We’ve Rea­sons to Cel­e­brate 2 Years in Power – APC

Sunday Trust - - FRONT PAGE - By Muideen Olaniyi & Saawua Terzungwe

The Na­tional Pub­lic­ity Sec­re­tary of the rul­ing All Pro­gres­sives Congress (APC), Malam Bo­laji Ab­dul­lahi, says the gov­ern­ment and the party have rea­sons to cel­e­brate if the sit­u­a­tion of Nige­ria is looked at “closely”.

Ab­dul­lahi, in an in­ter­view with jour­nal­ists yes­ter­day in Abuja said Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari promised to fo­cus on three key is­sues; fight against in­se­cu­rity, a re­newed bat­tle against cor­rup­tion and em­ploy­ment.

The APC spokesman said there might be temp­ta­tion to say that noth­ing had been achieved be­cause of the dif­fi­cul­ties be­ing ex­pe­ri­enced by Nige­ri­ans.

He, how­ever, said that the fact that no part of the coun­try was now un­der the Boko Haram group which has also re­leased over 100 among the Chi­bok girls kid­napped three years ago, was wor­thy of cel­e­bra­tion.

He said cor­rup­tion, which had been con­sid­ered a ‘nor­mal’ prac­tice in the past, is now be­ing tack­led head-on as more achieve­ments are be­ing recorded fol­low­ing in­tro­duc­tion of the whis­tle-blower pol­icy by the fed­eral gov­ern­ment.

He said, “Two years down the line, what is the size of Nige­ria ter­ri­tory oc­cu­pied by Boko Haram? Zero, in­clud­ing the dreaded Sam­bisa for­est. For us, this is a re­mark­able achieve­ment and we be­lieve that in that re­spect, Pres­i­dent Buhari and the gov­ern­ment of APC have jus­ti­fied the pur­pose of com­ing to power. “Yes, many of the Chi­bok girls are still in cap­tiv­ity, but some of them have been re­cov­ered and more are still be­ing re­cov­ered.

“For the par­ents of those re­cov­ered, you can­not tell them there is no rea­son to cel­e­brate. For those who had to aban­don their fam­i­lies and homes two years ago be­cause of the men­ace of Boko Haram and have re­turned home to­day, you can­not tell them that there is noth­ing to cel­e­brate.

“Let us take the is­sue of cor­rup­tion .... you hear peo­ple talk­ing about whistle­blow­ers, peo­ple talk about huge amount of money be­ing re­cov­ered, peo­ple be­ing dragged be­fore the court and for­mer gov­er­nors be­ing re­manded in prison cus­tody for cor­rupt prac­tices. You hear about for­mer min­is­ters be­ing held in de­ten­tion and prison for cor­rup­tion. Th­ese are things that were al­most im­pos­si­ble two years ago. The chal­lenges are still there, but this is the progress we have made in two years.

“For us, we would also like to ar­gue that there is the ten­dency to look at the APC from the per­spec­tive of the fed­eral gov­ern­ment. But the per­for­mance of the APC as a party is the ag­gre­gate of the per­for­mance of our 24 state gov­ern­ment. You go to each of our 24 states and you will find out from the peo­ple the progress that has been made in two years in those re­spec­tive states.

“So, when you want to as­sess whether the APC has de­liv­ered or has jus­ti­fied our be­ing in ex­is­tence, then you have to look at the to­tal­ity of the fed­eral gov­ern­ment and the 24 states that are be­ing gov­erned by the APC. So, we be­lieve that we have a lot of rea­sons to cel­e­brate. The re­al­ity which we have ac­knowl­edged is that the eco­nomic re­ces­sion has cre­ated dif­fi­culty and those hard­ships still ex­ist and no­body has ever de­nied that re­al­ity.” To tackle the chal­lenge of youth un­em­ploy­ment, Ab­dul­lahi said it re­quired a new and com­pre­hen­sive ap­proach.

“You hear about NPower which is what is be­ing done at the mo­ment among oth­ers. Like I said, un­less we go back to the na­ture of our ed­u­ca­tion that re­tools young peo­ple for a dif­fer­ent kind of oc­cu­pa­tion, we will con­tinue to deal with this. So, I be­lieve that it is not some­thing that we can say we have solved in two years.

“It is a prob­lem that needs to be dealt with, but when you are op­er­at­ing an econ­omy in re­ces­sion, it is even more dif­fi­cult to man­age the im­pact that some of th­ese things can have. But you will agree with me that if the Pres­i­dent promised three things and he has de­liv­ered well on two and he still has two years to go, I think he has done well,” he said.

The act­ing spokesman for the Sen­a­tor Ali Modu Sher­iff-led Peo­ples Demo­cratic Party (PDP), Bernard Mikko, told Daily Trust on Sun­day, that the APC-led gov­ern­ment per­formed well in some ar­eas but failed in other ar­eas.

“On the war against cor­rup­tion, the pres­i­dent has per­formed above av­er­age; on fight against in­sur­gency in the North East, the ad­min­is­tra­tion has recorded an in­creas­ing progress from the past ad­min­is­tra­tion.

“But the claim on the achieve­ment on econ­omy ap­pears to be more po­lit­i­cal and pas­sive, con­sid­er­ing the con­flict­ing re­ports from the pres­i­dency and the Fed­eral Bureau of Sta­tis­tics and even the Na­tional Assem­bly.

“We urge the elec­torate to hold po­lit­i­cal lead­ers at all lev­els; from lo­cal, state and fed­eral gov­ern­ment to ac­count for their years of stew­ard­ship,” he said.

The spokesman of the PDP Na­tional Care­taker Com­mit­tee, Prince Dayo Adey­eye, could not be reached at the time of fil­ing this re­port.

Photo: IKECHUKWU IBE

A march past by pri­mary school pupils to mark Chil­dren’s Day cel­e­bra­tion at Kiyi in Kuje Area Coun­cil of the FCT yes­ter­day

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