IS THIS THE CHANGE OR DO WE EXPECT ANOTHER
by Dr Paul John
Change was the campaign slogan used by APC during the just concluded 2015 general elections whereas PDP ,being the ruling party,used Transformation and Continuity as their own campaign slogan. Nigerians understood the APC slogan as the introduction of a different system of government for the betterment of the wellbeing of the citizenry. Yes,we need no prophet to tell us that APC will come in with their party manifesto hence bringing a change to the system of governance at the federal level.
However, what Nigerians have failed to ask APC leaders is what type of change are we expecting come May 29th,2015 .This is because one man once retired to his village having lived outside his village for about 40 years. When he finally returned to his village,he was given a red carpet reception .He promised his people that he was going to build a factory. Everybody was elated that at least the long-sought development was imminent. Regrettably,his people did not understand the type of factory he meant until few months later when many women,mostly widows and young ladies, started carrying his pregnancies. Story has it that he fathered many children in his village to the extent that his children were forbidden from either entering into any relationship or marrying anybody from the village to avoid incest.
It was after about five years of his heroic return to his village that it dawned on his people that the factory the man promised them was not the usual factory they knew. To me,the man lived up to his expectation of building a factory of human beings after all the sole aim of a factory is for manufacturing hence the man manufactured many babies virtually from all families in his village. In view of this ,Nigerians should ask APC leaders what change are we expecting from them because change involves doing something different. The change can be from good to bad or vice versa. This question is necessary because of my observations nowadays.
During the just concluded general elections,when PDP candidates lost elections,they called their opponents in APC to congratulate them ,putting the unity and peace of the country and their respective states first before their own personal ambitions but when APC candidates lost,they would reject the result,protests would erupt everywhere and they would claim that the election was rigged or that no election was held in the first place,even when the aspirants voted in their respective polling units and were covered by many media houses . Also,when Prince Buruji Kashamu,the PDP senator-elect of Ogun-east senatorial district, congratulated Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu ,the APC national leader, on the outcome of the 2015 general election,the latter replied that,’ he does not need praises from from Kashamu’ , saying they are not in the same class. He went further to challenge Kashamu to make a trip to the United States Of America to answer drug charges against himself.
What does that portray? If the national leader of a party can talk about different classes in a society ,that means the citizens in the incoming government may not be equal before the law since they are in different classes. Our constitution states clearly that any accused is assumed innocent until convicted by a competent law court . Meanwhile, a UK court of competent jurisdiction has cleared Kashamu of the same offence. The question begging for an answer is,even if Prince Buruji Kashamun is being wanted in USA ,does he not have any right to freedom of expression or has he lost his right to be a Nigerian citizen ? I have seen politicians hug themselves on stages after hate campaigns in other developed climes,why must Nigerian case be different?
Moving over to Ekiti state,the APC legislators are hellbent on impeaching Governor Fayose at all costs. Their mandate is to impeach Fayose before May 29th 2015. This singular act has thrown the state into pandemonium .Security challenges have worsened and residents of the state are being kidnapped . These APC legislators will definitely not relent until they carry out their mission even if the state is going into flames. They do not care about the electorate in the state that voted them in,all they want now is,’Governor Fayose must go.’
The story is not different in the neighbouring Osun state,workers are protesting for the non-payment of their salaries. I am sure,these APC governors will blame the ruling PDP federal government for their ordeal, my question is what have they done to increase their internally-generated revenues in their respective states in order to cushion the effects of shortfalls in the monthly federal allocations to their states? Have the APC governors done what the PDP governors have not done?
Governor Willie Obiano( APGA) of Anambra state while celebrating his one year in office ,revealed that he inherited a monthly Internally generated revenue of N500 million per month but he tactically increased it to N1.1 billion within few months on assumption of office and that his current target is N3.3 billion per month. According to him, the aim was to cushion the effects of the dwindling monthly allocation to the state from the federation account. If a governor,could do this,what is still holding the APC governors or will they continue casting aspersions on the PDP led federal government while their houses are on fire? I am yet to see what the APC governors have done which the PDP governors have not done.
Coming down to Rivers state,the outgoing governor is hellbent on conducting local government elections in less than two weeks to the expiration of his tenure,possibly to create a problem for the incoming administration in the state. This is a governor that ruled the state many years with caretaker committee chairmen ,he now suddenly acknowledged the importance of allowing democratically elected officers to occupy the third tier of government. This is coming at a time when many workers in the state are protesting over the non-payment of their salaries for many months. The money that will be used in conducting the local government election, will it not be enough to defray the workers’ salaries ?
The people of the state are still crying over the mind-boggling amount of money sank into the Port Harcourt Monorail project,the money that should have been used to fix many deplorable roads in the state. Rumuagholu road is a nightmare to road users,Rumuigbo community is always overflooded any time it rains because of a poor drainage system .Rumudara-Eneka road is a deathtrap to all road users ,the same is the case for other state and local governments’ roads in the state. Non-natives of the state still remain as non-natives in the actual sense of the word non-native irrespective of the number of years they have lived in the state and their contributions to the development of the state. How many non-natives of the state have been issued any certificate of occupancy by this outgoing administration ?
Since PDP government assumed power at the federal level,Lagos state has been in opposition to the central government,I wonder why Rivers state will not be allowed to be in opposition to the incoming APC federal government ? PDP federal government allowed Lagos to be in opposition. In Nigeria, apart from FCT, there are three cosmopolitan cities which Kano,Lagos and Port Harcourt, the first two are already in the hands of APC and they want Port Harcourt (Rivers state) to be in their hands at all costs. Who told APC that they would win the governorship election in Rivers state ? Expectedly, sycophants around their leaders are giving them false information about the state of things in the state. The continued closure of all Rivers state courts ,the deplorable states of state and local governments’ owned roads and non-issuance of certificate of occupancy to land owners especially non-natives of the states etc, are challenges the incoming PDP government led by Chief Barrister Nyesom Wike has promised to address immediately. Believe you me,this campaign promise will always sway the votes in favour of PDP anytime, any day.
Although the recent barring of AIT for covering events associated with the president-elect was finally balmed on the overzealousness of the aides attached to the president-elect,only time shall tell if the obnoxious decree number four of 1984 will be ‘resurrected’ in the incoming adminstration .
(To be continued).
Dr Paul John