The Lagos State chapter of the All Progressives Congress has said that the celebration of independence in the face of increasing poverty, corruption, insecurity impunity and misgovernance is proof that Nigeria has been assailed by bad, corrupt and visionless leadership for the greater parts of its 54 years as an independent nation. The party said that the specter of the sixth largest producer of oil being ranked by the United Nations as the third poorest country in the world is worrisome, especially with the rank revelry and masking which the present government has brought to replace purposeful and good leadership.
In a release in Lagos, signed by the Lagos State Publicity Secretary of the APC, Joe Igbokwe, the party lamented that when Nigerians should be celebrating the dividends of freedom, it is saddled by a blind and visionless government that has failed in all facets of leadership. It says that it is regrettable that a majority of Nigerians are regretting the flag independence Nigeria got in 1960 which has decimated rather than improve life in the country.
“As Nigeria celebrates yet another uneventful independence, the picture of poverty-ridden masses, hungry and desolate citizenry, governmental impunity, fast decreasing standard of living, receding life expectancy, decaying infrastructures, massive unemployment, corruption and insecurity, hopelessness, despair, alienation ring loud and clear on every Nigerian and across the length and breadth of the country. This is a sad scenario, made even sadder that those who got saddled with the task of leading the Nigerian people have rather fended for themselves while selling lies, fabrications and forgeries as their achievements.
“We recall that just some few months back, the United Nations Secretary General lamented that Nigeria harbours the third largest population of poor people in the world, only surpassed by China and India, both of which has over one billion people compared to Nigeria’s estimated 165 million! We recall that some days later, a credible international agency released a report to the effect that by 2015, Nigeria will have the largest population of poor people in the world because while China and India are dealing with the incidences of their poverty and reducing it, that Nigeria, through obnoxious and corrupt policies, is growing its poverty rate. We were just scandalized that rather than do anything about it, President Jonathan recently made a wild and ludicrous claim of reducing poverty by 50 per cent. Even as he was not forthcoming with the indices for this ridiculous claim, as poverty continues to ravage millions of Nigerians unabated, we dare say that his claim is in league with a government that lacks both clue and competence on how to tackle even minor issues, as Nigerians have come to realize.
“Nigerians for the past sixteen years have seen the various PDP governments appropriating trillions of Naira trying to take power generation above a paltry 3,000 megawatts. Even with the hefty sum allegedly spent on power, generation is still hovering between 2,500 and 3,000 megawatts today, as most parts of Nigeria remain trapped in darkness. If this is not a world record failure, we wonder what else is.
“Let us recall that just last year, the same PDP government was boasting all over the world that it had created millions of jobs and solved the problem of unemployment in Nigeria but when about 3,000 vacancies were advertised in the Nigerian Immigration Services, over 1.5 million applicants turned out to besiege all available public spaces all over Nigeria. It was so bad that a stampede has to ensue and over twenty Nigerian unemployed youths were trampled to death. But this never moved the PDP government that extorted N1,000 each from these millions of applicants as no one was ever reprimanded for that egregious crime against hapless unemployed Nigerians.
“At 54 years, Nigeria has become a luxury state for wanton corruption. The N3 trillion fuel subsidy scam, the over N1 trillion kerosene subsidy fraud, the SURE-P loot, the Pension Fund rip off, the $20 billion heist, the N10 billion spent by a minister for plane hire, the $9.5million cash smuggled into South Africa are just few of the many rotten corrupt acts that has been brought by the Jonathan government and the PDP to besmirch governance and plunge Nigeria into intractable corruption binge.
“From a well endowed and proud country in 1960, Nigeria has become a land of untold woes and bondage where life expectancy hovers between 39 years and 42 years, a country with the second largest infant mortality rate in the world, a country where mortuaries are overflowing with dead bodies, where schools are so ran down that they don’t compete with schools in other West African countries, hospitals have long become death centers, where citizens flee with anger to even our less endowed neighbours, where life is brutish, short and nasty.
