Time for the APC Federal Government to think
By Simeon Nwakaudu
This is the time for the All Progressives Congress (APC) Federal Government to settle down and reflect. I mean think about their failure in governance.
They can still make amends in the interest of the country. This is the time for the APC to stop lying, seek help from other patriotic Nigerians and start working for the people.
Even President Buhari and leaders of the cabal know that Nigeria has derailed. No sector is working, people are suffering. We no longer have a centre, let alone having a centre that holds everyone together. There is unprecedented level of hatred, suffering, insecurity, lack of development and extreme poor governance in the land.
Sadly, those who obtained power by trick believe that unfettered propaganda will solve Nigeria's Development Logjam. That is where they miss the point.
Lai Mohammed can lie from today till Thy kingdom come, but the bad roads will remain unless they are fixed. Shehu Garba can concoct allegations for eternity, but the crumbling security architecture will grow worse. Adesina may threaten to shut the gates of heaven to opponents of Buhari, but the cries of restructuring will persist.
Nigeria has deliberately isolated itself from the international community to pursue unclear goals at home. The Federal Government announced that it has pulled the country out of 90 international organisations. The government gave the watery excuse that it wants to conserve funds, but many are convinced that the Federal Government simply wants to create the right atmosphere to heighten human rights abuses and create the enabling environment for INEC to solidify her rigging mechanism. This government hates transparency and accountability. To shut the door in the face of the international community is the best way to do this.
Human rights have been taken to the cleaners. Law enforcement agencies have become law breakers killing and maiming at will. Surprisingly, the same law enforcement agencies cannot stop kidnappers, armed robbers, Boko Haram, herdsmen and terrorists.
In Rivers State for instance, the Special Anti-robbery Squad has become a social menace, indicted for their ugly roles in kidnapping and armed robbery. Kidnappers and Badoo cultists rule Lagos, kidnappers rule the Kaduna-Abuja highway, herdsmen have dislodged farmers in the north central and Southern Kaduna, while kidnappers operate freely in the South-East. For now, there is no blueprint to resolve the nationwide security breakdown.
There is a total collapse of the country's federal road infrastructure. The entire South is worst hit. Travelling has become a nightmare. Almost all roads are now death traps and breeding grounds for kidnappers. Nobody is spared.
Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki lamenting the poor condition of the Benin-Ehor-Ekpoma-Auchi Road said:
"We had made pleas, we begged , we've done everything possible to the Federal Authorities to just help with maintenance before the rains. You can see we were cut off as a state. This is devastating for us. Our economy has been grounded. We just don't know. We are really helpless. If three months ago, our call was heeded, we will not be in the situation we are in today. We just don't see care, nobody is concerned about this country. It's not about Federal Roads, it's about Nigeria. "
It is the same story on the East-West Road where the Eleme Corridor to Onne Port has collapsed. The Onitsha-Enugu Expressway has disappeared, while all the Federal Roads in Benue and Nasarawa States are begging for attention. It is the same story for Federal Roads in the South-West, North East and North-West.
There is no need talking about the Health sector. All the Federal Health facilities have become centres for the distribution of death certificates. Their workers go on strike at will due to deliberate neglect by the administration.
Under the APC Federal Government, the education sector has become the zone of comedy. The Universal Basic Education Commission and Tertiary Education Trust Fund have been grounded. Nobody knows what they are doing.
The immediate past Federal Government reconstructed 22 Federal Airports and equipped them. Today, the airports are returning to their dysfunctional states.
There is no sector that is working. Not even the touted anti-corruption fight of the administration. The principal sponsor of APC elections in 2015 and Former Rivers State Governor; Rotimi Amaechi misappropriated State Funds amounting to several billions of naira. He has been indicted by a court-approved Judicial Commission of Inquiry, yet the EFCC and ICPC have refused to prosecute him, presumably on the directive of the APC Federal Government. Several cases involving APC chieftains have been relegated to the background. The entire anti-corruption programme is politically driven.
The APC Federal Government should as a matter of urgency de-activate its campaign mode. It should set up a viable governance structure, since it has none at present.
The immediate past administration that was vilified by the APC had several landmarks between 2011-2015. It established Federal Universities, Federal Polytechnics, revived the railways, built the Standard Guage to Kaduna, reconstructed 22 airports, reconstructed several federal highways, revived Teaching Hospitals and built a National Truama Centre, re-focused the nation's economy making it the largest in Africa, enhanced entrepreneurship through the you-win programme and promoted education through the PRESSID Programme.
When the 2012 flood disaster struck the country, the response from the then Federal Government was decisive. We are are all living witnesses of the messy response of the APC Federal Government to the flood disaster across the country even though it is in custody of the ecological fund.
Governance is beyond the control of the instruments of propaganda. It is beyond the control of the instruments of state violence and the rigging tools of INEC. Once power is acquired, it must be put to good use.
The APC Federal Government has mismanaged all Federal Resources at her disposal. I say this with every sense of responsibility. It is true that majority of the so-called human 'rice' activists are with them, but Nigerians are feeling the pain of bad governance. Is there a section of the country where this APC Federal government is working? The answer is in the negative.
Since assuming office, the APC Federal Government has operated two outlandish budgets. The 2016 budget was N6.06trillion, while the 2017 National Budget is N7.44trillion. With over N13 trillion in her kitty through oil revenues, foreign and local loans, the APC Federal Government has no tangible achievements anywhere in the country. Upon resumption from recess, the Senate raised the alarm on the mass fraud and thievery at the Federal Ministries and Departments in the course of the implementation of the 2017 National Budget.
With 52.68percent of the nation's revenue at the disposal of the Federal Government and the so-called several looted funds recovered , which they claim is well over $120billion ($90billion from Diezani alone), one wonders why the government is low on performance.
I recommend the New Rivers model to the APC Federal Government. Senate Minority Leader and Former Akwa State Governor, Senator Godswill Akpabio declared without equivocation that Governor Wike has performed more than the APC Federal Government in the last two years. Beyond throwing tantrums, nobody has disputed this fact.
The New Rivers model is built on the pragmatic deployment of resources to engender state-wide development. Projects are funded through calculated investments of allocation from the federation account and the internally generated revenue. In other instances, few loans are sourced for specific projects with laid out repayment plans.
The outcome has been a sustained delivery of projects across the state. No local government areas has been left out.
Governor Wike did not dwell on the failures of his predecessor who predicted doom after misappropriating state funds at his disposal. He got down to work on the very first day.
The 57th Independence Celebration presents the APC Federal Government the last opportunity to turn a new leaf. They should be courageous enough to take a cue from a high level performing administration. This is not the time to embark on an ego trip.
Imagine if we have a Federal Government that is half as vibrant in projects delivery as the Rivers State Government under the leadership of Governor Wike. Imagine if half of the APC State Governments deliver half of what we have in Rivers State. The story of this dispensation would be different.
The only gift that Nigerians expect from the APC Federal Government is a commitment to start work. For now, they are still on holidays. They run the country on a platform of press releases and more promises. Nothing concrete.
We are tired of why things are not working in Nigeria under the APC Federal Government . We want to see things work. We want to see Nigerian resources put to good use. But the way it looks, these guys are more comfortable being in government than delivering the goods. They are not the guys that Nigeria needs.
Rather than issue threats and lectures, the APC Federal Government should use the 57th Independence Celebration to be kind to the citizenry. Let them show compassion for once. Leadership is a call to service. It is not an opportunity to destroy the society.
writes from Port Harcourt