Tinubu: Embracing Illusion, Ignoring Reality By Alaba Abdulrazak

In the annals of Nigeria’s history, no leader either military or civilian that has ever admitted to having failed Nigerians as a leader. But both the military and civilian, all have one thing in common. They see themselves as the messiah of sorts and yet none has set the foundation for our greatness as a Nation not to talk of one that will convey us to the ‘Promised Land’.

Unfortunately for us as a Nation, most of these so-called leaders engage in self-deception-hiding the truth from even themselves. In the process, they embrace illusions and ignore reality. By doing this, they deny evidence, logic, or reality and even rationalize choices or behaviours to serve a false narrative. That is why we continue to move in circles in Nigeria.

Penultimate week, President Bola Tinubu was quoted to have said that he deserves recognition from the Guinness World Records for the economic reforms he has introduced since assuming office on May 29.

Tinubu who stated this while addressing groups of investors at the 10th German-Nigerian Business Forum said he has dealt with “every hurdle and obstacle” in the way of those willing to invest in Nigeria.

The President even recalled his time as a corporate player, adding that his experience in the private sector has equipped him with the tools to tackle the economic challenges assailing Nigeria.

“If you have fears of various hurdles; just look at me,” he said.

“I come from the private sector, trained by Deloitte. Worked for Exxon Mobil until I became the treasurer of the corporation.

“So, define corporate governance, whichever way, and I am in it. I’m from there. I governed Lagos for eight consecutive years.

“Today, I can proudly beat my chest that Lagos state is on the horizon and the fifth-largest economy in Africa, rising from zero. That is the track record that got me into this office as the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Nigeria voted for me for reforms and from day one of my inauguration, I started the reform.

“To me, if you didn’t mention me in the Guinness Book of Records, I’d strive to find a way to insert myself because I did it without expectation.”

While the President might have been right about some achievements recorded in Lagos state, he should not have been carried away in the euphoria of self-delusion which has culminated into his quest for the Guinness Book of Records. Mr President needs to be reminded that the majority of Nigerians don’t see his reforms as solutions to the myriads of problems bedeviling us as a nation. Most of the so-called reforms initiated by the President have further worsened the economic situation of the country where the poor continue to suffer.

Yes, the President might have removed the fuel subsidy but Nigerians deserve to know those who have benefited from payment of subsidy all these years. Part of the reforms Nigerians are expecting is accountability and zero-tolerance to corruption and if some group of people have amassed so much wealth from payment of subsidy in the past; it is the duty of the President to unmask them and bring them to justice. That is where he should begin his reforms if he is truly sincere with Nigerians. There can be no meaningful reform in any society where corruption strives.

Just before self-glorification and the quest for Guinness Book Records; the President should be told that Nigeria has fared badly under his tenure. Truth according to Sir Henry Fredrick is not violated by falsehood; it may equally be outraged by silence. Inflation under Tinubu’s government reached a 17-year high of 25.8% in August 2023, and in September, inflation in Nigeria rose to 26.7%.

The poverty rate has reached 37% in 2023, with an estimated 84 million Nigerians living below the poverty line.

Today, the economy of Africa’s most populous nation today has become a hydra-headed monster that is difficult to tame or control. It is now a ravaging bull running amok and has defied any solution from the government.

Many Nigerians have become hopeless in the face of the economic hardship that has plagued Nigeria since you took over the mantle of leadership of this great Nation. The vicious cycle of poverty now engulfs the masses to a level of suffocation.

The kind of economy the government operates in Nigeria today has brought untold hardship to the common man on the street. It is an economy that has deprived the masses of basic means of livelihood. The Nigerian naira is among the worst-performing currencies in Africa in 2023, yet our President believes his name must enter the Guinness Book of Records.

Nigeria’s major problem is leadership. Having a competent, effective and purposeful leadership that is capable of turning our highly chorused great potential into real economic and political power has been quite elusive for us as a nation. That is why, today, we are not making any headway.

What we are seeing today is that the theory of vulgar individualism has triumphed over the political firmness and sharpness of the leadership of the country.

I understand that sycophants are already heaping praises and laurels on the President when he has not yet proved himself to Nigerians. Mr President, if they are deceiving you; you must avoid deceiving yourself like the Narcissus who fell in love with his image reflected from a pool of water. Embracing illusion and ignoring reality will only compound our problems in Nigeria. We don’t need it at this particular moment.

One major area that needs the President’s urgent attention at the moment is how best to put an end to the suffering of the masses. Remember that a hungry man is an angry man. One cannot think well, love well or even sleep well if one has not dined well.


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