Salihu Moh. Lukman
Partisan Problem of One-Dimensional Politics
In his recent book, Arguing with Zombies: Economics, Politics and the Fight for Better Future, the American economist, Paul Krugman drew attention to what he refers to as ‘one-dimensional politics’, which is about opinions and not facts. According to him, ‘everything is political. In many cases, accepting what the evidence says about …question will be seen as a partisan act.’ Although the United States was the focus of Krugman’s analysis, one-dimensional politics such that accepting evidence becomes partisan, goes beyond the US. At least, it is also the reality in Nigeria, largely because opinions dominate almost all political conversations in the country. For instance, there is the widespread belief that the two leading parties in the country – Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressives Congress (APC) – are the same. Some analysts have gone further to argue that both parties have failed Nigerians.P
Prof. Attahiru Jega, former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), in a BBC Hausa Service interview on August 2, 2021, reechoed this position with the submission that ‘the two big parties have failed to engender good governance and development in the country.’ Consequently, he called on Nigerians not to ‘give their trust to the parties again.’ Coming from Prof. Jega, the claim that both the PDP and APC are the same and have failed Nigerians should not be taken lightly. Prof. Jega wasn’t just the former Chairman of INEC. He is a respected political scientist internationally. He is both a theoretician and practitioner whose commitment to Nigeria’s development cannot be faulted. He grew through the ranks of radical activism to become the leader, both intellectually and in the practical field of politics and was able to inspire and influence the emergence of generation of both activists and leaders in the country. As Chairman of INEC, it cannot be disputed that he successfully led the reform of electoral management in the country.
As should be expected, both the PDP and APC dismissed Prof. Jega’s submissions that the two parties have failed Nigerians. Speaking through Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan and Sen. John Akpanudoedehe, respectively PDP National Publicity Secretary and APC Secretary of Caretaker/Extraordinary National Convention Planning Committee, they both argued that Prof. Jega was wrong to conclude that the two parties have failed Nigerians. PDP went further to accuse Prof. Jega of being ignorant of the ‘significant milestones’ it recorded during its reign and contended that ‘it is indeed unfortunate that … a professor of Political Science could portray an ignorance of the manifest contrasts between the robust fortunes of our nation under the PDP and the wasteland she has become under the APC.’
Somehow, both responses from the two officials of the PDP and APC failed to disproof Prof. Jega’s declaration that PDP and APC have failed Nigerians. A clear demonstration of the problem of one-dimensional politics, which is just about opinion and even when there is evidence to prove otherwise, individual opinion of leaders, which was what the responses of both Mr. Ologbondiyan and Sen. Akpanudoedehe represents, will instead be the reference. The responses from Mr. Ologbondiyan and Sen. Akpanudoedehe, if allowed to stand can only strengthen the argument that both PDP and APC are the same, which is not correct. The question of whether PDP and APC are the same and have all failed Nigerians should therefore be proven beyond the opinion of anybody, including the responses of Mr. Ologbondiyan and Sen. Akpanudoedehe. Irrespective of whether it is PDP, APC or any other party for that matter, performances of parties when elected to manage governments must go beyond opinions.
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Perhaps, it needs to be acknowledged that the disposition of politicians to switch between parties, especially from PDP to APC and vice versa, is often cited as a justification of semblance. In addition, there is also the question of ideology, which many have argued is absent from Nigerian politics and is another evidence of why the two parties are the same. While it is important to acknowledge the validity of this criticism, it doesn’t however confirm that both the two parties are the same and as Prof. Jega alleged have failed Nigerians. Noting that Prof. Jega granted the BBC interview as a member of the People Redemption Party (PRP), it is important that he is assisted to go beyond the seductive appeal of one-dimensional politics by checking what the evidence are with respect to the credentials of both the APC and PDP as ruling parties.
Recognising also that one-dimensional politics, in the context of Nigeria, encourages politicians to resent criticisms, which is why Prof. Jega can be accused of being ignorant of ‘significant milestones’, politicians, especially from leading political parties need to also be made to appreciate that their opinion does not prove any achievement or disprove failure. To dismiss people criticising both the PDP and APC highlights the problem of intolerance, which Nigerian democracy must overcome. Intolerance creates a big gap between politics and knowledge. The consequence is that many politicians will continue to develop inferiority complex, based on which they use very uncouth language in responding to criticisms. It will either be a case of ‘ignorance’ as Mr. Ologbondiyan and Sen. Akpanudoedehe, will argue, ‘nauseating, malicious and nonsensical’ as Dr. Chris Ngige will refer to criticism of his management of industrial relations in the country or Comrade Adams Oshiomhole’s reference to people critical of his leadership approaches as ‘cowards and pigs’. Once it is the attitude of politicians to resent criticism, loyal party members will be intimidated and forced to submission. Nigerian politics must be reoriented such that leaders are able to respect criticism.
PDP and APC have failed Nigerians: Scholar Jega Vs Politician Jega
First thing first, is it true that both PDP and APC ‘have failed to engender good governance and development in the country’ as argued by Prof. Jega? What exactly are the evidence that made Prof. Jega to arrive at such a conclusion? So far, from the BBC interview, Prof. Jega did not present any specific validation of his conclusion. Both listening and reading the script of the interview, one is tempted to conclude that Prof. Jega spoke more as a politician in that interview than the thorough scholar he is. Being a PRP member, it was more about justifying his choice of PRP as opposed to any of the so-called big parties. In many respects, it wasn’t necessary at all. He doesn’t need to justify his political choice with reference to other parties. Doing so, cheaply brings him down to the basement of one-dimensional politics, which he is way above. As a result, at least from the BBC interview, he didn’t make any attempt to present how his party, PRP, will be different.
A person of the stature of Prof. Jega is entitled to his own political choice without having to justify it with reference to what is in existence. Projecting his choice confidently without having to situate it in relation to existing parties will determine substantially the value he is bringing into Nigerian partisan politics. No doubt, his potential is very high, which is why every serious-minded Nigerian should continue to advocate that people like Prof. Jega should join partisan politics. Being the successful scholar he is, in fact an authority in the field of political science in every respect, evidence-based politics should be the reference point of his political conclusions. He should be able to engage politics based on facts and not just opinion. Once he deviates from that and orient his politics based on opinions, it will be difficult, if not impossible for him to be different from the mainstream Nigerian politicians. This will simply mean that partisan politics will erode his moral authority and devalue his personality.