“Today, as Nigeria celebrates 54, the temple of justice is being invaded by outlaws, criminals and vandals with clear acquiescence by the ruling PDP. The ugly scenario that played out in Ado Ekiti where someone facing criminal and corrupt charges but who was sprung to power by the deliberate corrupt acts of the present Jonathan government, mobilized hoodlums, thugs and vandals to beat up a judge, lawyers, bystanders and other Nigerians is a fearful picture of the rot Nigeria faces today. Convicted criminals, economic pests, drug dealers running from justice, killers and treasury looters are being rehabilitated, empowered with state fund and garlanded with national honors to do the political biddings of the PDP. In the history of this country, the Jonathan government is breaking all records for public stealing and rehabilitation of felons for political purposes. The bars of morality have been destroyed and thrown to the dogs as all have been made to seem fair in the selfish interests of the operatives of this government.
“We note that today, cost of living is so high and Nigerians live under the worst tolerable situation humanity can imagine. Hunger, disease and want assail Nigerians, with no institution or leadership to look up to for succor. Inflation has become a pestilence that ravage Nigerians to no end and corruption and avarice are today being so blatantly promoted by the PDP government, daring Nigerians to do their worst.
“Nigeria has become a country of anything goes. The police is at the beck and call of the PDP presidency and the abuse of security agencies for selfish, ulterior and selfish political interests has gotten to such an alarming rate. We were all living witnesses to the deliberate use of the police to undermine the government and security of Rivers State. We are living witnesses to the use of the police, the army and every other security agencies to overwhelm the people of Ekiti State recently. We note that the vigilance and determination of the people of the State of Osun prevented a repeat scenario in the state gubernatorial election in August. We note that at 54, Nigeria has been so privatized that security agencies have become the private armies of political goons and PDP partisans while Nigerians are exposed to the worst ever security situation since after the civil war.
“Lagos APC is concerned that while Nigerians have been under the relentless assault of Boko Haram insurgents, which had led to thousands of deaths, the PDP government, which is deeply complicit in the Boko Haram mess, has been harvesting the political gains of the travail leaving Nigerians at the mercy of the insurgents. The various security reports and the revelations of the Federal Government negotiator, Stephen Davies, which both implicated the PDP, have been left to gather dust while the PDP programmed Boko Haram for maximum political gains. We note that because of its deep involvements with the Boko Haram insurgency, the PDP government has shunned our challenge for it to engage credible internal agencies to probe Boko Haram and the factors surrounding its existence and operation.
“We note that rather than promote unity and peaceful coexistence, the Jonathan and PDP government has been rabidly sowing seeds of ethnic, sectional and religious intolerance. They have been going about preaching the gospel of hate and intolerance, pitting Nigerians against Nigerians and disrespecting other Nigerians in their well known notorious political calculations. The results are all there for all to see; a clear line of division rippling through a country that welcomed self governance some 54 years ago.
“All these considered, we join other Nigerians to mourn the mismanagement of our nation by self serving, corrupt and incompetent leaders such that Nigeria has become a land of tears and sorrows. We join Nigerians to regret the vagaries of a predatory, selfish and blind leadership. We rather mourn the termination of our dream for greatness. We mourn the wrecking of a well endowed nation in fifty four years of horrible leadership.
“Lagos APC therefore charges Nigerians to join the change train and change Nigeria for a better. We enjoin Nigerians to use the occasion of the country’s 54th independent annovery to reflect of what Nigeria would have been with a good, corrupt-free and purposeful leadership and work for change. If in sixteen years, Nigeria has gone from bad to worse under the wasteful years of PDP governance, there is no compelling reason to still continue indulge a party that believes in ruination for the growth of its corrupt leadership. We charge Nigerians to ensure that by the time the country celebrate its 55th independence, we would have installed an honest and responsible leadership to recover what is remaining from the locust feast of the past 54 years, especially of the last 16 years. The type of change we recommend is the type of change that has transformed Lagos from what PDP leaders call a slum 16 years ago to the fifth largest economy in Africa. We recommend this change which has made Lagos the huge basin which every Nigerian expects to cater for the problems of all Nigerians, especially the victims of the wanton PDP misrule at the center and the many states of the federation. That the citizens of these states troop to Lagos daily and get succor from the vagaries of PDP predatory leadership recommends the APC as the agents of meaningful change. Nigerians must work and ensure a change to the present corrupt and rudderless PDP governance to recover what we can from the unending locust feast the PDP has made the corner stone of its governance for 16 sorrowful years”