December 31, 2022

2023: Another opportunity to take back our country, ADP to Nigerians

ADP, crisis


.. Says Nation’s Democracy has turned out to be an era of impunity, recklessness and retrogression

Blames PDP, APC for the Nation’s woes

By Henry Umoru

As the country goes for the Presidential and general elections 2023, the Presidential candidate candidate of the Action Democratic Party, ADP, Engr. Yabagi Yusuf Sani has said that the period should be an opportunity for Nigerians to take back their country.

According to him, Nigerians were excited with the coming of Democracy in 1999, but said it has however turned out to be an era of impunity, recklessness and retrogression.

Addressing Journalists on Saturday, in Abuja in what he tagged his New Year message, Sani who doubles as the National Chairman of the party, said that the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and the All Progressives Congress, APC should be squarely blamed for the what he termed, unprecedented calamity that has befallen the country within the period.

The ADP Presidential candidate said, “We have come to the end of the year with great expectations that we will move away from the things that have led us to the harrowing experiences of today.

“Nigerians were excited at the return of democracy in 1999, hoping that the new dawn would usher in freedom, peace, development and prosperity.  

“However, it has turned out to be an era of impunity, recklessness and retrogression. Not much difference has been made from the time of the adventurists who usurped power through the barrel of the gun.

“The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the contraption known as the All Progressives Congress (APC) are squarely and pointedly to blame for the unprecedented calamity that has befallen the country within the period.

“In between them like in a relay race, they have been exchanging the baton of leadership and sharing the national resources as booties of war by a rampaging army in a war of attrition.

“The pathetic and parlous condition in all facets of our national life illustrate the negative footprint of the two political parties.

“Rather than mitigating the endemic corruption, the elected representatives in all arms of government engaged in brazen and unabashed kleptomania, looting and defoliating our common patrimony.

“Under the two political parties, nepotism, cronyism and similar primordial divisive sentiments became articles of faith and cardinal policy of governance. These negative and dangerous tendencies have unfortunately been elevated to a frightening height by the APC government that has been in power since 2015.

“Consequently, while this rudderless, visionless and reckless disposition and actions have led to degeneration in the economic profile of the nation, the mass of the populace has inevitably, suffered material deprivation, overwhelming poverty and despondency.

“While I congratulate the entire Nigerians to have survived these myriad calamity inflicted by the two so-called major political parties, my appeal to Nigerians is that they should remain resilient, optimistic and prayerful for a brighter days ahead.

My running mate Dr Okey Okoro Udo and I appreciate the difficult times but we wish to assure Nigerians that the country is at the threshold of a new dawn under a government established by us if elected into power in 2023. 

“The nation’s economic outlook under our administration is going to be a remarkable departure from the preceding harrowing experience of inept and corrupt leadership which is a consequence of a faulty recruitment process and criminal circumvention of the rule of law and the electoral process. To usher in the new dawn, all hands must be on deck. It is a patriotic and historical endeavor to which all citizens must be committed.”

Speaking on a failed economy, Sani said, “Is it not a paradox that Nigeria is today, rated as the global capital of poverty and as one of the three leading centers of insecurity in the comity of nations? 

“A survey by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) shows that 133 million Nigerians are poor multidimensionally. What else can be responsible for this unsightly situation for a country that has all it takes to be prosperous? Apparently, bad governance is it. 

“According to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the monthly average exchange rate of the naira to the US dollar in the last seven-and-a-half years of the Buhari administration fell from N196.92 in June 2015 to N445.83 to the dollar for interbank Foreign Exchange market as at November 2022.

“This represents 53 percent depreciation against the dollar. As a result, Nigeria’s foreign debt burden increased by N9 trillion. This is an increase of 228percent of debt in seven years, from $10 billion from 2015 to $40.06 billion (figures from the Debt Management Office), being the worst in seven years. It will cost the country N9 trillion to pay the $40.06 billion debts.

“Beside the unprecedented depreciation in the value of the currency, the gloomy economy of the country has been further compounded by mindless, frivolous and reckless borrowing by the Buhari administration. The government of the day has defended this act of mortgaging the sovereignty and future generation by claiming that the humongous foreign loans were obtained to facilitate infrastructure development. The amazing fact however is that the Buhari administration has nothing commensurate to show for the huge loans taken.    

“The question I would like each of us to answer is why should we go into such debts when we have so much? Of course, the public resources, apart from being squandered with reckless abandon are also willfully and freely stolen.