The second concern borders on how the two senior officials of the two parties – PDP and APC – contemptuously dismissed Prof. Jega’s statement. The PDP went further to question the credential of Prof. Jega as a professor of political science. This highlights one of the dangers of the Nigerian brand of one-dimensional politics. What qualifies any politician to question the academic qualification of anybody? Anybody going into politics, should be ready to be bullied by politicians who are experts in all the conventional strategies, both fair and unfair. It is debatable, if politics has entry requirement, Mr. Ologbondiyan can qualify to be anywhere near Prof. Jega. Once the disposition of politicians is to disrespect people like Prof. Jega, it will be almost impossible to expect anything more than what the PDP has achieved in Nigerian politics, which is more about opinion rather than evidence.
The truth is that one-dimensional politics in Nigeria, create a situation whereby no matter one’s level of education or exposure, the person must contend with the strong opinions of politicians. Going contrary to those opinions will be resisted. In the process, crude methods will be applied to rubbish the person. Recall how sadly under the immediate past leadership of the APC, a particular person was disqualified from emerging as a candidate of the party for election based on false allegation that his academic qualification was forged. Even when the registrar of the institution made public statement confirming that the person graduated from that institution, the APC leadership went ahead to disqualify the person.
With one-dimensional politics, everything is reduced to opinion. With Prof. Jega now becoming a partisan politician, will he play politics based on evidence or it will just be about his opinion? Will he fail to apply all his knowledge and experience, which is his life achievement and use it to contribute towards building Nigerian political parties to practice evidence-based politics? Or will he join the conventional one-dimensional politics, which is just about opinions? One will be tempted to imagine that even the choice of PRP suggests that Prof. Jega wants to practise evidence-based politics largely perhaps because he is looking for a free space where internal dynamics doesn’t have the strong opinion that will be hard to break. In many respects, the choice of political party based on the strategy of avoiding strong opinions is simply a quick fix, which may not translate to any qualitative shift. That is why Prof. Jega’s BBC interview makes him vulnerable to being downgraded to the basement of one-dimensional politics.
This being the case, Prof. Jega, the politician risked being different from Prof. Jega the scholar. If Nigerian partisan politics is to benefit at all from Prof. Jega’s wealth of knowledge and experience, Prof. Jega the politician should be the same person as Prof. Jega the thorough scholar, theoretician, and practitioner of evidence-based politics. Being a member of PRP, his contribution towards the development of the PRP, should be evidence-based so that he is able to apply his knowledge and experience in politics. Otherwise, his ability to contribute to making PRP competitive in the politics of Nigeria will be blocked because however he approaches it, he will have to still contend with all the strong opinions that dominate Nigerian politics when seeking to mobilise support for his party, as was the case with the BBC interview.
PDP’s Significant Milestone – A Confirmation of Failure
If evidence-based politics is the reference, the recognition that no party is perfect is important. To that extent, it should be also recognised that both PDP and APC have challenges. Part of the challenge is that leaders and members of political parties should constantly be working to build capacity and correct inadequacies. The degree to which leaders of political parties ignore problems or deny that those challenges exist, the weaker they will be in managing public trust. Once the disposition of leaders is to deny existence of challenges, one-dimensional politics oriented based on opinions, which may not be the true reflections of reality, will be the attraction. Therefore, when PDP’s Mr. Ologbondiyan referred to ‘significant milestones’ recorded during the sixteen years tenure of the PDP, it is more about his opinion, which for opportunistic reasons of gaining electoral advantage could be acceptable to other PDP leaders and members.
The evidence so far from PDP’s record of sixteen years in government is largely about a litany of corruption and how problems of insecurity became widespread in the country. With respect to the problem of corruption, a series of reports of investigation is there, which is not about anybody’s opinion. For instance, recall the House of Representatives investigation into petroleum subsidy in 2012. Under the Chairmanship of Hon. Faruk Lawan, the Committee reported that “contrary to official figure of subsidy payment of N1.3 Trillion, the Accountant-General of the Federation put forward a figure of N1.6 Trillion, the CBN N1.7 Trillion, while the Committee established subsidy payment of N2.587 Trillion as at December 2011, amounting to more than 900% over the appropriated sum of N245 Billion. This figure of N2.587 Trillion is based on the CBN figure of N844.944 billion paid to NNPC, in addition to another figure of N847.942 billion reflected as withdrawals by NNPC from the excess crude naira account, as well as the sum of N894.201 billion paid as subsidy to Marketers. The figure of N847.942 billion quoted above strongly suggests that NNPC might have been withdrawing from two sources especially when double withdrawals were also reflected both in 2009 and 2010.” The report also indicted the Accountant-General of the Federation because of payments in 2009, in equal instalments of N999 million for 128 times, totaling N127.872 billion.
Also recall the claims and counterclaims of missing oil revenues in October 2013 when Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, as CBN Governor alleged that $49.8 billion from the sales of crude oil between January 2012 – July 2013 was missing from NNPC accounts. Following a series of audits and reconciliation meetings involving NNPC, CBN and Ministry of Finance, the former CBN Governor reported the missing amount to be $20 billion while the former Minister of Finance, Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala reported $10.8 billion. On February 20, 2014, former President Goodluck Jonathan suspended Mallam Sanusi from office over allegations of financial misconduct. After the suspension of Mallam Sanusi as CBN Governor, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) confirmed that about $20 billion was missing.
In 2012, there was the case of Police Pension Task Force, which was investigated by the Senate Joint Committee on Public Service and Establishment and State and Local Government Administration. Some of the revelations include withdrawal of N24 billion for payment of pension that required about N3.5 billion — the Chairman of the Pension Review Task Team, Alh. Abdulrasheed Maina, informed the Senate Committee of two accounts in Lagos where police pension funds were lodged, each amounting to N21 and N24 billion. Alh. Maina reported daily withdrawals of various sums of money from these accounts ranging from N200 to N300 million. A total sum of N273.9 billion was reported by the Senate Committee to have been looted in 6 years from the police pension fund.
Other corruption cases under PDP (1999 – 2015) include the case of $180 million Halliburton; $1.1 billion Malabo Oil; Princess Stella Oduak N255 million Aviation Ministry bulletproof cars; N10 billion jet scam involving the Petroleum Minister (2011 – 2015), Mrs. Dizieni Alison Madueke; and House of Representatives Capital Market probe; and N360 billion service-wide scam. There was also the case of $2.1 billion arms deal involving Col. (Rtd) Sambo Dasuki, former National Security Adviser under the Jonathan’s PDP administration. The breakdown showed that N1.5 billion was paid to Alh. Bashir Yuguda, which was reportedly disbursed in respective sums to the following PDP chieftains – N600 million to PDP 2015 election campaign Contact and Mobilization chairmen (Chief Bode George, Amb. Yerima Abdullahi, Mr. Peter Odili, Alh. Attahiru Bafarawa, Chief Jim Nwobodo and Col. (Rtd) Ahmadu Ali); N300 million to BAM properties linked to Alh. Bello Haliru, former PDP National Chairman; N200 million to Alh. Bello Sarkin Yaki, former PDP Kebbi State 2015 governorship candidate; N100 million to Alh. Mahmud Shinkafi, former PDP Zamfara State Governor; and N100 million to Dalhatu Limited linked to Alh. Attahiru Bafarawa.
