Prolific tweeter Oby Ezekwesili has called for “tough reform measures that a time like this demands” from the government of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Never hesitant to offer unsolicited advice, she further tweeted: “In such parlous economic condition, the COST of bad policies become too high. So, the FG [federal government] would do well to AVOID BAD POLICIES.”
Other tweets from Ezekwesili, known as “Madam Due Process” when she was a minister in former president Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration, include: “Sadly, the tough measures that will take Economy out of the hole will AFFECT the POOR the most. But it has to be done NOW. No MORE DELAYS.” She added: “It’s considerably easier to get a “Buy In” for TOUGH REFORM MEASURES that a time like this DEMANDS if Government ACTS TOTALLY TRANSPARENTLY.”
There were more, but we get the idea. Something needed to be done now, we don’t need “bad policies”, we had to be “tough”, this “toughness” would hurt the poor the most, and she dressed it all up as “reforms”. Despite the loud capitals, she didn’t explain what those “bad policies” were, what “good policies” are, and what those “tough reform measures” are going to be.
Noam Chomsky nailed it on the issue of “reforms”: ‘“Reform” is a word you always ought to watch out for. Like when Mao started the cultural revolution it wasn’t called a reform. Reform is a change that you’re supposed to like. And watch — so as soon as you hear the word reform, you kind of reach for your wallet and see who’s lifting it.’
Ezekwesili and her former boss Obasanjo called what they did to Nigeria in eight years of misrule from 1999 to 2007 “reforms”. What we saw was the transfer of the assets of Nigeria, that should have been spent on sustainable programmes that would have prepared the country for the dip in oil revenues, into private pockets that included Obasanjo’s all in the name of “reforms”.
Today, she is tweeting about hurting the poor, which is exactly what her boss Obasanjo did with his “bad policies”, and claiming we should be trying to end the dependence on oil. But she is silent on what she did exactly as Minister for Solid Minerals to generate alternative forms of revenue for the country. In over six years in Obasanjo’s government she was also head of the Budget Monitoring and Price Intelligence Unit, and there was little in that period in terms of “good policies” that resulted in weaning the country of its over dependence on oil.
She had a chance to act and did nothing that was relevant towards moving the country down the path of development. She allegedly thought that she would be given a second chance with a cabinet position in the Buhari regime and was roundly ignored. She is now consigned to tweets of irrelevance saying nothing of significance.