ONE of the thousands of mails I received in my inbox, on my series on ‘Federal Republic Of Alhaji Aliko Dangote And Fuel Debacle’, reminds me of the axiom in my part of the world in Owan, Edo State of Nigeria: “Uhọnmuro lọ diegbea vbọ gbe, yọọn zi ekhẹn uwọbuwọ lọriẹvboo kha dia iẹn hio odẹ. Sokpẹn olugazu, yọọn ewe ọmọi ukpọn vbe eku”. That is, any nation approaching the tipping point would either be rescued by her designated rabel or allowed her perceived sane citizens to truncate its nationhood”.
The mail from Mallam Marshall, not his exact name reads: “My dear Comrade, I see you are doing a marvellous work on this Dangote’s tragic empire called Nigeria. We’re planning a massive protest at the premises of Dangote’s Refinery by the end of August, if the refinery built with the nation’s stolen commonwealth in the name of Aliko Dangote, is not in operation, as he promised.
“We would be holding Aliko Dangote, all the people and their perfidious collaborators to account. The solidarity match at the refinery will be the new juju to stop enemies of Nigerians from milking our common patrimony, to press home our accountability demands. #ENDSARS# protest would be a joke”.
Mallam Marshall, like millions of Nigerians could not hide his disdain and mournful grimace for a nation built at the bank of the river, yet her people wash their hands with spittles! If Nigerian Government and Aliko Dangote’s words were to be believed on the appointed date of July ending or early August, for the operation of the refinery, the coming apocalypse would have been averted.
But the question demands an urgent answer. How do we pull back the nation from the brinks? Is the present government of Bola Tinubu, buoyed by the selfish businessman, ready to stop the nation from bleeding unto death? Any signs that Aliko Dangote would be probed for Nigerians to know how much he actually took as loan from the CBN or his regular evasion of taxes? Should we believe the former CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele when he said Aliko Dangote has already paid back 70 per cent of the loan he took to build the refinery when the refinery is yet to pick up?
Last week, as well as on Monday this week, after facing horrendous backlashes from the horridly commissioned but uncompleted refinery, Aliko Dangote went on a face saving mission alongside with the Co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to deceive the global community of his business heist in Aso Rock. At a press briefing, after a private chat with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Dangote regaled the press with half-truth as usual – “I’m here to congratulate Mr President for his victory as President of Nigeria”.
The timid press couldn’t provoke or tease out burning questions around the issues of his uncompleted but commissioned refinery fiasco; neither were questions raised about privatized import license of fuel, solely for his business conquest, and his tactics on business literacy. Those journalists at the State House who interviewed Dangote betrayed the late Dele Giwa’s magisterial prescription of news anchors as the grand master of the game. Obviously, what Dangote fed the public with after his encounter with President Tinubu, can only pass for the classic story of the hunter’s exploit in the jungle without alternate version from the Lion. We’re yet to hear from the Lion, the King of the Jungle himself, Jagaban Bongu.
The global business world would have loved to be taken inside the hollow recesses of Dangote’s tricking and faking business deprivation. The reporters should have exposed him as the person responsible for high inflation, soaring public debt, culminating in a brutal rejection and resentment of his business stagnating ethics – the emerging new cold war in the oil and gas industry and the rise of potentially destructive standard of living.
Dangote’s business destitution fueled by the absence of viable competitors which he loathes with his being, is a point that must not elude Asiwaju. Nigerians have been running away from the fact that religious strife and political unrest afflicting Nigeria are products of economic mess caused by policy failure cum summersaults, lack of basic necessities and unpatriotic leadership without courage.
Asiwaju’s ‘Renewed Hope’ would be meaningless in the absence of a viable solution to the fundamental economic crises of putting our fuel, gas, sugar, salt, cement, Spaghetti, Flours and the rest in the hands of one man, who prefers inordinate profits to human survival. Tinubu’s putative agenda for the energy sector must be given a second thought to avoid economic strangulation. The ambitions of people like Dangote is to stagnate the country in the groove of economic retardation for personal profits, even as the nation and citizens continues to roast in the sun.
President Tinubu and the APC profiteers
must perish the thought that they will continue to take Nigerians for a ride. The quest for a visionary programme to rescue a dying, injured and aggrieved people can’t be left in the hands of people like Dangote. The precursors for the quest for New Nigeria project who will intervene and jumpstart a battered business climate can’t be for a self aggrandized mafia don like Aliko Dangote.
As sad croppers in leadership – truth be told – Nigeria is truly in dire straits. In a nation where the entire sectors of the economy is fraying; combusting under unprecedented panic and chaos, where citizens are not sure of the next available meal, is troubling indeed. President Bola Tinubu’s failure would defy description if known business bandits like Alhaji Aliko Dangote, are holding the nation by the ball, while enjoying their tricks of suppressing other Nigerian businessmen’s interests, just to hang on to the vaporizing fame of the ‘Richest Man in Africa’?