Other disbursements from the $2.1 billion arms deal were N750 million to Reliance Referral Hospital Limited for special prayers; N380 million to support re-election of PDP members of House of Representatives; N550 million to Thisday Newspaper allegedly as compensation for attacks on the newspaper’s offices in Kaduna and Abuja in 2012; N120 million to Nduka Obaigbena allegedly as compensation for copies of various newspapers seized in June 2014; N170 million for the purchase of four-bedroom duplex; N260 million paid to Chief Tony Anenih; N345 million paid to Sen. Iyorchia Ayu; and N90 million for Dasuki’s son’s house.
Even in terms of the internal administration of PDP, corruption was an identifiable legacy. The proof is the construction of the PDP National Secretariat for which on November 14, 2008, the then National Chairman of PDP, Chief Vincent Ogbulafor, organised a fundraising dinner in Abuja to raise N10 billion to finance the construction of a 12-storey new PDP National Secretariat, located on Muhammadu Buhari Way, Central Business District, Abuja. Quoting Premium Times, Sahara Reporters of January 22, 2017, reported that the dinner, which was chaired by Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, then Vice President, raised over N6 billion for the project.
Some of the donors include Mr. Femi Otedola who donated the highest amount of N1 billion and his late father, Chief Michael Otedola, who donated N25 million. Other big donors included Alh. Aliko Dangote who offered to supply cement worth N3 billion; the PDP National Working Committee, N1 billion; Mrs. Bola Shagaya, N25 million; Strabag Construction Company N100 million; Ogun State Government, N10 million; and an anonymous donor, N100 million. The late President Umaru Yar’Adua and his Vice President, Dr. Jonathan, contributed N527,205 and N454,735, representing 15 per cent of their basic salaries, respectively. Each of the party’s 28 State Governors at the time was reportedly levied N50 million by the party.
The contract for the PDP National Secretariat project was awarded to BNL Limited. The party paid an initial sum of N2 billion while BNL Limited was billed to complete construction of the National Secretariat project in 126 weeks. Sahara Reporters further reported in January 2017 that because of construction variations over the years, the project cost rose to N16 billion from the 2008 estimated N10 billion out of which the party had paid N6 billion before work stopped. At it is, the project has been abandoned.
Another major legacy of the PDP’s sixteen years tenure was the problem of insecurity, especially Boko Haram insurgency in the North-East. Of course, there were problems of vandalisation of oil installations and kidnapping in the South-South and parts of South-East, cases of cattle rustling in North-West and North-Central. While it needs to be acknowledged that the cases of vandalisation of oil installations and kidnapping by Niger Delta militants in South-South were brought under control, the case of Boko Haram insurgency in the North-East was politicised by the PDP under former President Jonathan, which accounted for the failure of the PDP administration to mobilise effective response. When for instance, the abduction of more than 200 Chibok schoolgirls happened in 2014, the position of former President Jonathan-led PDP Federal Government was that it was a setup. For quite some time, former President Jonathan administration did not mobilise any response to the Chibok abduction. Up to May 2015 when APC government was inaugurated, PDP-led Federal Government failed to mobilise strong military response to the problem of Boko Haram insurgency in the North-East.
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Apart from all these records of corruption and insecurity, what were the other legacies of the PDP after sixteen years in government at Federal level? May be Mr. Ologbondiyan and other PDP leaders can provide the evidence of ‘significant milestones’, which may be different from the depressing records of corruption and insecurity. Or put differently, the evidence will confirm ‘manifest contrasts … robust fortunes of our nation under the PDP.’ PDP’s Mr. Ologbondiyan will have to go beyond claims and specifically tell Nigerians what exactly were the ‘significant milestones’ recorded by the PDP during its sixteen years reign in power between 1999 and 2015.
APC’s Contrasting Scorecard
While awaiting Mr. Ologbondiyan and PDP leaders’ account of ‘significant milestones’, as well as Prof. Jega’s evidence that both PDP and APC have failed Nigerians, as members of APC, we should be able to engage the debate by providing supporting evidence highlighting the contrasting scorecards of APC government in the last six years. In doing so, it will be necessary to acknowledge challenges. Unlike PDP leaders, APC leaders are not in denial of the existence of challenges. Despite the challenges, however, the APC Federal Government under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari is making efforts to move the country forward. To confirm that, unlike the PDP, the APC- led government is not a failure, and three important achievements, in the areas of social investment, infrastructure and agriculture will be emphasised. The assessment of challenges of insecurity and how APC is handling them differently will be also presented as part of the supporting evidence of APC’s contrasting scorecard.
Social Investment Programme: Since emerging as the governing party in 2015, the APC Federal Government has been implementing the National Social Investment Programme (NSIP), which is far more than what any government in the past has done. Now elevated to a ministerial status, which is the initiative of President Buhari, it is founded on four pillars of N-Power, Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT), Home Grown School Feeding and Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP). With the goal of lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty, millions of poor Nigerians are benefiting from these initiatives. For instance, GEEP has disbursed N36.9 billion in interest-free loans of between N50,000 to N350,000 to more than 2.3 million Nigerians. Under the Home-Grown School Feeding Programme, 9.9 million primary 1 – 3 pupils in 54,952 public primary schools in 35 states have benefited. Additional 107,000 cooks have been engaged. In the case of Conditional Cash Transfer more than 3 million poor and vulnerable households have been registered on the National Social Register, out of which more than one million families are currently being paid N5,000 monthly.
Infrastructure: When President Muhammadu Buhari administration assumed office in 2015, the total budget for Federal Roads by the outgoing PDP government of former President Goodluck Jonathan was 18 billion Naira, which is only about 25% of the Lagos State roads budget for that year. The persistent skeletal funding translated to abandoned or slow-moving road projects across the country. The APC administration’s first priorities were to increase the amount of funding available for road projects, while also ensuring the resumption of work on abandoned projects. In 2016, the roads budget went up to 260 billion Naira, for which about 200 billion Naira was released.
