Published On: Mon, Aug 7th, 2017

APC has let Nigerians down –Nosa Igiebor

OBINNA EZUGWU |

Award winning journalist and co-president of TELL Communications, Mr. Nosa Igiebor has accused the All Progressives Congress (APC) of letting Nigerians down by reneging on their promises and performing far below expectations.
Igiebor who aired this view in an interview with Business Hallmark at the Tell office in Lagos, pointed out that the ruling party has only succeeded in making things worse for Nigerians.
“There is a general air of frustration; of disappointment and as a matter of fact, even betrayal,” he said.
“A good example is this raging debate over the need or otherwise for political restructuring of the country. Of course, top members of the party, including the National Chairman is now saying that restructuring is not the major concern of the party for now. But people have reminded him that restructuring is one of the prominent items listed on the party’s manifesto.
“The simple question I ask people is whether Nigerians generally are better off or worse off than they were in 2015 compared to now. The answer will tell you the whole story. The good thing is that there are many members of the party that have come out themselves to say they have disappointed Nigerians, that they have performed way below expectations and have not lived up to their promises.”
He dismissed the party’s continuous blame on the previous administrations of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for the country’s challenges as lacking merit, pointing out that the Buhari administration cannot blame the past governments when it has made things far worse than they were in 2015.
“The problem of the APC is that they created so much hype, made so many implausible promises, but now that they are in government, the reality has dawned on them. The non-performance they try to blame on the previous administration, nobody is buying that from them.
“They said that in the first six months, they said that in the first one year, we are now into the third year of their administration and they are still blaming the previous government. In any case, if you say you met a bad situation – in 2015 when they took over in May- if you met a bad situation, your obligation was not to make that bad situation far worse than it should be. The least you were expected to do was to stabilize that bad situation and put policies in place to make sure that you turn things around. And over the next several months or a couple of years, you take us out of the woods.
“Here is why the argument of blaming the previous administration lacks merit. This government, President Buhari did not have a government in place until November 2015, a clear six months after he was sworn in. He had no cabinet. And since there was no cabinet, there was virtually no government.
“That was why the economy simply nose-dived, because there was no policy; nobody was in charge. So you cannot on the one hand say you met a very bad situation, the economy was collapsing, but on the other hand, for six months, you did nothing. That’s why I said their contention that the PDP should be blamed, lacks merit.”
The former NTA, Concord and Newswatch staff equally berated the National Assembly over its rejection of devolution of power in the ongoing constitutional amendment, describing the lawmakers as jokers who are out of touch with reality.
“Nigeria as it is presently arranged is wrong, it is not working. It is obvious to anyone, except those who want to pretend, or those who are benefiting from a system that is totally dysfunctional. The argument for restructuring is a compelling one, a situation where 70 percent of federal government budget is spent on recurrent expenses; payment of salaries and overhead costs shows that the federal government is bloated.
“It is urgent, it is imperative that restructuring is done. A lot of people are equating restructuring with dismemberment of the country, but if your fear is dismemberment, that would happen when you continue to prevent the needed change from happening.”
Talking about the National Assembly, he said: “I would be dignifying what they did if I say I was disappointed. They are jokers, it just shows how detached our so called representatives are from the people. If they were correctly monitoring public discourse on these things, they won’t have made that decision.
“It doesn’t make sense. What they did is not going to change anything, what I mean by that is that it is not going to stop the agitation for restructuring because it is an idea whose time has come. Those who insist that we continue with this system don’t love Nigeria.”
He also spoke at length about the growing agitations across the country, journalism practice under military dictatorship, MKO Abiola and other issues. Full version of the interview will be published in the next edition of Business Hallmark.

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