It was a question of power, and the answer provided by former Power Minister Prof. Chinedu Nebo lacked the power of believability. On October 10, Nebo and his wife were decorated with honorary chieftaincy titles in Ikole Ekiti in Ekiti State. Before his time in the corridor of political power, he had exercised power as the pioneer vice-chancellor of the Federal University, Oye Ekiti (FUOYE). An appreciative community thought he deserved a chieftaincy title for his role in the development of Ikole town through the establishment of FUOYE’s Faculty of Engineering there. Nebo became Atayese of Egbeoba kingdom. His wife, Felicia, based on spousal advantage, became Yeye Atayese of Egbeoba kingdom.
At the event where the traditional ruler, the Elekole, Oba Ajibade Adewunmi Fasiku, conferred these titles on the couple, Nebo spoke about power supply. He was quoted as saying: “Some said it was Buhari’s body language that brought the improvement, but I don’t know what they meant. You can see that these saboteurs have stopped regular bursting of the gas pipes that powered the electricity since President Buhari came on board. Some people did not want Jonathan to succeed. Some of these people were doing this great disservice because they did not like President Jonathan.”
Nebo didn’t say there’s no improvement in electricity supply. He only said he didn’t understand why the observable improvement has been credited to President Buhari. The question is: Who does he think should take the credit? His answer: “The regular supply is Jonathan’s labour. The present administration has not added any value to the sector and Nigerians must appreciate this.”
More questions for Nebo: Who are “these people” who wanted ex-President Jonathan to fail? Why? It is cheap to speak of “saboteurs”, particularly when it could be said that the chief saboteur was perhaps Jonathan himself. It is worth mentioning that just before Jonathan was rejected by the electorate in March, in two days of power-related activities during his political campaign for reelection, he inaugurated on February 20 and 21 the 750 megawatts Olorunsogo Power Plant Phase II, Papalanto, Ogun State, and the 220 megawatts rehabilitated gas turbine at the Egbin power station in Lagos.
At the time, Jonathan said his administration had spent over US$8 billion to boost the national electricity generation capacity; but talk is cheap, even when it’s about such expensive expenditure.
Maybe Nebo needs a reminder: Under Jonathan, there was a deep darkness across the land, which was not just about the state of electricity supply. There was the darkness of inexcusable backwardness despite the country’s enviable resources, and the darkness of official corruption that corrupted the country. The people needed to escape from the power of darkness as well as the darkness of power.
Perhaps Nebo should be excused for his enthusiastic endorsement of his former boss. It is understandable that darkness cannot comprehend light, isn’t it?