Significantly, more resources were devoted to construction of road and transport infrastructure than any other administration since 1999, and the results are roads, bridges, highways, rail lines and stations, and air and seaport upgrades. Work has since resumed on several stalled, abandoned or solution-defying road projects that were inherited, like the Loko-Oweto Bridge, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Sagamu-Benin Expressway, the Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway, Onitsha-Enugu Expressway, Kano-Maiduguri Expressway, Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano Expressway, Obajana-Kabba Road, Ilorin-Jebba Road, Apapa-Oshodi-Oworonshoki Road, and several others are in progress, with some already close to completion.
A brand new bridge in Ikom, Cross River State, has just been completed, to replace a dilapidated steel truss bridge originally built five decades ago, as was a new border bridge linking Nigeria and Cameroon, in the spirit of regional integration. Construction work on the Second Niger Bridge, a contract awarded multiple times between 2002 and 2015, but constantly stalled for lack of funding, finally kicked off in 2018, with guaranteed funding, for the first time in the history of the project. In 2017, construction finally commenced on the Bodo-Bonny Bridges and Road (linking Bonny Island to the Rivers Mainland), a project first mooted decades ago, and awarded a number of times without success, prior to the Buhari APC-led Administration. Currently, according to the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, there are around 900 active road contracts, covering the construction, reconstruction or rehabilitation of more than 13,000km of federal roads and highways across the country, out of a total of 35,000km of federal roads in existence.
Agriculture: Some of the specific initiatives of the APC-led government of President Buhari in the agricultural sector include National Food Security Council (NFSC), Agriculture for Food and Jobs Plan (AFJP), National Livestock Transformation Plan, the Anchor Borrowers Programme (ABP), the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative (PFI), and Creation of an Enabling Environment. Specifically, the ABP for instance, implemented by the Central Bank of Nigeria, since 2015, provided more than 300 billion Naira to more than 3.1 million smallholder farmers of 21 different commodities (including Rice, Wheat, Maize, Cotton, Cassava, Poultry, Soy Beans, Groundnut, Fish), across Nigeria, successfully cultivating over 3.8 million hectares of farmland.
The PFI has produced and delivered to the Nigerian market, over 30 million 50kg bags equivalent of fertilizer, at reduced prices; and resulted in the revival or construction of no fewer than 40 moribund fertilizer blending plants across the country. That Nigeria today has 44 functioning blending plants, with more on the way, is solely due to the success of the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative (PFI). The plants include the following:
· In 2017, the multinational group Olam invested $150 million in an integrated animal feed mill, poultry breeding farms and hatchery in Kaduna State, as well as an integrated poultry and fish feed mill in Kwara State.
· In Anambra State, the Coscharis Group began the cultivation of rice in 2016, on a 2,500 hectare farm, and soon after expanded into milling, with the commissioning of a 40,000 MT modular Rice Mill in 2019.
· In Niger State, the BUA Group is currently completing a $300million Integrated facility comprising a Sugar Mill, Ethanol Plant, Sugar Refinery and Power Plant, and a 20,000-Hectare Farm.
· In Kebbi State, GB Foods has invested 20 billion Naira in a Tomato Processing Factory supplied by what is said to be the single largest tomato farm in the country. Future phases of the investment will make it the largest processing facility for fresh tomatoes in sub-Saharan Africa.
· The same GB Foods in July 2020 opened its N5.5 billion Mayonnaise production facility in Ogun State, which will be supplied with input from the company’s new farms in Kebbi State.
· In Lagos, Ariel Foods FZE has recently constructed and completed the biggest Ready-To-Use Therapeutic Foods (RUTF) production facility in Africa.
· In Nasarawa State, the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA) has recently completed work on the first phase of a multi-million-dollar animal feed processing facility and a backward-integrated 3000-hectare Maize and Soyabeans Farm, in a co-investment partnership with a South African Investment Group.
· In 2021, the Dangote Group commissioned its $2 billion Fertilizer Plant, with an annual capacity of 3 million Metric Tonnes, the largest fertilizer plant in West Africa. In June 2021, the plant began delivering an average of 120 trucks of Urea per week to the Nigerian market, and is also set to target the export market across West Africa and beyond.
· State Governments are also actively keying into the President’s Agriculture vision. In 2018, Cross River commissioned a 3 billion Naira Hybrid Rice Seedlings Factory, to supply rice seedlings to farmers and governments across the country.
· Lagos State is completing the 32 Metric Tonne per hour Imota Rice Mill, which, when functional, will be one of the largest rice processing facilities in sub-Saharan Africa. The Imota Rice Mill will produce 2.4 million bags of 50kg per annum, and create an estimated 250,000 direct and indirect jobs, and will plug Lagos State firmly into the national rice value chain.
· Ekiti State is reviving its Ikun Dairy Farm, in a successful partnership with Promasidor, with a production target of 10,000 Liters of milk daily.
· In Ondo State, the 9 billion Naira Sunshine Chocolate Factory – a Public Private Partnership involving the State Government – was completed and commissioned in 2020, to take advantage of the state’s leading position in the cultivation of cocoa.
Apart from these three sectors, there are other initiatives in other sectors. The achievements cited in these three sectors are just to substantiate the point that based on records of performance in government, APC can’t be in the same category with PDP. Anybody arguing that these achievements represent failure will need to substantiate it with convincing evidence of how their impact on the lives of Nigerians translate to negative outcomes.
The need to be honest, whether as politicians or intellectuals is a minimum requirement that should confer legitimacy on conclusions being presented to Nigerians. If the APC-led Federal Government has initiated the kind of ambitious National Social Investment Programme in the country, which no other government in the past has undertaken, including PDP governments, isn’t that a confirmation of the difference between PDP and APC? If the APC-led Federal Government has successfully revived Nigerian Railways, actively implementing around 900 road contracts, covering the construction, reconstruction or rehabilitation of more than 13,000km of federal roads and highways across the country, out of a total of 35,000km of federal roads in existence, how many kilometers of road contracts were constructed, reconstructed or rehabilitated throughout PDP’s sixteen years rule?
What were the specific agricultural initiatives of all the PDP-led Federal Governments between 1999 and 2015? In the context of these three achievements, and in other areas, the APC-led Federal Government was able to succeed where other administrations, including the PDP have failed. Take the case of the 327km Itakpe-Warri Standard Gauge Rail, completed by the President Buhari-led APC administration 33 years after construction began. there was the evidential case of the second Niger Bridge, originally conceived decades ago, which is now more than 50 percent completed, and scheduled for commissioning in 2022. There was the case of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, which has defied every PDP administration since 1999.
There is the case of the new Petroleum Industry Bill assented to by President Buhari on Monday, August 16, 2021, which is going to restructure the operations and management of the Nigerian oil and gas industry. The initiative to put in place a new legal framework for the oil and gas sector started under the PDP government of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, more than two decades ago. It was shrouded in endless national debates and stalemate but was eventually passed by the two Chambers of the National Assembly under APC leadership with a six-month transition for the emergence of a new institutional framework for the operations of oil and gas industry in the country.
