May 23, 2024

Hardship: Tinubu must rejig his economic team — Bode George

Yoruba Nation agitators invasion of Oyo Assembly act of treason — Bode Goerge

Bode George

By Dapo Akinrefon

FORMER Deputy National Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Bode George, on Thursday, charged President Bola Tinubu to rejig his economic team saying Nigerians have suffered enough.

Addressing newsmen in Lagos on the state of the nation, the PDP leader said due to the failure of successive leaders to grapple with the problems of nation building, Nigeria is currently facing an existential crisis.

In his speech titled ‘My thoughts on the state of our country in the last 25 years: A time to chart a new direction’, George alleged that some criminal elements have created a parallel government in Nigeria lamenting that every corner of the country is challenged by variegated insecurities.

His words: “Nigeria is known as the Giant of Africa but unfortunately, the political scenario since 1999, when the most populous black nation in the world returned to democratic rule, is making this country the butt of jokes globally.

“25 years after the military returned to the barracks, Nigeria is gradually becoming the permanent invalid Giant of Africa.

Today, all patriots are ashamed of what is going on in the country as the polity is straying towards its elastic limit. It is now over-stressed and over-stretched beyond the bounds of acceptability. Our survival as a nation is genuinely being questioned by all lovers of democracy.

“Violence sprouts everywhere and the country gradually descends into a dangerous gangland where the rule of the bayonet and clubs seems to be the norm. If Nigeria is to survive (and I pray this happens very fast), this ruinous course must be reversed immediately.

“And this can only be done through a collective determination of the rulers and the ruled, leaders and the led, that, come what may, this is the only country we have and we must do everything to ensure that Nigeria regains its rightful place in the comity of nations.

“We can achieve this if we start to redefine our value system, to rejig and restructure the various anomalies that presently hinder the greater possibilities of the Nigerian Union.

This is not the time for political actors to be subjective in their thinking and actions because the challenges before us are far beyond the confines of partisan politics. The turmoil within the Nigerian entity is about the twisted present situation. It is about who we are. It is about what we ought to be. It is about the greater tomorrow.

“Unfortunately, our political culture is still much engrossed in the glorification of cronyism over intellect, the celebration of charlatans over patriotic commitment, the narrow worship of the gains of the moment over the truth and the base withdrawal into nepotistic defensive encampment over the greater good.

“Because successive leaders have failed to successfully grapple with the problems of nation building, Nigeria is currently facing an existential crisis.

“This crisis became complicated between 2015 and 2023 during the administration of my oga President Muhammadu Buhari.

“The Nigerian state almost collapsed because many Nigerians will agree that that eight-year era was probably the worst in Nigerian history since 1960 when we got our independence. It was as if nobody was in charge of the country.

Everything promised before the 2015 general elections were observed in the breach by the Buhari administration.

Despite that calamity, it is a pity that some Nigerians have come out to defend that administration, which ruled Nigeria for eight years. They are now blaming the Bola Tinubu administration which has spent about one year in office. “Government administration is not a hundred-meter dash race. We will advise and condemn so that in a year’s time, we can assess the methodology and performance of the Government.

“Pitiably, some Nigerians have resorted to a blame game. Let me advise that we have to be careful in this country because Nigeria is not for any individual, group or region. Nigeria belongs to everybody. It is through cooperation and unanimity of purpose that we can lift the country up.    

Tinubu should also come out and tell Nigerians the true position of things in the country. This is not the time to play party or regional politics. Nigerians have suffered enough and they want fast results.

“This is the time for Tinubu to rejig his economic team. There are many Nigerians – from the North to the South – who can offer him economic advices that can turn this country around.

“Nigerians are also saying it loud and clear that the skewed structure of political power constitutes a very huge hindrance to national development. The excessive centrality of political power holds everyone down to an unhealthy indolence, strips the states of individual growth and development, disallows free-willing local initiatives, strangles fairness and equity in the larger Nigerian union, inflames tension and fissiparous tendencies.

“This is the time to listen to the voice of reason because real progress lies in true federalism and good governance. Evil persists when good men choose to keep their peace. I will not be part of that peace of the graveyard. We must speak out against all abuses of power and against all injustices. We must raise our voices against all agents of destabilisation and discord. We must speak the truth to the transient wielders of political power. There is no other way.

“Today, some criminals have created a parallel government in Nigeria. Every corner of the country is challenged by variegated insecurities ranging from banditry, urban outlaws, destructive fissiparous forces, the murderous Boko Haram terrorists and sundry insidious elements. Through intelligence gathering mechanism, all enemies of state must be dealt with immediately.

“This is what is called true statesmanship. This is what is called discerning, progressive leadership.

We also need to urgently do something about our so-called federalism which can be described as a ‘unitary or despotic federalism’.

“Nigeria can be a better place when we all eschew ethnic jingoism, sectarian bias and crass nepotistic agenda.

We cannot continue like this. Something must give. There is no other way. There is no other path.

“Obviously, the 1999 constitution is not working and with the way Nigeria is structured, it can never work. So, the earlier we have a people’s constitution, the better for all of us. We have been operating this constitution since 1999 and it has taken us nowhere. It is only a fool who will be doing the same thing over and over and expect a different result.”