Buhari and Osin’s Chronic Debtor Wife

Let me call this scheme Buhari Onigbese Aya Osin (Osin’s chronic debtor wife). Osin is the Yoruba deity of royalty. According to legend, Osin married a shameless woman who owed virtually everyone in the community. In our tradition, once a person’s behavior is outside our acceptable mores, norms and traditions, we give that person a descriptive name. The reputation of this wife followed her wherever she went. “Onigbese” is the Yoruba word for chronic debtor; ‘Aya’ is his wife. His nickname is an exercise in character representation. She is known as Onigbese Aya Osin, who buys pangolin without paying; buys porcupine on credit. She sees the woman peddling a hedgehog, she runs after it empty-handed. She uses the antelope’s money to pay for the deer. However, she neither fried for her husband nor cooked for his concubine. Her first child is sold into slavery to pay off her debts; his youngest child is pledged for his debt. When she speaks, she accuses her husband of not covering his shame. While she does not inform the husband or ask his permission before buying bushmeat on credit.

Nigeria is the unhappy deity, Osin. The shameless wife is Buhari, who continues to borrow from heaven and earth; from the World Bank to the African Development Bank (AfDB); from China to Germany. Like Osin’s debt-drunk wife, our president even tinkers with the idea of ​​borrowing from Brazil, another Third World country. Yet, for the past six years, he hasn’t repaid a penny of all the debt he has accumulated. What it does is debt service, an appeasement of the debt gods.

Let me also call what we have as Captains Sam Selvon regime. Captain is the archetypal Nigerian lead character in the groundbreaking 1956 novel, “The Lonely Londoner” by the Trinidad-born author. The novel, which uses Trinidad and Tobago creolized English to represent characters, presents the Nigerian, Captain or Cap, as a heroic A-being without reputation. Literary analysts of the novel describe Captain as a “man who does nothing, has nothing but owes everyone; eat the best food and smoke the best cigarette”. In another characterization, the narrator describes him as follows: “Old Cap has the kind of voice that would melt butter in the winter. Although he never works, he manages to borrow money from friends and leads a lavish life.

Like Nigeria, the captain of his home country is also compared to some “men in the world who” do nothing at all, and you feel they would have starved to death, but day after day you meet them and they look in great shape, and in truth, it would seem that they would not only live longer than you, but they would be happier”. Forget the imperfect English. Just pay attention to the character of the Nigerian nation as described in a 1956 novel, not by a Nigerian, by someone from very far from Trinidad, who moved to England in the 1950s, met Nigerians in the land of “Charle Mummy” and was able to futurize the year 2021 Nigeria.

According to economists, Nigeria’s indebtedness to the World Bank and the African Development Bank, AfDB, rose from $7.14 billion in June 2015 to $14.35 billion in March 2021. The Nigerian Tribune, in its September 30, 2021 editorial, wrote: “The (Buhari) administration has increased the country’s debt from $7.3 billion in 2015 to $28.57 billion in 2020. This means that the President added 303.9% or $21.27 billion of foreign loans to the country’s debt portfolio. Domestic debt was 7.63 trillion naira as of December 2020. Overall, the Buhari government had an accumulated debt of 17.06 trillion naira as of March 2021, using the exchange rate of 381 naira. According to the Debt Management Office, Nigeria’s outstanding public debt as of March 31 was N33.107 trillion”. In another report, the Punch newspaper of August 2, 2021, did an analysis of “Nigeria’s loans from the World Bank, AfDB amount to $14.35 billion under Buhari” and wrote: “The debts of the Nigeria to the World Bank and the African Development Bank increased from $7.14 billion to $14.35 billion between June 30, 2015 and March 31, 2021, according to data obtained from the Debt Management Office.

This means that the banks’ commitment to the country increased by $7.11 billion during the period under review. This represents an increase of 98.48%. As of June 30, 2015, the Federal Government had borrowed a total sum of $6.19 billion from the World Bank…” If the numbers displayed above aren’t alarming enough, then wait what the Nigerian Tribune has to say. in his editorial titled: “Always on Nigeria’s Endless Borrowing”, that despite the huge debt hanging around the nation’s neck, the Buhari government, like the shameless Onigbese Aya Osin, had, to the “mid-September, presented a request to the National Assembly seeking approval to borrow (another) 4 billion dollars and 710 million euros in loans from bilateral and multilateral organizations to finance the deficit of the 2021 budget. »