If with all these, it means that PDP and APC are the same and have all failed, then failure must be defined in a way that invalidates APC’s achievements since taking over the reins of Federal Government in 2015. However, recognising that the issues of insecurity inherited by the APC-led government of President Buhari remained a major national challenge, it is important that the assessment of performance of APC government is not reduced to opinions of individual politicians. The reality is that both President Buhari and all APC leaders acknowledged the enormity of the challenges of insecurity in the country, which is why Maj. Gen. (Rtd) Babagana Monguno, National Security Adviser was reported after the meeting of National Security Council of August 19, 2021, to have declared that President Buhari ‘would not leave office a failure.’ This is in recognition of the fact notwithstanding all the achievements of the APC administration, once the problem of insecurity persists, it means the government has failed.
Noting also that the APC administration is taking steps to equip the security agencies and build morale, promote community-led solutions, develop new security infrastructure and operations across land and maritime environments, and address the underlying drivers of insecurity (poverty and youth unemployment), encouraging reports are emerging from the various theatres of operation. Although serious challenges still exist, and there is still a long way to go in restoring a robust sense of security in the country, it is also very important to continually acknowledge the successes being recorded by the military and law enforcement agencies, in the various theatres of operation across the country.
For instance, the tide has turned against Boko Haram and ISWAP in the North-East and is turning against the bandits and criminals in the North-West. In the South East, relative calm has returned, and efforts are ongoing to fully neutralise the militant networks that have been troubling the region. In the Coastal Areas, the full rollout of the Deep Blue and Falcon Eye surveillance and security projects is certain to deal a strong blow on the activities of pirates and militants in the weeks and months ahead.
Certainly, all these measures can be strengthened, and the government can do more especially in relation to getting our security agencies to be more accountable. Everything considered, the current security structure in the country needs to be radically reformed. Issues of amending the laws to enable state governments to establish state policeare clearly unavoidable.
However, there are conditions that must be met before any decision to establish state police can serve as a good response to Nigeria’s security challenges. These include the requirement that processes of regulating the operations of the state police should be centralised as part of the functions of the Federal Police. Under that, for instance, issues of recruitment, qualification, background checks for those to be recruited, enforcement of disciplinary requirement, arms procurement and training for weapon handling, etc. should be handled at the federal level so that there are uniform standards across the country. It should be like the case of universities with National University Commission (NUC) serving as the regulatory body enforcing standards across all Nigerian universities.
Outside regulations, there are issues of funding. Most time, Nigerians make proposals in terms of how government should address challenges with the assumption that funding is given, which means that government can always mobilise the resources. This is mostly exaggerated. To address Nigerian security challenges, especially if the establishment of state police is to be considered, there must be a new funding arrangement, which should insulate the operations of Nigeria Police including the new state police to be established from all the uncertainties surrounding public financial management.
Conclusion – Facts Should Define the Boundaries of Politics
If the narrative is that PDP and APC have failed, what is the evidence based on the performances of both the PDP during its sixteen years tenure between 1999 and 2015, on the one hand, and that of the APC since 2015, on the other? If the disposition of politicians is one-dimensional politics, which is limited to opinions, why should scholars endorse opinions without evaluating them based on what the facts are? Could it be that the field of politics is truly different from the intellectual environment? May be that is so. However, it will be important to recognise that the ability of individuals to contribute to changing Nigerian politics will depend a lot on the extent to which facts are recognised and respected. Whether political conclusions are oriented based on unsubstantiated opinions or facts, depends a lot on the degree to which evidence rather than opinion is the reference. Once conclusions are about opinions, propensity to ignore facts and become intolerant will be high.
The contours of the difference between the PDP and APC should be defined by the records of their experiences managing governments. The commitment to move Nigerian politics forward should be constructed based honest recognition of the realities, which the facts of performances of political parties when entrusted to manage governments represents.
Dr. Lukman is the Director-General of the Progressive Governors Forum, Abuja.This position does not represent the view of any APC governor or the forum
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Festus Keyamo: A Hole Of An Argument
By Tony Afejuku
Seven days ago some brazen minutes of television exchanges between Seun Okunbaloye of Channels Television and Festus Keyamo, the minister of state for labour and employment, caught my attention. The former was interviewing the latter on some key issues millions of patriots of this once very happy country can’t resist striking up a discussion or conversation on any-where they are – on line, any line, in the banks, markets, petrol stations, hospitals, air-ports, motor-parks, wedding ceremonies or social gatherings, churches, burial ceremonies, and other places. Seun Okunbaloye really does not need any introduction. He is the well-endowed anchor of Channel’s “Politics Today,” the politically righteous programme always well packaged to give diverse personages the opportunity to give Channels’ viewers and audience serious jokes, advice, tears, truth and hard/serious talks dwelling on our politics.
On the night of Friday, August 5th, the said minister, a junior one, in the central labour ministry aforesaid, was on the gruelling programme in which Seun Okunbaloye – who is becoming a gruelling interview near-expert, was Festus Keyamo’s worthy driller. I promised myself not to respond in this column to everything/anything the “youthful” person – by Nigerian standard – but who is actually not a youth – said – the “youthful” minister who some persons wrongly claim to be a “candidate” of Nigerian youths in General Muhammadu Buhari’s government. I told myself as myself equally told me to not peak into speaking even though everything Kayamo said relating to the current strike of ASUU was a lie from a hole of lies dug up by the once-upon-a-time spit-fire lawyer on the side of the people and masses – whose memory’s insistence on his pre-ministerial moment and times of pro-people and pro-masses activism is not more obeyed and respected. The man’s junkyard dog of expression as Channels’ pummeller pummelled him without qualms, is compelling me – has in fact compelled me – to condescend critically and crassly to put my pen to paper. Clearly, he revealed himself as someone of strength who has stepped into power not to be employed on behalf of the people and masses. Let’s make no mistake about it: Keyamo’s lie plus lie and/or lie times lie revealed him before me – and perhaps before you as well – as a super-lawyer of the pompous variety who could say anything to hoodwink the people and get away with it. In the course of that, his hybris had no uncertainty about it. Despite Seun Okinbalaye’s positive task to make him appreciate, for instance, the reality of our security (or insecurity) situation, the minister of hybris said it is only in Heaven that there is security! Phew! When did he take a trip to Heaven and return to the Hell that is Nigeria? (Maybe we should request his boss to answer this question if he is conscious enough to answer it). Keyamo’s general argument relating to Nigeria’s security concern was puerilely puerile and within the realm of puerilism. And every word he uttered in this respect was really a hole of an argument. I don’t think he really meant what he said. After all, he spoke as a spokesperson of his party’s presidential candidate for next year’s presidential elections that may not even hold. You heard me right.
