African leaders are a unique lot, once in power they always seem to outdo those they once castigated as incompetent.
Frederick Chiluba was a maverick union leader who forced Kenneth Kaunda out of office as a Zambian President. Once in office, Chiluba’s corrupt and inept leadership transformed Kaunda into a saint.
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo was jailed by late Gen Sani Abacha on trumped up charges of plotting a coup. He was brought from prison, pardoned and literally handed the Nigeria presidency on a platter of gold. He ran what some say was one of the most corrupt and lawless civilian government in Nigeria’s history.
Laurent Gbagbo was an opposition figure in Cote d’ Ivoire. As president, he presided over the country near disintegration.
One would think President Muhammadu Buhari would be different. But I’ m afraid Buhari who contested an on election last year is going the same route and it seems there will be any difference.
How can one explain the recent report that the top-rated Canadian-made private jets chartered regularly by the immediate past Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, are now being flown by the new Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, and the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele?
The development brings to question the new administration’s criticism of financial recklessness of the previous administration and its resolve to cut costs in the face of falling oil prices.
The Bombardier luxury private jets with cozy interior, flown by Kachikwu and Emefiele belong to VistaJet Holding SA, a Swiss charter airline that has satellite facilities in some countries of the world, including Nigeria.
Diezani had faced sharp criticism for chartering VistaJet’s private jets for several months and accumulating huge sums of bills that was almost half of the cost of a private jet.
Also, Nigerians are worried over the President’s globetrotting instead of settling down to address basic electoral promises it made to the people. Today it is America, another week China, while Nigeria burns.
The development throws up disturbing questions about the seriousness of our leaders in tackling basic issues. Is the country truly ready for democracy or is it just to grab power? The simple answer is that the road to our democracy is still far. We need to demand accountability from our leaders or Nigerians will realise that nothing has changed after four years.