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Mustapha Abdullahi: Sam Nda-Isaiah, Leadership Publisher & His Presidential Ambition



Sam Nda-Isaiah, Leadership Publisher
In the rash of presidential aspirants that may soon emerge is one by the name Sam Nda-Isaiah, the publisher of Leadership newspaper and one of its back page columnists, who does not fail to deliver his position with uncommon bluntness, even if often ill-informed and lacking in depth. But his passion cannot be ignored by regular readers of the column.

Why he is thinking he is a presidential material beats his readers, and those who have observed his managerial style at the Leadership. He cannot be said to be a failure for, if he was, his stable would have packed up years ago. Somehow, despite the complaints from within the kingdom he has built for himself, the paper has trudged on. Many have said that he employs less than noble means to further his kingdom, but no such murmurings have seen the light of the day; so, it remains within the realm of unsubstantiated gossip.

Nda-Isaiah has every right to want to be president even if he has never been a councillor, local government chairman, member of a state house of assembly, deputy state governor, state governor, House of Representatives member, senator, minister, or any political office holder; or anything worthy of note until Leadership. It is his inalienable right to want to be president. These days, clowns and jesters want to run Nigeria, so why not the pharmacist? Never mind that he was a publicist for General Mohammadu Buhari (GMB) in The Buhari Organisation (TBO) and made no little mess of it. Now he wants to join GMB for the same juicy position because he has come of age and should join his father to taste Nigeria’s fruit of good and evil.

Those who quarrel with the delusive presidential grandeur that is ascribed to the somewhat rabid journalist, who has never failed to criticise every president that his mentor, GMB, has ever lost out to, are not surprised that his pot shots are now directed to President Goodluck Jonathan. After all, he would not be relevant if he did not do that. Recently, he wrote an interesting piece asking: Is the President Aware that $10.8b is still Missing?

Perhaps what drew the ire of most rational persons was Nda-Isaiah’s reference to supporters of Jonathan as enemies of state. He wrote: “With all these happening, it is quite befuddling how anyone will want Jonathan to continue as president beyond 2015, as a few jesters are currently doing. Anyone, no matter who that person is, who wants President Jonathan to govern Nigeria beyond 2015 is an enemy of the Nigerian state.”

Unfortunately, for less than properly enlightened columnist, who strolled in from selling drugs in shops, it is not journalists who declare citizens as enemies of state. It is those goonish characters who answer to no one except their commander-in-chief, who, in this case, happens to be Jonathan. And who are the jesters he is referring to? The same ones who gave his Buhari a bloody nose three times; or the ones who use Buhari and the doors he opens to win elections and dump him; or those who ride on the crest of his popularity to wrest resources from equally naive investors to set up newspapers?

Nda-Isaiah is not impressed that the President is allegedly angry with the Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, and is asking him to resign for allegedly leaking a letter he wrote to him. Well, those who know the publisher well suggest he would do worse than Jonathan if he perceived that anyone working for him was treacherous to his interests. Meanwhile, has the pharmacist ever seen a man of Sanusi’s clout, and royal and religious leaning, appear lily-livered, and sitting with two women who dwarfed him as recanted his figures of missing funds from $49.8 billion to $12billion before he was corrected by the Minister of Finance that $10.8b was the amount still being reconciled by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)? If he knows such a person in history, he should tell his readers. He should tell his readers if such a Central Bank governor chose to remain in office or resign in the shame of it.

The pharmacist should not get this writer wrong, because what Sanusi did is a mark of a man, to own up before millions that he goofed; but he would have been a real man if he completed the process by throwing in the towel rather than strutting around still opening his mouth wide at every given opportunity. The publisher (or pharmacist) should know better that men of his (Nda-Isaiah) physical stature, as some psychologists are wont to suggest, try to make up for their diminutive stature by other means.

According to the columnist, “more decent people thought such anger (as the President’s) should have been directed at people like Diezani Allison-Madueke, the petroleum minister, and Stella Oduah, the aviation minister. This president has not developed the capacity to ask Stella Oduah to resign in spite of her several scandals and he has not asked Diezani to resign for all the mess we all know the petroleum ministry under her has become. He is not even angry enough that his own finance minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has said that $10.8 billion is still unaccounted for by the NNPC. This amount is roughly N1.7 trillion. Does the president know what this amount could have done for Nigeria? And nobody should ever tell me that the whopping amount has been spent on fuel subsidy again, as some people are now trying to do, because, before Jonathan happened on us, the average annual amount that used to be expended on fuel subsidy was 250 billion Naira.”

I dare ask, have Diezani and Stella been found guilty of anything? Have they made public admissions of guilt as the Emir-to-be did? And Nda-Isaiah should stop displaying the depth of his crass ignorance by suggesting that the annual subsidy on fuel was N250 billion. I think he should go to Diezani for better education.

The publisher adds that “when Speaker Aminu Tambuwal said the president’s body language encourages corruption, he was only being polite. The situation is much worse. The president’s whole being and soul encourage corruption, and not just his body language.” Is that so, Oga Publisher? We didn’t know that you have become such a wizard to see into souls. How come you have not seen into the soul of the House of Representatives and the elements within, that one of such elements, who revel in corruption, tells you those whose body language encourages corruption? Or, is it because Tambuwal has become part of the opposition where you sit comfortably today?

Nda-Isaiah wrote further: “This is precisely the same way that the president was upset with those who led the media to discover the corruption at the Police College, Ikeja, Lagos, that ensured that police cadets were living under conditions that would have been unfit for the president’s dogs. The president was not angry enough to ask where the money voted for the police had gone or whether the appropriated police budgets got to them at all. He did not even have compassion for the suffering cadets and showed no empathy whatsoever towards them. He was only upset that some thieves had been exposed for stealing government money. And, since then, nothing has happened to those thieves. Nobody expects anything to happen to them as long as it is Jonathan that is president.”

If the publisher had taken some measure of education in journalism that he sits atop as a “professional misfit,” he would know the source of that story. The source of the story was the same person(s) who should use police money for what it is meant for. Has the publisher not wondered why, when the President asked who brought the journalists into the college, none of the top officers there that day spoke? If the publisher still remains ignorant, he should call John Momoh of Channels Television to ask. And has Nda-Isaiah been to, or seen the college recently? Did the president do something about the state of the college? The evidence is there for all to see as the college now sparkles beyond what was ever there, even between 1983 and 1984 when his mentor was there?

It is obvious that Nda-Isaiah does not like the women who work with Goodluck and made no bones of it in his latest ranting, but someone should tell him that when he gets to Aso Villa, if ever he gets there, even in his dreams, he should know that experience has shown that women are more reliable. Or, is that not why he has plenty of them in Leadership?

Opinion written By Mustapha Abdullahi and he can be reached via [email protected]

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