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But my real concern with the one and only pseudo-Marxist in GMB’s government pertains to his emphatic lie and emphatic reiteration of this lie pertaining to ASUU’s current strike which the esteemed people’s and masses’ lawyer wants the historic union peopled by members and scholars of superlative wisdom to terminate. He deliberately misspoke and deceitfully argued that the union of unions was demanding one million plus trillion naira, which it was compelling the central government to borrow to meet its demands. I will address this lie shortly. But let me draw my readers’ attention first of all to the minister’s demeanour when he concocted what he plainly concocted. His bearing and gestures lacked modesty. The whole grammar of his thoughts was devoid of the grammar of a minister in sympathy with what Nigerian university students and their striking lecturers and professors and parents and wards are passing through. When he called upon parents of the students and Nigerians generally to “beg” ASUU to terminate the current strike he pretended big time to go down on his knees on air in the endeavour to sway ASUU to do the un-wise in its grand moment of its remarkably historic glory and justice for the Nigerian university system.
Keyamo’s interviewer did not fall for his television posturing and shenanigan. When he asked the popular minister and disputant of disputatious disputation to clarify his hole of a television argument, the highly knowledgeable Senior Advocate of Nigeria thundered: “This is not why I am here. Let us move to something more important.” Did I hear the fine man and boy fine well? Of course, there was lack of rhythm and harmony and melody in his thunder. He even went further: “ASUU is not the only sector” and blah-blah and blah-blah and further blah- blah!!! What claptraps from the minister of “when jungle mature” – Sapele-Warri junkyard dog of expression when quay side boys bray in the fabulous cities, my twin-homelands. Various feelings entered me; and the chief ones were these.” So this glorious lawyer wants his trainers, professors, in the university/law school to keep on living on their wretchedly wretched and contaminatedly contaminated salaries for centuries? So he wants his trainers and their students to keep on engaging in scholastic activities in their useless environment of learning-less learning? So this is the spokesperson of BAT of the lagoon who wants ASUU and university persons, including students, to believe that he has a solid blue-print of transforming our university education in place?” Now ASUU and Nigerians know their true emotions and feelings.
At this point I want to put it to the minister and his masters thus: ASUU is the only sector. The university is the only sector. Without university academics there is nothing that is something anywhere here or elsewhere. Without university academics there is no science; there is no technology; there is no engineering; there is no judiciary; there is no agriculture that is agriculture; there is no medicine – there are no health services; there is no army; there is no police; there is no EFCC; there are no intelligence services; there is no education of any kind that is education of any value in whatever discipline or whatever profession in any modern society and country that Nigeria in the present dispensation pretends to be. The universities here deserve all the monies, all the trillions to make Nigeria a real nation in the comity of nations. Let this government of deceit times deceit borrow trillions from anywhere to make our public universities the world class universities that our country’s founding fathers wanted and envisioned them to be. Without our public universities no other sector will work. Private universities exist because of our public universities that provide the manpower for private universities.
Festus Keyamo should stop being spokesperson of his masters who are using him to do dirty jobs. At the appointed time they will dump him. I fully know that he has the inordinate political ambition of wanting to be the governor of Delta State sometime in the future. And he needs to amass the amassable to achieve his ambition. Once bitten, twice shy. And he must stoop to conquer even to the extent of making a hole of an argument, any argument – that attempts to bring him to bay as he demonstrated in the said interview that provided an insight into his key ministerial mood.
And here is my real request to Festus Keyamo, SAN: Don’t be a mangrove sloth. Simply go down on your knees in the next federal executive council meeting and beg PMB to give ASUU and our universities their rightfully negotiated due that is their rightful due immediately in order for our universities to re-open. The video of your begging should go viral thereafter, O dear patriotically patriotic Marxist and people’s lawyer – who is my small brother! The video will generate the right hub-hub. Come on! Go on! Do it! Thunder!
Afejuku can be reached via 08055213059.
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Exposed: The Real Peter Obi
By Promise Adiele
Today, I am possessed by the spirit of exposure. Without let or hindrance, resistance or disputation, I surrender to the service of my fatherland to expose, perhaps in the process, educate the foolish and enrich the wise, nothing more. While exposing, I didn’t consult the Ifa oracle or Delphic oracle, both Yoruba and Greek prognostic divination essences famed for revelation. Exposure, that act of revealing the unknown, invades my conscious mind while the revered apostle of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud watches with keen interest. I admit to being a helpless captive of the spirit of exposure. It goes beyond the paralyzing mental hypnosis suffered by victims of religious ecstasy. I am fully aware and awake, with no hallucination, reverie, or phantasmal anecdote. I have no choice in the matter, therefore I must expose, reveal, uncover, and inform. St. John suffered the same fate as I do today which inspired him to write the Biblical book of Revelation. Exposure is different from prophecy, the alter ego of prediction. While exposure reveals what exists but is not known, prophecy reveals what does not exist, therefore not known. Today, I am not predicting anything. I want to expose many things about the presidential flag bearer of the Labour Party Mr Peter Obi. Every presidential aspirant must be exposed, nothing hidden. No guesswork. No half-truths.
My determination to expose the real, undiluted, factual, identity of Mr Peter Obi inheres from the tumultuous effect his persona is currently having on the Nigerian political horizon. Interestingly, the emergence of one man in our country’s political maturation is causing a tsunami across the length and breadth of the land. In my commitment to unravel Peter Obi, I have engaged the remote and immediate peculiarities of his identity, his historical existentialities, and the sublunary ethos that foreground his groundswell among Nigerians at home and abroad. Also, my objective is to steer the wheel of our contemporary political discourse away from obtuse, unreasonable circles to centres of rational, objective thinking. Granted that we can make mistakes sometimes, but we shouldn’t hug idiocy forever. Nigeria is on the cusp of collapse due largely to the mistakes of 2015 when we collectively plunged into a semblance of Hades for failure to expose what needed to be exposed. But 2023 offers a good opportunity to correct the mistakes of the past. Peter Obi’s exposure? Here we go.
