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Opinion / Editorial

A dying nation, Its Travelling President and The Lying Party

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By Jude Ndukwe

In the run up to the 2015 presidential election, leaders and members of APC were very vocal in condemning the then president of the country, President Goodluck Jonathan, for every step he took. This even included attending churches on Sunday, Jonathan’s religion’s holy day of obligation. It was Babatunde Raji Fashola, the then governor of Lagos State and now Honourable Minister of Power, Works and Housing, that succinctly captured the mind of the All Progressives Congress (APC) leaders and supporters then when at the sixth Bola Tinubu Colloquium in Lagos some time in March 2014, he charged at his listeners by asking them if they wanted “someone who spends most of his time in church or mosque, or the man who is ready to spend his time on the job.”

That was when life was very sweet as an opposition party especially with the tolerance level of Goodluck Jonathan. At least, Goodluck was spending his time in the country even if, in the hyperbolic words of Fashola, he was spending “most” of it in church.

However, fast forward to today, we have the same Fashola who is currently serving as a minister under president Muhammadu Buhari who would remain Nigeria’s most travelled president for a long time in our history. So far, since his inauguration into office on May 29, 2015, President Buhari has traversed 24 countries of the world within a short period of 9 months.

Considering our scarce resources, this is too frequent, too costly and is a disturbing development as the nation is in its worst economic quagmire since independence. Never in the history of our nation even when we thought we faced economic recession and hyper-inflation has our exchange rate run on auto-devaluation as it is now. The prices of food stuff and basic items are climbing higher and out of the reach of the common man. The purchasing power of the citizens has been badly eroded while people are not only not getting employed, those who are employed are losing their jobs in droves.

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The economy is at a standstill! No gainful economic activity going on anywhere. Infrastructural development that characterised Goodluck Jonathan’s administration has since been brought to a halt; our revived agricultural sector is now in a speedy reverse course. While harmless and armless youths protesting peacefully within their constitutional rights are regularly mowed down by mindless security agencies in Zaria, Aba, Onitsha etc, the supreme court has come under several severe attacks from the ruling party as the Honourable Justices of the apex court have resisted the “body language” charm and refused to do the bidding of the party in some of the judgements given by the court recently.

Kidnapping has not only returned but assumed a more dangerous and fearful dimension, and the security agents seem overwhelmed. Power supply has become more epileptic than ever even as the DISCO’s have hiked their tariff by about 40% and they still expect Nigerians to pay for darkness supplied in the midst of gross financial powerlessness. There is general disenchantment in the land as the Buhari administration has sufficiently demonstrated a total lack of idea on how to run our economy to attain its full potentials at this time. This fact is further strengthened by the shambolic and embarrassing preparation of a simple budget that is a normal ritual of governments all over the world.

Nigerians believe that the budget was fraught with fraud and an indication of the hypocrisy of the current government’s anti-corruption stance. Having suffered so much, the Buhari budget is widely believed to be the “most stolen”, “most missing”, “most padded”, “most denied”, “most investigated”, “most withdrawn” and “most re-presented” budget, yet, there is no outrage in the land over that garbage. If PDP had made that “mistake” during its time, of course, the country would have been on an uncontrollable conflagration, set on by APC

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