Aisha Is An Asset

Ben Lawrence


President Muhammadu Buhari is a lucky man. It is not easy to amass such radical, loyal, teeming millions of supporters, most willing to pay the supreme price for his cause. And his luck and integrity brought him also a passionately devoted another half, Aisha. He must not burn his luck unwittingly in the hands of political squares. Aisha is a true progressive like her husband. Both were brought up in an enlightened environment that had heavy doses of westernization in an Islamic setting. What is the big deal if she echoes a view many of us on the left think about people hijacking and watering down our revolution as those spoilers did with the original dream of the founders of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)?

That party was created as a centre-left. But those who joined the fold when victory was on sight, divided the ranks and seized power to unleash the most wasteful experiment Nigeria has been subjected to since the introduction of representative government. This is Aisha’s fear, especially with many people who had not the stomach of the revolution of “Change 2015” suffocating leadership. Ride on Aisha. Your spouse listens, but may not publicly show it. Aisha is close to the turf with her ears open.

Really, we need a more radical approach to solving our present economic crisis. And it should be people-oriented style, which commits every Nigerian to the cause. It is not for contractors, not for monopolists and dubious philanthropists. It is not for bankers who made a mess of the boom of 1999 to 2015. Nigeria has men and materials for a people-oriented change crusade. There were issues the former Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, felt strongly about that one does not see on the agenda of the present administration. Those, close to the saddle, are pushing Buhari to buy trickle-down economics. That will be a betrayal of those who had yearned with him to depart from that ruinous cause. Why attempt to sell Nigeria’s strategic assets as former President Olusegun Obasanjo and President Goodluck Jonathan pawned our people’s properties for no cause?

Has the sale of NICON improved the insurance business in Nigeria? What was the rationale behind the sale? Where is the mighty Daily Times, which was the establishment in Nigeria? This could be stretched to other organisations old for the insatiable greed of some nobodies fate brought to leadership.

President Ibrahim B. Babangida was careful in handling the issue when agents of capital forced it down his throat. He ensured that if it happened, the workers, the people and professionals would be part of ownership. What is the track record of privatisation? It ruined Argentina and turned the Peso and Lira to tissue papers. Chile bought the potion and learnt harshly how not to underrate the people. Chileans did not patronise privatised water and instead resorted to their own devices. The companies ran at a loss. The government recovered the projects and operated them with profit ever since. Russia, Britain and Zambia are a typical advertisement of the failure of privatisation. Government had to intervene to save America from total economic collapse in 2008, lending money to scores of mega corporations, even in an administration run by an ultra-capitalist, George W. Bush, who passed through Harvard Business School after Yale..

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