First Exposure: His full name is Peter Gregory Obi and his nickname is ‘Okwute’. He has a clear, real, and honest identity. There should be no contention or controversy about the identity of the potential of the next president of Nigeria. ‘Okwute’ in Igbo language means rock. The muse reminds me of the connection between the Biblical Peter and rock. Recall that the Master told the Biblical Peter, “upon this rock will I build my house and the gates of hellfire will not prevail against it”. Today, we have a potential president of Nigeria whose real and nickname are subsumed in that divine declaration by the Master. Peter ‘Okwute’ Gregory Obi’s identity draws on celestial and terrestrial possibilities which explain the wildfire his emergence on the political scene is provoking. Surely, the gates of religion, ethnicity and other nebulous metaphors that represent hellfire will not prevail against his name. Remember, his name is Peter Gregory Obi. No questions. No stolen identity. No one adopted him as a child. No family is denying his parentage. It is only a deluded generation that will vote for anyone whose identity is shrouded in secrecy. Identity denominates human existence therefore a fake identity presupposes a fraudulent personality. Peter ‘Okwute’ Gregory Obi is his name. He does not have any other name. Go and verify.
Second Exposure: Mr Peter Obi was born in 1961 and he is from Aniocha Local Government Area in Anambra State. No controversy. That is his origin. Did you know that? He has an identifiable genealogy and definite origin. Any political office aspirant with an indeterminate origin is a disgrace to the political process and unbridled insolence to the electorate. Peter Obi’s origin is well known. His origin is not an object of infinite conjecture. He did not migrate to Anambra from any of the neighbouring states or countries. The next president of Nigeria must have a specific origin known to all Nigerians. No guesswork, no permutations, no lies, no mysteries and no sophistry. Anyone, even a foreigner can aspire to any political office in any part of the world, but hiding one’s identity is criminal, therefore morally disqualifies anyone from any political office in the land much less the presidential seat. Peter Obi is from Aniocha Local Government Area in Anambra State. Go and verify.
Exposure Three: Did you know that Peter Gregory Obi is arguably the only former governor in Nigeria that does not collect a kobo as pension from his state Anambra? Go and verify. Some past governors have impoverished their states by appropriating the exchequer and collecting almost 70% of the Internally Generating Revenue. Such states have the potential to be like Dubai or even better but because their former governors, cronies, and family members have the states in their pockets, the states wallow in inadequacy, leveraging the average, not aware of their vibrant potential. Peter Obi’s wife does not control any part of Anambra State. His only daughter does not control any market in Anambra State. His only son does not own properties in Anambra State. Peter Obi does not have thugs all around the State as a murderous arm of violence and civil menace. A man that does not collect a pension from his state as a former governor is not greedy. Nigeria does not need a greedy president who will turn state coffers and structures to private use.
Exposure Four: Are you aware that Peter Gregory Obi is healthy, fit, and agile? Now you know. He can engage in physical exercise and do thirty to fifty push-ups in a few minutes. He can jump on the treadmill in a jiffy and remain there for a long time. Did you know that in 2022, he plays football, table tennis, and lawn tennis? He does not have any known medical history which will impair his official function as the president of Nigeria. Given Nigeria’s experience under the current administration, the country does not need a septuagenarian, sickly, frail, and senile president. According to Suyi Ayodele in his Tuesday FLATOUT column in the Daily Tribune “a town which makes the invalid its king does not prosper because the health of the king determines the prosperity of the town”. No one gives a sick baby to a sick nurse to look after. Nigeria is sick, very sick therefore requires a fit, proper, agile, and healthy president to fully take charge of our collective affairs. Remember, when Muhammadu Buhari took over the reins of power in the country, he lamented that age was affecting his performance and wished he was younger and healthier. He went on to spend considerable time in a London hospital while the country suffered in parturition. This must not recur. A body led by a set of rotten eyes will inevitably head for disaster. Nigeria should never be led by a sick president again. Peter Gregory Obi is healthy and rearing to go. Kindly go and verify.
Exposure Five: Peter Obi attended Christ The King College Onitsha Anambra State. Afterwards, he was admitted to the University of Nigeria Nsukka in 1980 to study philosophy, the acclaimed parent discipline. He graduated in 1984. Some lost souls are peddling the propaganda that he spent twelve years at UNN studying philosophy. Well, Obi graduated from UNN in 1984 at the age of twenty-three. If he spent twelve years studying philosophy at UNN, that means he was admitted to the university in 1972 at the tender age of eleven. These greasy-brained detractors will stop at nothing to merchandise falsehood of impudent dimension. Anyway, he attended Lagos Business School, Harvard Business School, London School of Economics, Columbia Business School and the International Institute of Management Development. He also attended the Kellogg School of Management of North-Western University, Said Business School of Oxford University and Judge Business School of Cambridge University, go and verify, no controversy.
As Nigerians feverishly trudge towards the 2023 election to save the country from imminent collapse, all the presidential hopefuls must be exposed and critically scrutinized. We must also remember that our present condition is the end-product of an odious conspiracy in 2015 by a few people with vaunting, inordinate, self-serving objectives. It appears that APC’s only objective as a political party is to preside over the liquidation of the Nigerian federation. Do they think we are stupid? We cannot succumb to ennui at the most critical moment of our corporate existence and allow the ruling potentate to further imperil our existence. We must ask the basic questions about all the candidates, their identity must be exposed, health profile, education history, and place of origin. I have exposed the Labour Party candidate. Expose APC and PDP candidates honestly and straight to the point.
Mountain Top University.
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The Failed Government Of Muhammadu Buhari
By Victoria Praise Abraham
We do not have problems in Nigeria. What we have is a failed leadership and a failed government of the APC-led government of President Muhammadu Buhari. His government cannot effectively tackle insecurity, unemployment, food security, incessant strikes by various bodies in the country and many other leadership challenges presently plaguing our nation.
When Buhari of the All Progressives Congress took over in 2015 we all thought our many problems as a nation were finally over. We thought that our great messiah had finally come and that our lives as a people would now finally get better, richer and healthier. The Buhari government had promised change and we were already in a bad place as a nation and as a people. Alas, this was not supposed to be.
Today, we all can testify that it has been a change from bad to worse and from the frying pan into the fires of life.
Life as a Nigerian living in present-day Nigeria has become extremely difficult, frightening and a great ordeal and struggle. Everything that can collapse has collapsed. The health care system, the educational system and even the economy is in the sliding bend. We have never had it worse than this and our prayer to God Almighty is for urgent interventions and deliverance from this clueless government that has helped to mismanage the economy and our naira.
We have been bruised and battered by the lack of leadership or poor leadership by this APC-led government of Muhammadu Buhari for more than 7 years. Our sensibilities have been assaulted as we daily now live in the fear of being kidnapped either on trains, on the roads and even in the air. The situation is dire, pathetic and desperate at all levels of life. The daily kidnappings, killings and abductions have now reached alarming low levels the kind we have never seen before to the point that the president himself is lamenting the situation. How on earth can you as a president lament the troubles in your nation? This is a clear and glaring sign of a failed leader and a failed government because it means that you are fed up and unable to properly cope with the challenges that you are facing as a leader in the 21st century Nigeria.
