Of Yaman’s Debt gaffe And PDP’s Shock-Jocks – Rafiu Ajakaye
Believing one’s own lie — a kind of cognitive bias — is about the worst singular thing to happen to anyone. Arrowheads of Kwara’s PDP actually believe their own lies, and that explains their wobbling messaging thus far. They believe the only reason Kwarans rejected them in 2019 was simply because some opposition radio firebrands had lied to the public.
Nine in 10 PDP persons hold this view. Only a tiny but suppressed minority of them believe otherwise. For that reason, the party has lined up its talking heads to go on air to lie to the people in the hope that this will land them in government house in 2023. They have gone as far as saying they did not owe salaries at all; that colleges of education workers were not on strike because they were not being paid; that all accreditations were done as and when due; that the taps were in fact running everywhere; that they had paid N200m RAAMP counterpart to the World Bank; that they were actually up-to-date in promotion and that the stories about their paying percentaged salaries were all made up to tarnish their image, among others.
One of them said on a radio programme last Friday that the administration of His Excellency Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed did not borrow a dime in eight years. In fact, their official spokesman recently said that their administration actually signed the Freedom of Information Bill into law and that this administration, in its hatred for anything PDP, had reversed the gains. Jaw-dropping, right? Those who listened to them may have lost count of this tomfoolery and evidently self-damaging tactics. But these shock-jocks believe their own lies!
Enter Alhaji Abdullahi Yaman, a governorship also-ran now flying the banner of the PDP in the state. “We are not unaware of the problem the APC has put on us in Kwara State by the astronomical increase in the debt portfolio with over 300%. Kwara from the least indebted state is now one of the most indebted,” Yaman said in the capital city Ilorin at an event unveiling his running mate Hon. Gbenga Makanjuola on June 18.
Two major lies were told in those lines: that debt profile of Kwara has risen 300% under this administration and that the state was the least indebted in Nigeria before 2019. It’s been many hours since Yaman made those claims.
Those claims were driven by ignorance, mischief, and a group resolution to continually lie to the people whom the PDP strongly believe are mere pawns in their political chess game.
Both claims are false. One, at no time in Nigeria’s chequered history was Kwara the least indebted state. In 2019, Kwara had the 10th highest debt profile in Nigeria; conversely, by March 2022 account of the Debt Management Office, it is the 19th most indebted state. That’s a serious improvement on its 2019 ranking. Two, it is not true that debt profile of Kwara has jumped 300% between 2019 and now. The first and only time the state’s debt profile rose so high was in 2009 when former Governor Bukola Saraki took N17bn bond, among other facilities he had earlier accessed. That took the debt profile to above 300%, considering the fact that he had inherited a below N5bn domestic debt from the late Mohammed Lawal’s administration.
But here are some facts of history for the benefit of Alhaji Yaman, his campaign team, and the PDP shock-jocks who assault the people with barefaced lies on the airwaves.
Between 2003 and 2011, Kwara’s domestic debt profile rose from below N5bn to exactly N25.2bn. That is approximately 404% rise in domestic debt profile under Senator Saraki alone. Don’t forget: in one fell-swoop in 2009, the debt profile rose by over 300% when he took the N17bn bond.
Governor Ahmed, of the same tendency as Saraki and now Yaman, took the local debt profile to N67bn and foreign debt to above $47m by May 29, 2019. In other words, the domestic debt profile jumped 165% under Governor Ahmed. Between 2014 and 2016, a space of two years, the debt rose by 140%, or N15.9bn to N38.1bn.
In 2021, this administration took N27.2bn private bond to steadily bridge infrastructural gaps which the PDP administration had in 2016 pegged at above N256bn. Also in 2021, the administration and 35 other state governments across Nigeria accepted a Federal Government’s offer of N18.6bn loan refinancing facility to ease the burden of paying back loans which were taken as far back as 2015. Combined together, this has only raised the domestic debt profile by 68.3%. Where, therefore, did Alhaji Yaman get his 300% debt rise from? At any rate, projects being done with the funds taken by this administration are scattered around the state, north, south, and central.
Let’s put these borrowed monies in context — in the wake of PDP’s red-herrings and the national inflationary trends. The N17bn bond of 2009, then estimated at $113m, is the equivalence of N67.8bn in today’s monetary rate of 600 naira per dollar — far above the combined worth of the two facilities this administration has ever accessed.
There is nothing bad about borrowing to build social and physical infrastructure that improves life’s chances for the people. What is bad, and possibly atrocious, is lying about it or playing the ostrich as candidate Yaman and other PDP elements seem to be doing.
This administration will always speak to its own achievements and seek to be a better version of itself every step of the way, while the PDP is at liberty to go on thinking our people to be fools who cannot tell their yesterday from today. It is their (PDP’s) deserved Golgotha. Good luck!
- Ajakaye is Chief Press Secretary to the Governor
List of Governors That Handed Over Without Owing Salaries
Some governors are leaving office without owing workers’ salaries in their 8 years of service to the people of their state.
These governors are handing over to their successors after serving their states for 8 years terms, though there are some governors who were owing workers’ salaries as they leave and left the burden for the incoming administration.
