When smart work is valued over hard work, it becomes a quick resort. People who ordinarily should be at the background suddenly set the pace for better equipped
persons to follow. Persons who are privileged suddenly get roles which should normally be for more knowledgeable people. Where this becomes norm, the idea of smart work and/or smartness begins to breed what is often referred to as cleverness.
Nigeria’s ruling party – the All Progressives’ Congress is clever by a quarter but it is not to be blamed. The Peoples’ Democratic Party is often blamed for everything wrong with Nigeria but that assessment in itself is wrong. If anyone or group, Nigerians from all walks of life with their different shades and color should be blamed (heavily) for being the way we currently are – we are so merciful a people that any entity – human or group that cries foul given any situation receives the most attention and ends up being the more pitied party. The tradition of instant pity on a weaker party is as old as Nigeria itself.
Former President Goodluck Jonathan was pitied because he did not own shoes as a growing child. He would later win a major election with a landslide. Because he was pitied, he roundly trounced his closet rival with over 10 million votes. The All Progressives Congress took a clue from this and presented a multi billionaire candidate in disguise. General Muhammadu Buhari also understood the season and agreed to adapt thus the birth of the popular slogan “I own just one house in my village”.
On this account, Nigerians pitied him once again. He was tremendously pitied to an extent which beats my imagination till date. Even persons who hold doctorates in the most exclusive fields believed an ex-petroleum minister and military dictator owned just one house. Plenty gentlemen of the clergy agreed a former general of the Nigerian Army was receiving only (the famous) 10% of his monthly entitlement from our till.
Though some staunch, irredeemable idiots still argue along the line of the President leading a Spartan life, Nigerians know better. As a matter of fact, our President is wealthy – in cash and assets (movable & unmovable). He is a wealthy landlord by all standards. When story broke out which indicated he owned a N2.1B lakeside property in upscale Abuja, I did not bother to read it because it was only an addendum to what I already knew.
When he adopted the covert mode of assets declaration, I did not bother. I knew his case was that of a man suddenly faced with the devil and the deep blue sea. At that point, going forward was as tedious as going backwards. The assets have leaped in size that retaining the classic “I own just one house in my village” story would be a disaster for him and his friends. Even David Axelrod would lack capacity to fix the damage an entire revelation of the worth of President Muhammadu Buhari will cause.
On the 19th day of December 2010, Thisday Newspaper reported of former Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi. They reported He was worth about N750M. The report said that as at the time Fayemi became governor:
• The total amount he held in his local and foreign accounts was N27 million.
• His business enterprise known as Amandla Consulting was valued at N50 million.
• He had a total number of nine vehicles valued at N73 million.
• He had a compound of three buildings in Ibadan valued at N7 million.
• He had a compound of eight buildings at Isan-Ekiti valued at N120 million.
• He had a three bedroom duplex in London valued at 280,000 British pounds.
• He had a four bedroom detached duplex in Atlanta, Georgia, USA worth US$250,000.
• He had a six bedroom detached house in East Legon, Ghana valued at US$650,000.
• He had an undeveloped plot of land at Guzape District in Abuja valued at N30 million.
• He had an undeveloped plot of land at Lekki Phase 1 in Lagos valued at N25 million.
• He had an undeveloped plot of land at Ambassadorial Enclave, Legon, Ghana valued at US$250,000; and
• His household items like generating sets, electronics, furniture, equipment and others valued at N80 million.
The difference between Dr. Kayode Fayemi’s assets declaration and Buhari’s press release is crystal clear. Even the blind can decipher. There’s no gain in being clever by half because such stunts amounts to an insult on the collective sensibilities of Nigerians. Those who think and still argue that President Muhammadu Buhari have declared his assets should do a simple comparison between Dr. Kayode Fayemi’s assets declaration and Shehu Garba’s essay because as far as I am concerned, Mr. President have not declared his assets.
When he eventually chooses to do so, it will be clear to all and sundry that our president, in fact, is wealthy in cash and assets.
Simply put he is a wealthy miser!
Ezeani, Chukwunonso Elvis is an avid thinker, reader & researcher. He tweets @NonsoEzeani1