By Lami Ladan
A very interesting news item in the past week was the brickbat between the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) concerning how Nigeria fared under the administrations of the two political parties.
Perhaps it would be an interesting academic research work to have analytics comparing the first five years of PDP’s Obasanjo-Atiku and APC’s Buhari-Osinbajo administrations. Well, one fact that is clear to all Nigerians is that in the case of the former, the presidency was defined by the names of the two personalities at the helm of affairs. In the later, the presidency has been by proxy as neither Buhari nor Osinbajo has ever been the main driver behind the wheels of state.
It’s unfathomable to have all these achievements as reeled out by the APC publication in a national newspaper, yet, the poverty rate in the country is alarming and has never been this high. One can only conclude that their so-called achievements are mere dreams based on our reality today.
The Obasanjo-Atiku led administration laid the basic foundation and put in place policies that would drive and sustain socio-economic development of the country.
Before the return to democracy, Nigeria had become what the international community would call pariah nation, no thanks to the coup and counter coups of which, General Buhari himself was guilty of.
With the election of Obasanjo-Atiku in 1999, the two leaders embarked on redesigning, retooling of our governance that had hitherto been basterdized.
The administration swiftly took measures that helped in laying the foundation for the debt-relief from the BN Paribas. The establishment of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offenses Commission (ICPC) are notable among many others.
The EFCC, no doubt helped in cleansing Nigeria’s image and restoring confidence to the foreign investment drive. Economically, Nigeria became a force to reckon with in the League of Nations with a GDP of 6 – 6.5 percentage growth.
Need we remind the APC of what the exchange rate was before their “super exciting policies” brought the Naira to its knees? Or, perhaps, the prices of commodities before their arrival on the scene.
During the Obasanjo years, there was conscious and pragmatic effort to reduce bureaucratic red tapes hindering the smooth running of the day-to-day affairs of the nation. We know what it is like today to want to do business in Nigeria. Conversely, in the Buhari years, the more they say they are addressing it, the worse it gets.
In a nation that the leadership touts its achievements to high heavens, and, yet, her citizens wallow in abject poverty and made them turn at the same leadership they voted for with dirty insults, certainly should have made one’s head spin to a tail end.
The Obasanjo-Atiku administration had an economic agenda code named National Economic Empowerment Development Strategy, NEEDS at the national level and State Economic Employment Development Strategy, SEEDS at the states’ level. What economic development blueprint does the APC- led administration have to show? None.
The Due Process office was established by the Obasanjo led administration. The APC would wish it was never established because of you know what I know.
The foundation for a thriving socioeconomic development was properly laid that no matter the shenanigans of the APC-led regime, they’ll survive.
One notable achievement of the APC regime that is evident is their expertise in destroying everything that benefits the poor-multiple taxation and the high rate; international passport rate tripled; high cost of living and transportation but above all, the dangerous level of insecurity and destruction of the fragile unity between the Northern and Southern geo-political divide.
Hunger, extreme poverty, insecurity, nauseating propaganda, poor performance in health, education, socio-cultural infrastructural decay are the gigantic hallmarks of this APC regime manned by incurable and deceitful bunch of egocentric marauders.
Ask the APC about the refineries they promised Nigerians; they would reply: “Dangote Refinery” is near completion, the fertiliser company they’re touting and bragging about, it turned out it is the Dangote fertiliser plant.
*Ladan sent this piece from Kaduna.