This, the editorial said, “also included a grant component of $125 million. These are in addition to the loans of 8.3 billion dollars and 490 million euros provided for in the initial borrowing plan 2018-2020”. Juxtapose the above with the alarm sounded by Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State months ago that the federal government, under the watch of General Buhari, had printed money to support monthly allowances and you’ll easily see who was telling the truth between Obaseki and federal government agents and freelancers, who developed verbal diarrhea over it, calling the governor’s claims white lies. But, the same government agent Buhari, the DMO’s office, through its managing director, Patience Oniha, in mid-September hinted that there were plans to restructure N10 trillion overdrafts from CBN to government.

The simple layman’s question to ask is this: who takes an overdraft but a financially deficient and distressed individual, entity or corporation? Who continues to borrow like the Buhari government other than an “Onigbese Aya Osin”. Check Aya Osin’s eulogies again and you’ll find her ugly copy in Buhari’s administration, which continues to borrow despite having no plans to liquidate past outstandings. Our best brains are in second slavery all over the world because many had left the country when they could no longer cope with the crushing economic situation.

Those of us who remain in Nigeria are just pawns in the hands of rudderless rulers with their voodoo economic policies. My people say that a man who cannot feed himself does not keep a dog as a pet. But not in Nigeria. We starve here while Buhari builds a railway to the Niger Republic for the benefit of his distant cousins. And like Osin’s chronic debtor wife, the leadership always questions the citizens’ patriotism. They want us to be in the heat but tell the whole world that the cold is too strong for us and that we need a heating system. Wickedness! The government continues to borrow from our future in such a way that while we celebrated 61 years of independence five days ago, we will still not be able to pay all our debts over the next 61 years. As the biblical fathers who ate sour grapes and their children’s teeth are set on edge, the government continues to pile up debt so that generations yet to be born are perpetual slaves to creditors.

“He who borrows, grieves,” say the wise. Wisdom is lost here on a government, which appoints a lawyer to manage the nation’s energy sector; runs a large economy like Nigeria but has entrusted its finances to an accountant, who only came to speak phonetics before his expedition!

The same debt that General Olusegun Obasanjo managed to write off now amounts to billions of US dollars and domestic borrowing has reached a level where, like Uganda’s Idi Amin, we have to print money to support the monthly allowance. Messrs. Fabamise and Alebiosu, who taught us elementary economics in grades four and five, said that one of the main causes of inflation is when too much money chases too few goods. It’s no wonder the cost of even locally produced food is no longer between the rich and the poor. Yet, like Onigbese Aya Osin, the president is always quick to blame intermediaries. He forgot that he had never consulted the intermediaries before going to borrow left, right and center. Our president forgot that the garri seller at the New Market in Benin will have to buy a laptop for her son who is studying computer engineering at university.

Yet he wants the poor saleswoman to lower her prices of the various measuring bowls of garri, when her foreign loans had already crippled the naira, pushed the exchange rate above the ceiling and pushed up the cost of laptops. Its been an endless blame game; to blame others as he keeps a clean slate for himself. It’s typical of Osin’s compulsive debtor wife. And like Sam Selvon’s archetypal character, Captain, “who does nothing, has nothing but owes everyone; eat the best food and smoke the best cigarette”, what little national reserve, if any, we have is wasted on regular medical tourism at the London Hospital.

Who but a ‘captain’ regularly sees a doctor in the UK, parks the presidential jet at Heathrow for weeks, runs demurrage in pounds and goes to the UN General Assembly to ask for the debt cancellation? Who takes such a puny president seriously? How do you ask a president of a nation, who took a commercial flight to attend UNGA with a handful of aides, to forgive your debt, when you flew a presidential jet to attend the same meeting , accompanied by dozens of assistants, the majority of whom You don’t even speak or understand English, the broadest language of communication at the meeting? Who is richer between the two leaders?

Does Buhari say that he did not know that other world leaders knew and were aware that the Nigerian government hired a crowd to come and demonstrate in support of the government at the meeting venue? How could a government that has exported the shenanigans of a rented mob to New York expect anyone to listen when it asks for debt cancellation or forgiveness? Pray; Who forgives an unrepentant offender? At the risk of sounding pessimistic, let me end with this warning: if the government allows hunger to join the current tension in the country, very soon the masses will start having the leaders to lunch. And there will be no escape.