was Obasanjo’s government that awarded the original contract http://www.ccecc.com.cn/en/index.php?m=content&c=index&a=show&catid=17&id=337 So where did Murray Bruce get his ENTIRELY from?
Governor El Rufai was very much a member of President Obasanjo’s kitchen cabinet and he said they did the EPC of the project but the man who was busy mismanaging Nigeria Television Authority lashes out on twitter that his Bayelsa brother built the whole project. Not one shred of proof attached to his claim and Nigerians lap it up. He clearly knows he doesn’t need to produce one shred of evidence next time he wants to say something non factual. He is confident there is an army of willing, credulous and gullible Nigerians who will believe anything he says.
In reality, anybody who is a true friend of Goodluck Jonathan should not really be highlighting his role in improving Nigeria’s rail infrastructure. Like many things the man touched, it was with a kleptomaniac hand. This link provides just one example https://newsdiaryonline.com/exclusive-356m-failed-nigerian-railway-contract-scam-shocks-european-investigators/
I believe this government has been more than fair in sharing the recognition for the completion of the project. The Minister of Transport, Chibuike Amaechi in August 2016 when the project was completed laid out what part of it Jonathan completed and what Buhari’s administration did.
If truly we are serious people as Nigerians, we won’t get obsessed and exercised over such a non-issue. The hoopla was all in the quest by some people to relive the loss of an election almost 3 years ago. If Ben Bruce wants to live in 2011-2015, it is his loss.
As Nigerians, we lament the waste associated with abandoned projects yet we go into a melt down because Buhari’s administration completed a project that was started by other Presidents. If this is how a majority of the electorate perceive things, why should the successor to the Buhari government in 2023 want to complete any of the projects initiated by this administration when it knows that Nigerians will keep claiming that it was some other administration that is ENTIRELY responsible for the project?
Much as Nigerians need new leaders, the country also needs new followers.
Nigerians should not outsource their thinking and decision making to charlatans especially charlatans who support Goodluck Jonathan; a man who met Nigeria’s reserve at $65b and handed it over at $27b while oil price was in the stratosphere. Give the man who met it at $27b and has grown it to $40b+ despite oil price at historic low levels a fair crack of the whip.
May Nigerians never ever witness a government by Jonathan again or anybody remotely associated with him.
Baba Grumpy works in financial services in the United Kingdom. He blogs mostly about football at http://babagrumpy.blogspot.co.uk. His Twitter handle is @BabaGrumpy