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APC’s three years in the saddle

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APC’s three years in the saddle

 

On May 29, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) will clock three years in office, having taken over governance of Nigeria on May 29, 2015 from the then opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The APC had defeated the PDP at the centre, won many states and many legislative seats at the national and state assemblies.

The APC had anchored its campaign on change. Change in the way governance was administered; change in the ways of life of Nigerians; change in our relationship with the international community and change in every facet of Nigeria economy.

It was a new dawn for Nigerians and Nigeria as their expectations were so high and many had believed in the ability of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC government to deliver, given its manifesto and campaign promises.

Also raising the speck of APC was the speech of President Buhari, which some part were said to have been plagiarised from former American President, Barack Obama’s speech.

The President had given a roadmap of his governance that it would be an all inclusive government that would target the development of Nigeria collectively.

In his inaugural speech, Buhari said: “Today marks a triumph for Nigeria and an occasion to celebrate her freedom and cherish her democracy. Nigerians have shown their commitment to democracy and are determined to entrench its culture. Our journey has not been easy but thanks to the determination of our people and strong support from friends abroad we have today a truly democratically elected government in place”.

Also in that speech, the President said: “Having just a few minutes ago sworn on the Holy Book, I intend to keep my oath and serve as President to all Nigerians. I belong to everybody and I belong to nobody.

“A few people have privately voiced fears that on coming back to office, I shall go after them. These fears are groundless. There will be no paying off old scores. The past is prologue.”

But three years after, according to some persons, it would be difficult for Nigerians to say that the President has kept to his words as President to all Nigerians in all the facets of governance. He has been accused by many sections of Nigeria of nepotism, sectionalism, tribalism, religious bigotry, witch-hunting, bereft of ideas and any vices anyone can think of.

The administration had anchored its deliveries on a tripod of fight against corruption, security and economy. However, many believe that none of those areas of concerns have been addressed by the Buhari-led APC administration. This evident as those who supported his election have turned against him.

Such persons are the former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, former Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. T.Y. Danjuma, the international communities and the people. It is instructive to say the APC and the President have received serious criticism over mis-governance from party members.

There is no gainsaying today that there is almost no tribe in Nigeria that will not have some negative things to say about the President and by extension the incumbent government of the APC.

The international community and organisations have rated the APC low on human rights violations. In the recent visit of Buhari to the American President Donald Trump, it was alleged that the American President had raised the issue of violation of the rights of Christians being killed in Nigeria. International Organizations like Amnesty International have also rated the government low on the issues of human rights violations.

The Fulani Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, also are accusing the President of looking the other way when they are being killed and their cow being taken away. The story of insecurity in the present government is everywhere. The areas that never witnessed insecurity before the present administration are now suffering daily killings.

The government of APC had on the inauguration promised – though without a time frame- of declaring defeat of the Boko Haram insurgents but with a caveat emptor that that could only be when the Chibok Girls had been released.

The President said he and his government cannot claim to have defeated Boko Haram without rescuing the Chibok girls and all other innocent persons held hostage by insurgents.

Three years after, the story is not as same as told by the President during his inauguration. APC government had declared that the Boko Haram insurgency has been defeated with some Chibok Girls and other persons captured by insurgents still being held hostage.

On the economy, the story has not been different as no sector of the economy has witnessed significant growth as promised four years ago. This was emphasised recently, when the richest man in the World and CEO of Microsoft, Bill Gates said that Nigeria economy was not growing. Gates, who spoke the minds of many others also berated the economic policies of the present administration. The administration that had promised revamping the economy through the provision of electricity has failed to provide power for industrialisation.

Buhari, speaking on improving the economy through provision of power had said: “No single cause can be identified to explain Nigerian’s poor economic performance over the years than the power situation. It is a national shame that an economy of 180 million generates only 4,000MW, and distributes even less. Continuous tinkering with the structures of power supply and distribution and close on $20billion expanded since 1999 have only brought darkness, frustration, misery, and resignation among Nigerians. We will not allow this to go on. Careful studies are under way during this transition to identify the quickest, safest and most cost-effective way to bring light and relief to Nigerians.