We are assaulted daily by terrorists, bandits, kidnappers, abductors, armed robbers and pen robber in the same Buhari-led government. If not, how do we explain the humongous thefts of our collective wealth by top people in the Buhari-led government? A case in view is the high-level theft by the accountant general of the federation Ahmed Idris who stole billions of naira from the coffers of the nation.
Unfortunately, we have a president whose greatest pastime is jetting all over the globe in search of pleasure and peace while his own nation burns under the fires of terrorists, bandits, armed robbers and pen robbers. It is an open secret that Muhammadu Buhari is the most-travelled president of Nigeria.
Muhammadu Buhari at the slightest invitation from any country and for any occasion is quick to accept these invitations and of course there are also his many medical trips abroad at the expense of the Nigerian state.
It has never been this bad in our national life. People no longer sleep with their two eyes closed especially in the areas worst hit by terrorists and bandits in Nigeria. The north and the south of Nigeria including some parts of the east and west are being bombarded and we are daily losing precious lives of our Nigerian youths and even the middle aged and elderly. Women and children are not spared by this daily ordeal of insecurity, and instability.
A large percentage of Nigerians can no longer eat three square meals because of the prevalence of poverty, food shortages and this is further compounded by poor or no health care systems. The power outages are another pathetic showing in the life of this APC-led Buhari government.
For the average Nigerian, it is hell on earth because they cannot eat well, they cannot sleep well and whenever they fall sick there is no access to good healthcare and so many are dying under the terrible hardship that never gets reported in the papers but this hard reality of the ordinary Nigerians is clear for anyone to see because more and more people have taken to begging for their daily living.
There is no job for the poor man. There is no peace for the poor man. There is no joy of any kind for the poor man. Even the educational sector is not spared in this great failure of leadership by the APC-led government of President Muhammadu Buhari.
A large number of Nigerians live below a dollar a day. This situation is so bad that Nigeria has been dubbed the poverty capital of the world. Most of our youths are jobless, helpless and hopeless. The government has not deemed it fit to create an enabling environment for job sustainability.
There is nothing concrete and planned on the ground to curb youth restiveness, so you find most youth taking to crime because somehow, they have to find a way to live.
The Buhari government of the APC party has failed to provide these teeming millions of youth jobs to secure their future. A president that cannot think outside the box and be creative enough to find solutions to our myriads of problems is not my ideal kind of president.
During the campaign season just before Buhari took charge of the running of Nigeria as president he pledged to tackle insecurity, unemployment, and corruption. In his presidency these problems have worsened at a frightening rate.
Under this Buhari-led presidency Nigerians have become poorer and impoverished in an alarming fashion. The exchange rate of the naira to the dollar has been on a free fall for years now and the central bank governor under the Buhari-led government does not seem to know what to do about the problem.
The economy has been battered and bruised because of the lack of proper structures that can help grow the economy. Nigeria is importing everything and exporting less and less. Even the oil that is produced in Nigeria is again taken out of the country for refining before it is again imported back into Nigeria.
Our economy continues to struggle at the lowest levels. We are rich as a nation but poor as a nation and as a people. This is a great mystery, misnomer and travesty.
We are unable to travel interstate to do business with each other as Nigerians because of incessant abductions. Economic activities continue to dwindle to an all-time low since the Buhari-led government took over from the Jonathan-led government in 2015.
Buhari has borrowed so much from international bodies and China that we will spend many years repaying all that he and his government have borrowed in the last seven years and more.
We are in desperate times because our innocent citizens are being kidnapped, and killed daily all over the north. There are problems of IPOB in the eastern part of Nigeria and we all remember the killings in the Owo massacre of Sunday the 5th of June 2022.
President Muhammadu Buhari never deemed it proper to visit Owo to commiserate with the indigenes of Owo over this dastardly act of terrorists in South West Nigeria. This lack of empathy and compassion from Buhari is unbelievable and acceptable. It shows that as a leader he lacks compassion and a very strong attribute of a great leader is empathy and compassion.
The Buhari government has not deemed it proper to enact laws that will stop Fulani herdsmen from roaming the lands of Nigeria and wreaking havoc on the innocent land owners of the south. We have a government that prefers cows to the precious lives of its human citizens in Nigeria. Under the present Buhari-led government we have become more divided as a people and as nations. Nigeria is a marriage of many nations and a wise leader will work at uniting these different nations with the Nigeria nation and not work hard at dividing it as the Buhari government has done in the last seven years.
Our present situation as a nation is pathetic, frightening and we are in need of quick divine interventions from God. On a practical level it is time for the impeachment of Muhammadu Buhari because in his time we have had unprecedented records of death of innocent Nigerians, more corruption, higher levels of the unemployed Nigerian youths and general insecurity and traumas.
The problem we have as a nation is not the myriads of problems but rather a failure of leadership or no leadership at all. Our leaders at the highest and at all levels have failed us a nation. We are rudderless, leaderless and clueless as a nation.
Our leaders at the highest helm of governance has failed woefully and it is time for them to all bow out and retire back to their bases.
It is time for the Buhari-led government to be impeached to save our fatherland and our unborn generation from further slide, decay and destructions.
We do not have problems in Nigeria, what we have is a president that prefers to jet around the globe to seek pleasure and peace in faraway Britain, Dubai, France and Spain rather than stay in Nigeria to fix the challenges confronting his leadership.
What we have in Nigeria is a leadership problem because everything starts and ends in leadership.
All these other countries that Buhari prefers to stay in is as a result of leadership that works, that is effective and promising. We have leaders that lack the know-how, of how to properly solve problems in Nigeria.
In 2023 we need a president who is visionary, intelligent, fearless, selfless, courageous, compassionate, a unifier, sincere, competent, charismatic and a good communicator to help us rebuild our nation Nigeria,
We have fallen as a nation and we need a rescuer and a builder to help us rebuild and restructure the Nigerian nation.
As it is now, we are yet to find the messiah. As we begin the countdown to the search for the next crop of leaders, we must be very clear and discerning so that we do not choose leaders that will traumatize us as a people. We must choose credible, competent and compassionate leaders going forward. We truly do need ‘CHANGE’ now not the change Buhari promised us in 2015 but the change that will help to move our great nation forward forever. The APC-led Buhari government has failed woefully. He must now do the decent thing by resigning or be impeached by the senate.
A new Nigeria will emerge by the special grace of God Almighty.
. Abraham is an award-winning author and CEO of Vic-Abraham Media Nigeria Ltd.
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