By Ike A. Offor
One of the very interesting discourses in Nigeria right now is patronising products that are made in Nigeria. The present government of APC led by president Muhammadu Buhari faced with tremendous pressure from the economic downturn has made sketchy efforts to get the slogan going. But have they been honest about it, that remains to be seen.
This very slogan was the brainchild of the senate president, Dr Bukola Saraki, who saw further than others and stressed on this and made efforts to kickstart the competition on #BuyMadeinNigeria# with a hashtag, which did very well among Nigerians.
Then, the very imperative question to ask is, do these Nigerians, the senate President, the rest of the lawmakers, the president, Muhammadu Buhari and his aides and a lot others ‘buy made in Nigeria’? That is a question they cannot look Nigerians to their faces and give them affirmative responses.
The slogan is definitely a very good one to rekindle the spirit of patriotism among the citizens but how honest are the leaders in doing this, especially the man at the helm of affairs in the country? But what about them talking the talk and walking the walk?
The all-round patriot since Nigeria gained independence is Dr Goodlcuk Ebelechukwu Jonathan. This humble man has in every way demonstrated that he is an astute humble patriot.
For the very first time in the history of Nigeria from the time of independence till this very tenure of president Muhammadu Buhari, the country has never produced any president that has demonstrated such practical patriotism as Goodluck Jonathan had.
Some folks would ask how and some would try to dispute it but the record is there to vindicated him.
Goodluck has been the only president or head of state who never spent a single day during his holidays during the six years he was in office outside shores of Nigeria. Every single holiday he spent in either at his country home or in Obudu ranch and anywhere else within the shores of Nigeria but never outside. He made it his priority to spend all those six years of holidays in Nigeria. So, he never took away much-needed finances from Nigeria to some holiday destination abroad.
Also, Goodluck Jonathan demonstrated that no head of state or president need to embark in any medical tourism of any kind outside the borders of Nigeria. He did all his medical diagnosis, treatment and whatever else that has to do with medical attention in Nigeria. There showed that those presidents who frequently leave the shores of Nigeria and engage in expensive and needless medical tourism are mere braggadocio and cockiness. These trips are not needed and is mere waste of money by these heads of state and other politicians.
Jonathan’s children are all studying in Nigeria with none schooling abroad. If these are not practical demonstration of patriotism, one wonders what then is. He could easily enroll his children in schools in the United Kingdom like others like Ibrahim Babangida and Sani Abacha and others did during their time in office. But his spirit of patriotism runs very deeper than those of all presidents and heads of state ever in the history of Nigeria. This way, he ensured that the capital flight is checked and the money he could have invested in some expensive schools abroad were all spent within Nigeria.
The most interesting aspect of his spirit of patriotism is that during his declaration of his assets, he made it a point of duty to challenge any Nigerian both home and abroad to prove him wrong that he has no bank account outside the shores of Nigeria.
Up until this day, no journalist, or media outlet has ever taken up such challenge and proved him wrong. It is evidently clear that Dr Goodluck Ebelechukwu Jonathan has no foreign bank account and does not bank any penny of his anywhere else than in Nigerian banks within her borders. He also declared that he has no property, whether, landed or house outside Nigeria.
Now, let’s compare that with the present occupant of the highest office in the land. President Muhammadu Buhari has spent all his holidays abroad and all have been in the United Kingdom. He has also done all his several medical diagnosis and treatments in his barely two years tenure in office abroad. He has travelled outside the country for several medical checks and treatments. He also maintains foreign accounts and has reportedly been revealed by BBC and other UK media that he has a landed property and few houses in the UK. The UK media have also revealed that Buhari has a little over £1.5m in his bank account in London.
It is very clear and well-known fact that all his children attended their schools in the UK. The fact has it that his daughter Zahra attended one of the most expensive Universities in Sunderland in England.
So, the question is who would Nigerians take seriously when he thrust up the idea of buy made in Nigeria? Is it the man who ran to abroad for headaches, ear infections, throat aches and mere medical diagnosis. Or the man who maintains no foreign bank account, and he has his children in schools in Nigeria and has no single property, whether landed or house abroad, and the man who spent all his vacations in Nigeria?
The ball is now in your court to judge or decide who is really a patriot, who patronizes everything Nigerian.