Buhari: Ways and Means… of Corruption – By Sam Nwaoko

Sharing is caring!

Finding ways and means of achieving an end now appears like swimming in muddled, murky waters. Look at ways and means as a bowl of clean water into which dye was put. It changes colour, changes nature and becomes something else. That appears to be the plight of the term ‘ways and means’ in today’s Nigeria after the “Ways and Means” of the Muhammadu Buhari administration. Since Buhari, the colour, text and intent of innocent “ways and means” has been muddled. The ordinary dictionary meaning of way and means says it is “the methods and resources at someone’s disposal for achieving something”. For example, we can say “the company is seeking ways and means of safeguarding jobs.”

That might be the straightforward way of explaining ways and means to an elementary class. But in today’s circumstances, ways and means in Nigeria means a way or means through which corruption can be achieved with no one suspecting, let alone say anything about the corruption.

The first major pointer to the fact that ‘ways and means’ as we have it today was a monetary cesspool was given us freely by the governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki. Although he was cautious with and temperate in his language back then, he didn’t fail to draw the attention of Nigerians to the great evil the federal government under ex-President Muhammadu Buhari was doing to the Nigerian economy. That was in April 2021. To make euphemism of the grave financial problem, he only said the federal government was printing money to share to the states. He specifically stated that about N60billion was printed by the Buhari government to make up for the March 2021 federal allocation which was shared by the three tiers of government. “When we got FAAC for March, the federal government printed N50-60billion to top-up for us to share. This April, we will go to Abuja and share. By the end of this year, our total borrowings are going to be within N15-16trillion. Imagine a family that is just borrowing without any means to pay back.”

Obaseki didn’t say that the name of the grossly unreasonable act of the federal government was “ways and means” back then, he only told what defective economic ways and means through which the federal government of Buhari was running and ruining the fiscal life of the country. To Governor Obaseki, that was one sure way of and means to financial or fiscal meltdown for the country. He had also asked during that Edo State Transition Committee engagement in Benin City: “In another year or two, where will we find this money we go to share in Abuja?”

As prophetic and realistic as Obaseki sounded, he received adequate flak from the Buhari government for daring to utter such blasphemy against the government of their Mai Gaskiya. How could Obaseki be saying we were in financial trouble when indeed Nigeria was heading to Eldorado? Of course, there were Chief Femi Adesina and Alhaji Garba Shehu on hand to straighten things out with people like that. They didn’t send their mouths to the laundryman. In the government they served, they were not children that would have to get permission from home to make a response. But they allowed the person in charge of such technical matters to speak on behalf of the government – the almighty Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Hajia Zainab Ahmed. Their response was, expectedly, the same: “Obaseki lied.”

Hajia Zainab Ahmed reacted by calling Governor Godwin Obaseki a liar. She said what the Edo helmsman nudged at was “very, very sad”. The minister said: “The issue that was raised by the Edo State governor for me is very, very sad because it is not a fact.” When something is not a fact, it is fiction, a fabrication, a ruse, a lie. The minister’s rejection of Obaseki’s contention was as loud as the governor’s outcry because the man in whose compound the missing king’s flycatcher was thrown must not fail to raise enough witnesses with his shouting. They both knew who was on the side of the truth and who was not telling the truth. Mrs. Ahmed said in reaction to Obaseki: “What we distribute at FAAC is revenue that is generated and in fact distribution revenue is common knowledge. We publish revenue generated by FIRS, the Customs, and the NPC and we distribute at FAAC. So, it is not true to say that we printed money to distribute at FAAC. It is not true.”

However, even if a lie reigns for 20 years, it takes only a day for the truth to destroy its kingdom. The fiscal and sundry economic issues confronting Nigeria today under the tutelage of Bola Ahmed Tinubu have proved that we have arrived at that day of the truth. Buhari, Zainab Ahmed and co, your lie that had reigned for twenty years has been seized by patient truth. Or, are we to assume that the former president and his minister of finance have not heard what the current minister of finance and coordinating minister of the economy, Mr. Wale Edun, said about printing of money? Is that not what the National Assembly described as illegal “ways and means”? Let us even bend so awkwardly backwards and twist so badly to say that Governor Godwin Obaseki was elected on the platform of a rival political party and would smear the federal government, can the same also be said of the current Minister Wale Edun? The National Assembly is still populated by mostly members from the same APC, could they all also be lying with all their heads in one direction? Even if we argue that Edun wasn’t a pronounced member of the governing party (APC), should we also think along that plane about Edun’s principal and the only former National Leader of the APC? He also didn’t know what was going on?

Tinubu became the president and immediately plunged the nation into further fiscal and economic confusion by the way he announced removal of fuel subsidy. That is a given. However, what the regressive, one-sided printing of money over time also did to the same economy is not lost on Wale Edun. He believes the uncontrollable inflation in the country is as a result of the ‘ways and means’ of the Buhari government. Wale Edun said: “We talked about inflation and you have helped to solve that. Where has it come from? It came from eight years of just printing money not matched by productivity. It’s not like when you earn dollars and you free the Naira alongside it. It’s not as if the money is matched by productivity increase in output. It is not, and what happened was that for eight years, the weak were left to their own devices. It is the privileged few that took everything. That’s the reality and so, money supply must be brought back.”

With the Senate saying it would probe the N22.7trillion he said was “printed aimlessly”, there are things to hear in the coming days. Even the audit of the same aimlessly printed amount in the offing, as promised by Cardoso, then we might have a lot to look forward to in the coming months. We should be hearing how and why Buhari just created ways and means of printing and carting money away for his cronies. It could be argued that if they could print foreign currencies, especially the dollar, they would have done that… But let’s wait and see if indeed the Senate would probe this reckless act and whether Tinubu would audit it as they have told bewildered Nigerians.

But, let’s face it, why would Buhari and his people be printing money like it is printing posters for a musical show? The man practiced the thoughts often mouthed by uninformed Nigerians who would say “why not just print money and distribute to the people?” Of a fact, the country has suffered the effects of a man who was foisted on the country. Who were the economists and financial experts that worked with him? With what has been said so far and with Senators Ali Ndume and Ahmed Lawan (among others) arguing who knew what, shouldn’t more arrests be made? Why is Godwin Emefiele the only one on trial? The man who created ways and means for the incredible corruption must also speak!


The writer can be reached on 09153880648, samnwaoko@gmail.com


Credit: Nigerian Tribune


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *