Sometimes I sit hand on chin wondering the kind of change the All Progressives Congress clamour for. In a few weeks, Nigerians will be going to the polls to elect their leaders and, of course, the most powerful man to lead Nigeria again in the coming years. Apart from the major contenders for the nation’s plum job under the platform of the ruling People’s Democratic Party and the All Progressives Congress there are other registered political parties whose candidates will be slugging it out with the duo of President Jonathan and Mr. Buhari.
I have lived here in the West for over two decades and have cautiously and comparatively observed and followed the politics that obtains on this part of the globe. Nigeria’s problem is none other than unity. Nigeria is a country that is polarized into two competing ideological positions unlike here in the West where every region or province sees itself as one indivisible country and fights doggedly via good governance to better the people’s lots notwithstanding the huge divide between the parties in the country. Leaders in these countries come together and put the country’s interest first and unite to fight the common enemy such as poverty, unemployment and a host of other maladies. In Nigeria, however we are involved in a senseless power tussle, the Hausas/Fulanis like Oliver Twist bitterly want a return of power to the region no matter whose ox is gored, the Yorubas always want to be hugely represented at the helm and in the absence of this employs every means including propaganda and unholy alliance to pull down the regime. That is what obtains in Nigeria today.
It is not in dispute that Nigeria’s President Jonathan deserves a pat on the back as a good manager of the economy. Never in the history of Nigeria have we experienced this tremendous economic growth. We have it on good authority however that after a rebasing calculation of the GDP last year we came from behind and displaced South Africa to become Africa’s largest economy and a few days ago we were ranked as the third fastest growing economy in the world in a country that is battling insurgency under a President faced with distractions here and there.
I feel constrained to ask this question under the existing circumstances. What kind of change does APC clamour for? Is it for a better economy? Are they talking about unemployment, insecurity or corruption? Frankly, I do not understand. In terms of security of lives and property, I adjure APC leaders to tell their foot soldiers to lay down their arms to enable peace return to the north east in particular and Nigeria, in general. Agreed there is huge unemployment in the country today but it is a thousand pities that the allocations to states are often diverted by some governors who have chosen to make their states economic backwater all in a bid to brainwash their partisans that the government at the centre is not doing well enough to better the lots of the citizenry. Rotimi Amaechi is a case in point who has been bankrolling APC campaign with the federal allocations to Rivers State which would have otherwise been used to provide service infrastructures.
Lagos State has a huge debt profile which is the biggest in the country that runs into trillions of Naira. Where was this money spent considering the infrastructural decay in the state? Has there been an equitable development in Lagos State considering the infrastructural decay to justify the massive debt burden it is saddled with? It is not under contention that these monies were misappropriated and stolen by certain overlords who now own half of Lekki axis while ordinary Lagosians thrive in dirt and dirty surroundings.
Everybody wants to feel important and tender non-existent reason for wanting to ‘rule’ and not to lead because there is nothing they basically want to do to transform the economy that the sitting President is not doing. His achievements are unparalleled in spite of the distraction being orchestrated by a tiny evil minority to humiliate him out of office. What developmental strides have been recorded in the states they control that they want to see replicated at the centre? Frankly, I see none on the ground but heinous propaganda to totally discredit this present administration under President Jonathan.
It is very unfortunate that some Nigerians are ignorant of the antics of the calibre of men in Nigeria’s mainstream opposition party who parade themselves as agents of change. They are bent on returning us to the to the proverbial vicious circle when we are already galloping ahead of other countries around the globe in the race to become one of the world’s largest economies in the coming years. Had they rallied round President Jonathan without malice aforethought in his dogged determination to move Nigeria forward, it is not under contention that Nigeria would have now been on a par with other high-income economies around the world.
Today, I am surprised APC has been using their propaganda machine to indoctrinate their partisans and followers that the figures and ratings released and reported above are a bundle of lies. I wonder if President Jonathan controls the World Bank or IMF! What changes are they hoping to bring about that would surpass this great economic feat recorded by President Jonathan’s administration? Is it in education? No! Is it in agriculture? No! It is on record today that Nigeria has an aggro-thriving economy. President Jonathan doubtless took an unprecedented step in this which has yielded fruitful dividends. I am compelled to ask yet again; APC; what change do you clamour for?
Iyoha John Darlington, aka Lington Donovan is a social activist, political analyst and public commentator on national and global issues.