“Unemployment, notably youth un-employment features strongly in our Party’s Manifesto. We intend to attack the problem frontally through revival of agriculture, solid minerals mining as well as credits to small and medium size businesses to kick – start these enterprises. We shall quickly examine the best way to revive major industries and accelerate the revival and development of our railways, roads and general infrastructure.”

With the economic situation of the country economic pundits believe that the economic blue prints of the APC administration are still in the books. There have never corresponding implementation as promised by this government in the last three years.

The third leg of the tripod of the present administration is the issue of corruption. Giving that the Buhari-led government has put on the front burner the issues of corruption some persons believe that the government has not achieved as much as expected given the resources and time that have allotted to the graft war.

Also against the anti-graft war is the issue that it is being skewed against some persons. The recently published names of corrupt persons have been criticized even by members of Buhari’s government on the ground that some names on the APC members ought to be on the list.
The Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee against Corruption (PACAC), Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN), did say that the looters’ list released by the Minister for Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed is far from perfect or complete.

Sagay, in an interview said: “What was particularly shocking to many Nigerians was that the list didn’t include the names of former members of the PDP who are now in the ruling APC and who in time past were also accused of looting public funds, prompting a former aide to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Reno Omokri, to release his own looters’ list. “Why were these people’s names omitted?” he queried

Also criticising the corruption list of the APC administration, the Speaker, Kwara State House of Assembly, Dr. Ali Ahmad said: “l don’t know what the person who prepared the list is doing. What they have done is an opposition members’ looters’ list. I am sure that they are still working on the list of the looters of members of the APC because I cannot see any on the current list unless they are telling Nigerians that once you are an APC member and you loot, you are not a looter.”

Since 2015, many members of the APC and Buhari’s cabinet and personal aides have been accused of corruption. APC came into governance on the strength of zero tolerance for corruption. But today not only are those in government accused of corruption, the national leadership of the party has been alleged to be corrupt by Prof. Sagay.

Other promises made by the APC and Buhari’s government about the health, education, power, poverty alleviation, social welfare, etc are still finding it difficult to find their place in this government after three years.

Another challenge that the APC is battling with is on the area of bequeathing through democratic environment to the country. The government has been silent in the report of the Senator Ken Nnamani-led committee on electoral reforms.

The opposition party, PDP had accused the President and its government of breathing down on the opposition. PDP in a recent petition to the United Nations (UN) and the International Criminal Court (ICC) accused the President of hate speech and dictatorship.

The PDP’s National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan in the statement said: “Nigerians were shocked when President Buhari, with relish, boasted that “when I was in uniform, younger and rather ruthless, I got from President downward, I locked them up in Kirikiri. I said, you’re guilty except you prove yourself innocent.

“Whereas our constitution and all tenets of democracy and justice across the world, hold all citizens innocent until proven guilty in court of competent jurisdiction, President Buhari promotes the otherwise and feels favourably disposed to acts that suspends our constitution and imposition of military coup.

“This particular hate speech by President Buhari has finally confirmed the underlining impetus behind the prevailing executive highhandedness, the trumped-up charges against the opposition, persecution of political opponents, flagrant disobedience to court orders, brazen harassment, arrests, molestations, illegal detention and extra-judicial execution of innocent Nigerians as already catalogued by the PDP and international bodies, including the United States Department of State.

“These include the horrendous bloodletting and killings in various parts of our country, particularly in Adamawa, Benue, Taraba, Kogi, Plateau, Nasarawa, Borno, Zamfara, Yobe, Abia, Anambra, among others.

“Nigeria has not been more divided than it is today under President Buhari and unguarded comments, which have continued to overheat the polity and set citizens against one another.”

Also in the last three years there has never cohesion among the arms of government and government institutions. The Executive, Legislature and the Judiciary are pitched against each other as many persons have observed and this is a departure from what APC had promised.

Government institutions have been criticised for not respecting each other or other arms of government. Agencies like EFCC, Police, and Customs have been on logger heads with National Assembly over supervision or leadership style.

The party, however, has recorded some success in the area of agriculture, school feeding programme, infrastructural development and improvement in power supply. However, increase in job loss and growing poverty have been major concern to the people. Also the APC, to many, seems to be more divided today than united, while the opposition party believes that the government-led by President Buhari has little or no achievements to show.

 

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