As these governors leave office on Monday, May 29, some of them not owing salaries have been listed below, the list does not mean the outgoing governors are or are not owing pensions or arrears in their state.
1. Nasir El-Rufai
One of the governors handing over on May 29 without owing workers’ salaries is Nasir El-Rufai, the outgoing governor of Kaduna state.
El-Rufai was considered one of the performing governors throughout his 8 years of administration in the state.
2. Abdullahi Ganduje
The immediate past governor of Kano state is one of the governors that left behind the legacy of not owing workers’ salaries.
Unfortunately, the governor could not install his anointed candidate during the March 18 governorship election due to protest votes against his administration in the state.
3. Okezie Ikpeazu
The Abia state governor that just left office was one of the governors who left office and the workers in the state were happy because he was not owing the workers.
A few days to leave office, Ikpeazu ordered the immediate payment of all the civil servants in the state and cleared himself the debt.
4. Udom Emmanuel
Emmanuel, who just handed over the affairs of the Akwa Ibom state, has handed over a state free of the state from owing salary.
The governor was the campaign chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential campaign council.
The governor of Kebbi state did not owe workers’ salaries for his 8 years of administering the northwest state.
Bagudu, who was the chairman of the Progressives Governors Forum, was very instrumental in the campaign and victory of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2023 presidential election
“I have been acting for decades yet I jump on buses everyday” – Iya Gbonkan laments
Veteran Nollywood actress, Iya Gbonkan laments over not owning a car despite acting for decades as she seeks help from fans.
The 64-year-old made the cry for help in a video which has surfaced on social media.
Iya Gbonkan laments over not owning a car. Photo Credit: Iya Gbonkan. Source: Google.
According to her, she’s been in the movie making business for decades and yet, she still jumps on buses at her age and do not own a car of her own.
She said that people should celebrate her now she’s still among the living, not killing a cow when she has passed on.
Iya Gbonkan said:
“I have been acting for decades yet I don’t have a car. I jump on buses every day. If I die now, you will kill a cow. Celebrate me now that I am alive. I need a car from my fans”
Tribunal: Reaffirm your independence, Obi tells judiciary
The Labour Party presidential candidate during the last presidential election, Peter Obi, has urged the Nigerian judiciary to utilise the election cases before it to reaffirm its integrity.
Obi, a former Anambra State governor, also urged Nigerians to face the current reality and seek ways to change the bad narratives through legal and acceptable means.
The former governor made the call on Monday morning, hours to the inauguration of the President-elect, Bola Tinubu.
The PUNCH reports that the Independent National Electoral Commission declared Tinubu the winner of the February 25, 2023, presidential poll. The former Lagos State governor defeated Obi and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party to win the election.
Dissatisfied with the outcome of the poll, Obi and Atiku approached the court to reclaim their “mandate”. The duo claimed the election was marred with irregularities and that they both won the poll.
But in a series of tweets on his verified Twitter handle on Monday, Obi explained that it had become imperative for Nigerians and his supporters to review “our missed opportunities and disappointments”.
He also said it was important for the Nigerian judiciary to prove its independence to Nigerians.
“For all Nigerians, this is a time for deep reflection. It is also a time to re-examine our assumptions, even as we reaffirm our hopes. Let us calmly review our aspirations, in order to recalibrate our expectations and pin down the causes of our missed opportunities and disappointments.
“We stand at that critical moment in time when, as a people, we must collectively come to grips with the reality of our injured destiny as well as the reasons for that injury. It is for us to reassess our plight as a young democracy and identify clear pathways to a better and greater future for us all.
“As we await the verdict of the election tribunal, I urge all Nigerians to use this opportunity to renew their commitment to the Nigerian ideal. That ideal remains noble and worth every sacrifice we can make.
“Nigeria remains our only patrimony and it is a patrimony we must protect, rather than violate. We have no other nation but this, so let us remain committed to rescuing and rebuilding it.
“The judiciary is part of the democratic enterprise and a critical governance tool for determining the propriety of the decisions and actions of every citizen and every institution of state. To that extent, and for that reason,
“I urge everyone to treat it with the respect and dignity it deserves. We expect that the Nigerian judiciary will use the election cases now before it to reaffirm its independence and integrity. It has to do so, for all our sakes and for itself.
“Nigerians must, therefore, remain peaceful and law-abiding. No matter the depth of anyone’s reservations about what is going on in the polity today, no matter the real and imagined provocations, and no matter the disagreement out there, we should remember that this will not last forever.
“I remain committed, and untiring, in my determination to work with like-minded fellow Nigerians to end the curse of missed opportunities and squandered hope that has become our lot here.
“I will never shrink from that original commitment, because I firmly believe that we must change from the present politics of criminality, and corruption, in order to make a new Nigeria possible.
“I call on fellow Nigerians, especially the youths to remain steadfast, calm, patient, and peaceful. Our journey may be long and difficult but it is worth it in every way. Victory is assured. We have to work together to move our beautiful country from corruption and criminality to a centre of productivity rather than aimless consumption.”
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