On Breathtaking Corruption, he said, “The Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) recently said that Nigeria has lost 619.7 million barrels of crude oil valued at $46.16 billion or N16.25 trillion in 12 years, from 2009 to 2020. Consequent on their actions, Nigeria loses 80 percent of its oil revenue.

“It is indeed regrettable that at a time Nigeria’s economy is down and government is continuously borrowing, there are unscrupulous elements who conspire with foreigners to fleece the country.

“To appreciate the enormity of their crime against the country we should be mindful of the fact that the oil and gas sector is the mainstay of Nigeria’s economy. It contributes 90 percent to government revenue. Any harm to this sector is going for the jugular of the nation.  

“Crimes against Nigeria are not limited to the oil and gas sector. Our CBN is in it. As I speak, the leadership of that very important public institution is immersed in crisis. 

“As we are aware, the sensitive materials for elections are warehoused in the CBN. However, our CBN has suddenly become a house of politics with the head not long ago plunging into the presidential race of the ruling party. Soon afterwards, the same man was reported to be deeply immersed in acts of gross misconducts. The DSS has sought a court order to arrest him over tangible allegations of financing terrorism, fraudulent activities and economic crimes of national security dimensions.

“These are issues that we should not be talking about at this juncture when the nation should be assiduous in working towards successful conduct of the forthcoming elections. In my view, the Augean stables in the CBN should be cleansed immediately and with surgical precision. The rot in the CBN must not be covered with the cloak of the exigency of the election. The rule of law must come into play if the country is to be returned on the track of rapid economic transformation, social integration, security and stability.”

On What he will do differently, the ADP Presidential candidate, said, “An ADP government will key into the prevailing global agenda of Climate Change, Energy Transition and Information and Communication Technology (ICT), the driver of the Fourth Industrial Revolution to tackle issues relating to economic, security, health and education sectors among other critical spheres in the overall socio-economic development of the country. 

“As president, I will be focused on the implementation of my party’s seven-point agenda viz: Education, Agriculture, Health, Security, Infrastructure, Oil and gas and war against corruption.

“I believe in the universal perception of education as the bedrock of any societal progress. In this context, my administration will ensure the allocation of at least 22 percent of the nation’s annual budget to education in compliance with the UNESCO recommendation.

“As a practical strategy to making health care delivery available to the mass of Nigerians, the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and its versions at state level will be reinvigorated to cover far more number of citizens with the ultimate goal of total coverage of the populace.

“Our government will decisively deal with security matters and build a People’s Military and a People’s Police Force. The people must own the army and the police. I have taken cognizance of the shortage of personnel in the security agencies and I will accordingly immediately engage in rapid expansion in the number of officers and men charged with the security and safety of the country. 

“I will take a very critical look at the Infrastructure Scorecard prepared by the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) and begin the process of tackling the identified myriad of challenges.

“As the fulcrum of the nation’s economy, my presidency will initiate drastic measures that will pull down the stumbling blocks that have over the decades, prevented the profitable operations of the oil and gas industry. I will engage in a programme of rapid exploration and exploitation of the nation’s vast solid mineral resources to complement the revenue coming from the oil and gas sector. 

“While we commend the outgoing administration for initiating the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) gas pipeline project, we are however not satisfied with the characteristic slow pace of progress in its execution. My presidency will give needed will-power and vigour required not only in timely completion of the project but to as well see to its long time target of having the gas pipeline extended through North Africa across the Mediterranean to the European markets.  

“I will launch a sustained programme aimed at revolutionizing agriculture and food production with the objective of engendering self-sufficiency in the nation’s food requirement, boost agro-allied industries and thereby create vast job opportunities for the nation’s teeming youths, women and generally the rural populace. We will explore the opportunities offered by the UN $1 trillion intervention fund to mitigate the effects of climate change such as desertification, flooding and related disasters.

“On the crusade against corruption, my approach will be frontal and single-minded within the framework of the ADP’s mantra of Rule of Law. Our strategies in this regard will include deployment of the ICT in fighting corruption and making the regulatory agencies truly autonomous. There will be no sacred cows as anyone who goes against the law will be made to face the music.”

“Nigerians in general and major players such as political parties and security agencies to give their unflinching support to INEC to ensure success of the 2023 general elections. 

“The goal of every patriotic Nigerian and the expectation of the wider world is to see INEC conducting a free, fair and credible elections under a conducive environment where the votes of the electorate will count.  

“Nigeria is a great country. The only thing standing against it is absence of good leadership. It is dangerous to give power to one who will abuse it or one who doesn’t know what to do with it.  Time to take back our country is now. “