The Microsoft Legend Bill Gates is often in the company of the sage of Omaha, Warren Buffet. These two men happen to be the richest men on earth. It is not by mistake but rather its by design that these two minds share a common platform hence their elevation to wealth and prestige.

Nigeria is in a recession today solely because the President was unwise in his choice of friends which has led Nigeria into this quagmire. Instead of surrounding himself with technocrats, experts and democrats he went down the road to perdition whose path is laid by nepotism and ethnoreligious jingoism by building his regime on the unstable foundation of a friendship hinged upon a Daura Mafia.

These loyalists failed to deliver the Presidency to him over 3 prior attempts thus it was not until he obtained the help of Professional Image Makers and embraced a Nationalist approach did he ascend the throne.

Hence is it not a slap in the faces of Nigerians that he abandoned the platform upon which he rode to power by returning to his band of failed Daura friends?
What advice that can move the Nation forward can a band of failed friends offer?

Once again Nigerians are held captive by another evil cabal. Last time around it was Ijaw Mafia. Now it is the Daura Mafia. Men who lack sound economic or managerial expertise are steering the nation hence once must ask what are the chances of a ship berthing at a port when the ship’s cook is at the wheel with the Captain Indisposed? This is the tale of Nigeria where Men with no track record are thrust upon us as leaders like a untested rider atop an untamed horse.

Why won’t there be a recession when the only qualification for one to be in the kitchen cabinet is to be an indigene of Daura?
When the inner circles greatest achievement is being blood relatives or kinsmen one wonders on what premise the CBN Governor can announce today that Nigerians have seen the worst the recession has to offer?

When the economy is still shedding jobs faster than a snake shedding its skin and the National budget remains stalled like a car in first gear with negligible implementation I marvel at those who still keep the body language flag flying when the indices of note remain horrific and the naira has even dipped below the proverbial 419 nadir.

An economy of a nation should not be triffled with for its the life blood of a people thus when novices and neophytes commence experimentation upon it at the level of Doctor Victor Frankenstein thus the birth of a monster that will consume its creators is the only predictable outcome.

Until the President sheds the excess baggage of friends he conveyed to Aso Rock from Daura he will continue to wallow in his current predicament where he dished out the lamentations of Job today over his dislike of the current wave of criticisms and knocks he is receiving from “professionals” over his handling of the economy for he would rather bask in the glow of their support and goodwill.

Well at least this proves the likes of commentary by many pundits including my humble recession diary is eventually hitting home for finally the President has been forced to read the sordid tale of Nigerians sufferings in the dailies and abandon his favourite sections; the funnies and the cartoons as the wave of goodwill upon which he rode to power disipates faster than a speeding bullet.

Nigerians are suffering immense hardship like never before. And as schools resume it is only by the mercies of God that schools fees has not consumed many households. Thus the receipe of future disaster is being written as many children are withdrawn from school as their parents can’t afford to give them an education. Even the public school sector is in a state of disrepair as most states are owing teachers a backlog of salaries thus the teachers are compelled to use their pupils as forced labour akin to unpaid slaves in their farms as manual labour is now elevated to the status of the favourite subject across board. Thus a nation breeds the next generation of militants, Boko Harams, armed robbers, kidnappers and rapists as social deliquency becomes a by product of the recession induced rise in out of school children.

But alas there is hope. Hope lies within the resilience of Nigerians whose roots run deep like an Iroko tree. A nation of people who can bend over backwards like a contortionist with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, no matter the hardship the insensitive Government throws their way.

Even in the midst of the storm good friends arise to walk on water to lend a helping hand to another. Even when the Government is bulldozing away the last remaining small businesses in this recession, good friends are building even stronger partnerships and industry.

While Government minders worry more about criticism than providing solutions to problems they created, good friends are solving each others problems in the midst of a recession for that is what good friends do. They uphold one another in these desperate times for the good book says there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.

As the Daura Mafia wallow in the incredulity of their stupidity one can only hope and pray for Nigerians who have exchanged through no fault of theirs, a regime of cluelessness and corruption for a regime of nepotism and incompetence as the recession makes minced meat of a nation at the cusp of an unfortunate implosion. For due to the failure of a President to leave Niger Delta Militants alone despite the advice of more seasoned pundits, he chose the unwise counsel of his Daura friends thus the nation’s oil infrastructure lies in tatters while the military has to divert resources from the volatile North East to smile with the crocodiles in the creeks of the Delta.

Meanwhile Boko Harm is basking in the glow of their renewed breathing space as they have massacred worshippers at a church only last Sunday in Borno State and attacked an aid convoy only yesterday killing scores of civilians and injurying their armed escort. This is what happens when bad advice pushes a man to fight a war on two fronts as the technically defeated Boko Haram has become “untechnically” unhinged in new lethal attacks.

The lessons of the recession are as right as rain. Chose your friends wisely. Obtain wise council from the veterans of economic stewardship. For it is written that a certain king was approached by his people that the hardship inflicted on them by his predecessor was heavy thus they asked for better Governance and prosperity from his regime. This king was advised to lighten the burden on his people and uplift them from a counsel of experts however this king ignored the counsel of these wise men and instead listened to the counsel of his friends who he grew up with who lacked the prerequisite knowledge and understanding; not at all dissimilar to the current scenario of Nigeria where our President heeds only to his childhood cliche called the Daura mafia: lo their advise was to make the hardship on the people even heavier for if corruption was a whip thus the change to incompetence will be akin to the lashing with a scorpions tail.

And in the end what happened? The people revolted and the King lost the support of all except his kinsmen who sing his praise to this very day.
This is the story of King Rehoboam of Israel. And thus history is set to repeat itself in Nigeria if the President does not disban his inner circle of friends and build a new one hinged on wisdom and a good track record.
That is the painful and horrible truth.

Friends can make or mar a man, especially in a recession. Thus one must chose one’s friends wisely. Another day in the recession another lesson from the wellspring of uncommon wisdom. Please choose your friends wisely lest surviving the recession cannot be assured.



Credits : Attah Essien

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