APC: The Road To Prosperity Abdulkadir S. Abdulkadir
Once upon a time, PDP played home to almost all the good and most vibrant politicians living side by side the worst and most corrupt politicians who by far outnumbered the good ones. These plus other factors gave them an upper hand as making a strong opposition was near impossible. According to their predictions, being the strongest party in Africa they can rule at the central government for over 50 years. All these changed with the emergence of APC as the PDP lost relevance in Governors’ forum and at a time lost the majority at the lower chamber of the national assembly and many Nigerians greeted the new party as it offers a long awaited alternative to the ruling party.
The difference between the APC and the PDP has been a question even before the APC put up a party structure. Precisely, it started when the APC chose to romance prominent PDP leaders calling them to join the progressive movement through which they got 5 of the G7 PDP governors together with the Baraje led faction of the PDP (New PDP). My answer had always been, “they are the best of the PDP”, though not all the best left the PDP for APC.
Upon the presentation of the APC Manifesto which they presented as a New Nigeria Road Map to Prosperity, the PDP started speaking in tunes they themselves do not understand. The party’s mouthpiece, Mr. Metuh starts his critics by accusing the APC of copying their manifesto and later described it as wishy-washy with Janjaweed ideology. Worth of placement here is, if APC copied the PDP’s manifesto, then the duo are of Janjaweed ideology. And if its wishy-washy because the PDP could not realise or better to say, goes a million miles away from their manifesto, the opposition have already tested the workability of the manifesto is a product of policies applied in the APC states.
‘Security and Corruption’ are two sectors that this PDP administration displayed her pure lack of commitment, incompetence, and ill political will to address. Every Nigerian is now living with the fear of where the next bomb will explode or which villages is next on the series of attacks by unknown gun men and wholly lost confidence in government as regard fighting corruption.
The government at the centre also admited that their claimed economic development doesn’t translate to job creation. The fraudulent immigration recruitment where over 700,000 jobless youths paid to apply for less than 5000 job vacancies says it all. Till date, no one lost his job or faced a court of law for the recklessness and dubious excise that led to the death of over 20 innocent Nigerians.
As Nigeria is said to have over 16 million housing deficit, the federal government only last year of its 5 year of existence admited to this and added to their deceitful Transformation Agenda with target of 10, 000 housing units by December this year which may end up being a mirage like many other projects. The states under APC control are not building estates, instead, cities are shooting up on virgin lands to fill-in their housing deficit as the government at the centre prove ineffective.
APC can boast of having in their fold a war hero who gave his blood for the unity of Nigeria and protection of our borders against foreign forces; an incorruptible statesman who is known for his discipline, patriotism and principles. He is synonymous to ‘Anti-corruption’ and as claimed on many occasions, he served through the ranks of the military till he attained the rank of General, he was a governor of north-eastern state, Petroleum Minister, head of Petroleum Trust Fund and Head of Nigerian State but never stole a penny from the public treasury. After his training at the United States Army War College, the testimonial described Gen. Buhari as “a gentleman, a soft-spoken soldier, who preserved the ethics of the profession almost as a Quarter-Master-General. He would touch the tip of his cap in greeting for a lady, would never enter a room with his beret on. Always careful with his language, would smile at every joke and would never do anything to rock the boat”
Imo is indeed blessed with a son they can proudly say ‘their’s’. The philanthropist and business mogul cum politician whose humanitarian services cut across regional, tribal and religious boundaries is extending his gesture to the good people of his dear state. In a Rescue Mission Agenda he took to change the face of Imo, education, health, job creation, social welfare, roads and other social amenities have witnessed attention like never before. So far, 27 new general Hospitals and over 300 schools are being constructed. One of interest is a project he termed Youth Must Work, 25, 000 youths and counting are being enrolled. Free and qualitative education is not more a privilege but a right from primary to tertiary level in Imo state. Known with his spirit of reaching out to the poor, he created the Imo Foundation to help those with special financial need in the state. Although Imo is better, the altruist insists ‘Imo Must Be Better’.
Exemplary leaders like Gov. Aliyu Wamako who set a pace for the FG to follow in education as he allocated 22% of the state’s budget to educational sector (4% below UNESCO recommendation) as against 10 % by the FG of which 90% will be spent on recurrent expenditure. To ensure adequate priority is given to education, Wamako built, renovated and equiped over 30 secondary schools in the state and many primary schools with modern laboratory equipment and libraries. Education in the state is 100% free including purchase of WAEC and JAMB forms. His administration saw the recruitment of over 2000 qualified teachers into secondary, almajiri and tertiary institutions of the state. To complement the Usman Danfodio University, Sokoto State university is seeing a huge attention. The selfless servant leader empowered over a hundred thousand people most of which are women and youth. Till date, Sokoto can burst of over 600 roads constructed across the state. Ministry of health now have six additional general Hospitals. Women and children under the age of six are enjoying free medical care with customised drugs to avoid diversion.
