Here’s a list of 9 ex presidents who ruined Nigeria according to the News.
1. Yakubu Gowon
Number one is Yakubu Gowon. His regime started the sensationalizing of corruption. Remember the Aper Aku versus Joseph Tarka bribe scandal. Gowon also laid the foundation of wastage of national resources: Read about his extravagant State wedding in Prof. Wole Soyinka’s “The Man Died”. He is also credited with the statement “money is not our problem but how to spent it”. Had he spent wisely, we would have started the elusive diversification of our mono-cultural economy during his time. Today, Gowon gallivants all over the place purporting to pray for Nigeria. He should instead pray for himself!
Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo is the number two. Corruption was still tolerable during Obasanjo’s first coming, although there were innuendoes surrounding his Operation Feed the nationOperation Fool the Nation. Handing over power to the National Party of Nigeria, with Alhaji Shehu Shagari as president, was an unpardonable crime committed against this country by Obasanjo, who pretended not to know that the process of national development is a deliberate process of picking and choosing the leaders with the right competencies for the task at hand. NPN was a party of predators and the impunity everywhere seen today started with them. Remember NPN National Chairman Adisa Akinloye’s special champagne and Umaru Dikko’s rice armada?
3. Shehu Shagari
Shagari was noted only for his high-rise cap. Were Alhaj Lai Mohamed in politics during this period, he would have described Shagari as “clueless and incompetent”. So Shehu Shagari is number three.
4. Ibrahim Babangida
Ibrahim Babangida, the self-styled evil genius, the one who marvelled that this country’s economy “defies logic” institutionalised the “settlement” syndrome, transformed corruption into high art and began the systematic ruination of the economy and the mindless devaluation of the naira. He is number four.
5. Ernest Shonekan
Chief Ernest Shonekan, as interim national government chairman, ruled for less than three months; I cannot remember him for anything but because he was so spineless as to have allowed Sani Abacha to become head of state, he did this country great disservice. If he had been man enough to retire Abacha and the other goons who later laid siege to this country, he would have been a hero. Reports said a gun was put to his head as he was forced to writeread his resignation letter; I think a mere kitchen knife would have done the job! These days when I see him parade as an also-ran, I mutter to myself, what a mockery! He is number five.
6. Sani Abacha
Number five is the dark-goggled one, Sani Abacha. Who will ever forget the state-orchestrated bombings and murders undertaken by Jabilla, aka Sergeant Rogers, for Abacha? Till tomorrow, humungous amounts in hard currencies stolen by Abacha continued to be discovered in all corners of the world. Sadly, however, the recovered loot has, in turn, been looted as the ongoing probe of the ONSA has revealed.
7. Abdulsalami Abubakar
After Abacha came Abdulsalami Abubakar, who spent less than two years in office. The palatial building he built within this short time on Minna Hilltop, rivalling IBB’s, and the depletion of the country’s foreign reserves during his time, detracts from whatever credit his handing over power in 1999 might have attracted unto him. In addition, MKO Abiola, winner of the June 12, 1993 election, was murdered during Abdulsalami’s watch. He is number seven.
8. Umaru Yar’Adua
Umaru Yar’Adua died in office in circumstances that almost scattered the country. While he was on the sick bed, a cabal mercilessly plundered the country and a man said to be on life-support supposedly “signed” the nation’s budget in far-away Saudi Arabia. Only providence saved Nigeria under Yar’Adua. He is number eight.
9. Goodluck Jonathan
The number ten, of course, is Ijaw man, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. Nigerians fought for him to become acting president and later president but he proved a complete let-down. He was through and through clueless and incompetent, as Lai Mohamed had depicted him. Worse, his government may as well go down into the records as the most corrupt in Nigeria’s annals.
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