By DR. SULEIMAN M. BARNABAS
Our world is stricken with all types of diseases, and in finding solutions to them,
scientists and non-scientists have come up with medicines for their cures. While
some diseases have cures, others do not have, implying a journey to death once
infected with such incurable diseases. May the dollar disease in our society get the
right medicine for the cure of its victims, and consequently enable a healthy society.
I am troubled with the dollar disease that has destroyed our social, economic,
cultural and political wellbeing as a nation, and how the people who have
courageously attempted to tackle the dollar disease have been confronted with
political armory by the victims of the disease.
The social disease that has crippled the Nigerian society is the dollar disease. It is a
disease caused by greed. It is the social cancer of the Nigerian society. It destroys
the moral, religious and ethical immunities of its victims. Corruption, bribery,
treachery, and anarchy are some of its notorious symptoms. It infects people across gender, tribes, religion, ages and political persuasions. This dollar disease is the
cause of the failure of leadership in the Nigerian society.
The leadership deficit that confronts our nation calls for a declaration of state of emergency to address the problem. At all levels, the dearth of quality leadership,
caused by the dollar disease, continues to undermine the innumerable resources
that God has benevolently endowed our country with.
The failure of political leadership and the lack of appreciation of courageous,
principled and honest leaders have continued to throw up thieves as leaders in our
society. And goaded by their praise-sinking followers, they have fallen deep into the
abyss of flattery and hypocritical delusions. This was the case on the 15th of
December 2020 when a serving governor from a Northern state, who has been
sentenced to ignominy and infamy in the minds of Nigerians because of the
incontrovertible video of stuffing bundles dollars in his pocket, described the illegal
abduction and illegal removal of Nigeria‟s former governor of CBN and the 14th Emir
of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi Lamido II, as the Jonathan medicine for the forthright
and courageous leader. So, the Jonathan medicine is the harassment and illegal
removal of public servants who fail to allow loyalty to regimes undermine their
professional and constitutional duties. The Jonathan medicine, as governor Ganduje
would have us understand it, is the illegitimate sack of a public servant for revealing
the corruption in a system. It is the illegal sack of a forthright traditional ruler by a
governor if the traditional ruler refuses to support the political ambition of an
incumbent. The Jonathan medicine is the abduction of the spiritual leader of a
people for speaking against bad governance, polygamous rascality, unprofitable
projects, and other social ills. This type of medicine is nothing but drug abuse, and it
can do nothing good to a democratic society and its people. So, when the bravest of
leaders are maliciously and callously maltreated by reprobate incumbents for their
principled stand on social issues, no medicine has been administered on the hero,
but a manifestation of the dollar disease that has destroyed our society.
When next, the governor of Kano wants to remind the world of his malicious removal
of the 14th Emir of Kano, HRH MLS II, he should know that Nigerians, and indeed,
the world, remember the brave emir as the medicine for corrupt and maladroit
politicians in and out of power. He is remembered for accepting the “Jonathan
medicine” rather than subjecting himself to the „dollar disease‟ that define the character of the thieves in and out of power. Nigerians remember the man who was
not willing to sacrifice his principles at the altar of the sacrilegious gods of power and
money, where the souls of some men and women of power have, pitiably, found their
The struggle to liberate a people from the shackles of poverty, illiteracy and
anarchism must not be mistaken as a tea party. There has to be heroes who would
be willing to risk everything for the sake of the struggle, including being given the
Jonathan-Ganduje medicine. This task is not for the men and women who have been
infected with the dollar disease of pride, treachery, corruption and fraudulence.
Unfortunately for the victims of the dollar disease, the Jonathan medicine does not
provide cure. If anything, it is the drug that destroys the white blood cells of society.
Emir Muhammad Sanusi Lamido II remains a voice to the voiceless millions of
Nigerians, especially Northern masses, that have suffered from the failed leadership
of its greedy leaders who have embezzled the resources of the people in the quest
to satisfy their temporary souls and those of their family and friends who have
become accomplices in this crime against the poor.
Also, the people who were benefiting from the competent and inspirational
leadership of their leader, Muhammad Sanusi Lamido, have been deprived of the
benefits of this global leader who, for the love he has for his Kano people,
condescended to accepting the traditional position even when it was clear the world
needed him at the global stage. Thankfully, the 14th emir is being celebrated and
honoured across the globe since his illegal and illegitimate removal. He currently
serves as the Chancellor of at least four universities in Nigeria, and was also
appointed as the Sustainable Development Goals Advocate by the United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres. All these would matter less to victims of the dollar disease in our country.
The dollar disease is the problem of Nigeria, and the solution to this problem is not the Jonathan medicine, which little minds in positions of power timidly use to intimidate, persecute and punish heroes and heroines amongst us, who speak truth
to power. The ideal medicine to cure our dollar disease can be located in leaders
with the competence, integrity, humility, knowledge,perseverance, courage,
contentment, discipline, moral and ethical values, and the political will to serve the people. The absence of these is the presence of the dollar disease, which no
Jonathan medicine can cure.
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