Kano set the record of passing into law a budget that capital double recurrent expenditure and thus explain the mega infrastructural development across the state. Road constructions, expansion and rehabilitation are taking place all over the state with well interlocked pedestrian walk paths. Multiple fly-overs are being constructed to complement the roads expansion in easing transportation in the commercial city of Kano. Artisans in the state are too busy earning living as three cities are under construction and another town ‘China Town’ is on the drawing board. Over 600, 000 youth and women have been empowered as a second state university and 44 training and professional development institutions are being established. Thousands of under graduate and post graduate students are sponsored to study in various field of Science and technology, mathematics and medicine across the world. Those at home are enjoying free education from primary to tertiary level upon a proof of indigeneship.
The practical definition of democracy is in Lagos as the government communities members in a town hall meeting to choose for themselves what, how and when they want a particular project. A mega city and global business hub is coming out of the then State of Lagos with decayed and over stretched infrastructure and home to biggest and most dangerous criminals in Nigeria. The whole story changes as dreamers (Visionaries) with all the qualities of leaders and passion for putting their home state into a modern city compared to any in the world took charge of the state leadership since 1999. From Tinubu to Fashola led government is mega initiative after initiative that a book may not be enough to write them all. Their pet projects, Eko Atlantic City and Lekki Free Trade Zones are already gaining global attention as they have even before completion attracted over $10b in investments. Modern transport system including lite rail and ferry system are set to serve the mega cities. Another international airport is on the way to serve the new cities and complement the existing one. Roads, environmental sanitation, green areas, security, drainage networks to mention a few are benefited by all parts of the state. After hundreds already constructed roads over two hundred are in near completion now. Eko o ni baje oo.
Rotimi Ameachi assured the PDP in his state that he will invite them to ride with him on the city lite rail system before the end of his tenure. Rivers is witnessing massive infrastructural development with huge investment in education. Free and qualitative education is a right to every child in Rivers state. To de-congest the city capital and provide alternative business and residential space for residents, local and foreign investor, the state is building what they call ‘Greater Port Harcourt’ out of eight local governments of the state including the state capital to be served by modern amenities of global standard. Facilities will include befitting structure compared to anyone in the world for Rivers State University, olympic size sport complex and world class golf course among others, most of which are in completion stages. The good people of Rivers now know the difference between real transformation and having transformation as an agenda.
The stellar administration of Nasir Elrufai left a remarkable foot print that is yet to size any FCT minister till date. The anti-corruption crusader, brave and goal oriented minister restored the lost beauty of the capital city as designed and re-designed the administrative structure of the ministry that inspired the president to give him the head of civil service reform team. The accidental cum an erudite public servant created a healthier and more environmental friendly town through efficient waste management, fixing the sewage system and creation of green areas. Illegal structures of rich and poor, including that of the ruling party chairman and the opposition alike were pulled down and tens of thousands of mass housing were provided with decent amenities through public private partnership. To ensure that the cabals did not buy the whole of Abuja to themselves, he masterminded a mortgage system that ensures the ordinary civil servants own a decent house in Abuja. Land allocation was for the first and last time in the history of FCT dispensed on the basis of first-come-first-serve. He modernised the transport system and initiated the Abuja lite rail project which was annulled by Yar’adua administration only to deny him the credit. After being re-visited by Yar’adua, the Abuja lite rail is only 20% complete till date. Abuja is now another looting pipe and one of the most corruption laden sectors.
To expect perfection in a whole of party members is mere delusion but one should not fail to appreciate the imperfections of the party if the good out-weighs the bad with clear margin. In the case of party like APC where most of party leaders were public servants with impressive records, portrayed good sense of purpose and patriotism in service to their fatherland they can say with all sense of responsibility that the present administration has failed. Some of the bad eggs are already telling the world their true folds by decamping to the PDP to enjoy waiver on corruption charges against them or political appointments. The progressive leaders do not only share ideology, they also have in common, passion, vision, and unflinching love for their country and above all, borrowing words from the legendary Chief Obafemi Awolowo, ‘decent radicals’. Nonetheless, to say the line between the opposition and the ruling party is as thick as Great Wall of Lagos is an understatement. We dare the PDP to present from their fold people that can stand to be compared with the aforementioned.
God bless Nigeria and Nigerians.
Abdulkadir S. Abdulkadir wrote from Lagos Nigeria. Can be reached on twitter @abdul003
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