Home / Opinion / BUHARI AND THE BUDGET PADDING: CLASSIC DECEIT AND/OR INCOMPETENCE? Guest Contributor Gibson Ogolo recalls what seems as another deceit by President Muhhamadu Buhari and his team. This comes as the "Budget Padding" issue rages on. He concludes that its either the President is incompetent of detecting "padding" or he is grossly deceitful.

BUHARI AND THE BUDGET PADDING: CLASSIC DECEIT AND/OR INCOMPETENCE? Guest Contributor Gibson Ogolo recalls what seems as another deceit by President Muhhamadu Buhari and his team. This comes as the "Budget Padding" issue rages on. He concludes that its either the President is incompetent of detecting "padding" or he is grossly deceitful.

Remember when this picture was published on both print and electronic media? They narrated to us how President Muhammadu Buhari, his Vice, Pastor Yemi Osinbajo and his Minister of Budget and National Planning Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, painstakingly scrutinized page by page the 2016 budget day and night without a sleep, after it was passed and returned from the National Assembly, before the President jetted out to China. Well, here is the picture and it goes to show how deceitful or incompetent this present federal government can be.

I can’t help but say I am worried. I’m very worried, not just because our economy has been driven into recession and is at the edge of precipice; not because 420 Naira can only afford a Dollar today, not necessarily because of the high cost of rice, garri, salt or pepper and other essential commodities which have quadrupled in just a little over a year; I’m not so worried about multinationals packing up & businesses closing shops while unemployment and inflation is at the fast lane to the tops; My worries transcends all those.

My ultimate worry is the level of incompetence, deceit and falsehood, which is the bane of the woes we suffer today in this mirage they call “CHANGE” that has brought this country to her knees. Frighteningly, in a time when sincere efforts, clear-cut and genuine policies geared towards repositioning the economy to a part of recovery and better the lives of over 160 million people, our Government still finds time to hoodwink us into believing they know what we are going through and exactly how to get us out of this mess.

Incompetence breeds deceit and falsehood; remember those myths our parents sold to us when we were little boys? The once that say for example that, when it rains and the sun shines at the same time, it means the Lion is giving birth? Then it was a myth, but we have grown up to know they were all deliberate lies, yes our parents lied to us and they had their reasons. It’s obvious they didn’t understand why the sun and the rain should cross-paths; they clearly didn’t have an idea on how to solve the “mystery”. Since a child looks up to his parents for everything and every answer, they resorted to telling bogus lies, either to keep their parental ego intact or to make us look the other way. Moreover, when the circumstance is beyond their comprehension. In simple terms, they don’t know why; they don’t know how; so they told us lies to make up for their shortcomings.

Now let’s go back to the picture. I wonder why and how this picture came to be in the first place, could it be an aid to one of the trio? Or was a photographer invited in to capture the pivotal moment Baba, Pastor, and Udoma shut themselves out from the entire world, attending to a document as salient as the National Budget of the very country they all swore to serve and protect? Was this picture another leak or a deliberate attempt to keep us believing they are sincere, committed and are doing the needful to deliver on their promises, now that they are completely lost in the multiplex rivers of economic woes they have stirred us into? I’m sure the latter is the case for obvious reasons.

Now stop reading and go back to the picture again, take a closer look at Pastor Osinbajo and Senator Udoma, notice anything common? Notice they both made sure the camera captures the cover page of the budget breakdown in front of them? Why the extra effort? Are they playing to a script? A make-believe to forestall any possible doubts? Now, that’s what I call CLASSIC DECEIT.

But wait a minute; we can’t totally take away coincidence from all this, can we? After all, they are human; coincidence is part of living and can happen to anybody or group of persons; anytime and anywhere. So let’s cut them some slack with the hypothesis that Pastor Osinbajo and Minister Udoma where either holding up the cover page in their honest attempt to flip it open at the same time the photographer hit the shoot button, or could it be that they both read holding the previous page up? In any case, it will be some worth unfair for anybody to deduce that the picture is purely diversionary and so an outright deceit for whatever intended purpose based on these facts.

Now if you are a fan of this administration and my last paragraph accords you a sigh of relief, stop! Take a deep breath, let it soak in and wait for it.

Let’s rewind a bit… The President sent a budget to the National Assembly for screening and possible passage into law, they “padded” in personal projects running into hundreds of Billions (or so we were told), passed it and returned same to him for assent. The President in his bid to ensure the budget as returned is devoid of corrupt inputs or padding as they call it, employed his vice and his Minister of Budget and National Planning to a room and they shut themselves out of civilization, spent untold hours and even lost sleep on a small table scrutinizing the budget, yet no one, not even a person detected any of the padded items. Now that’s what I call CLASSIC INCOMPETENCE.

I wonder what they were searching for in the first place; someone said and on a lighter note, that, they were searching to find where CORRUPTION is spelt verbatim in the document.

In conclusion, it’s either they are classically deceitful or classically incompetent; by the way, who said the two can’t mix?

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