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Former Minister of Special Duties and Inter-governmental Affairs during former President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration and a member Board of Trustees (BoT) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Bar. Kabiru Tanimu Turaki has assessed the current administration under President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressive Congress (APC) and averred that whoever that will take over form next year will start from the scratch in terms of economy, security and even the anti corruption war.
In an interview, he said “I think these three issues you have raised are the campaign issues that were formulated by APC in 2015 election. They promised to improve the economy, fight corruption and provide security to protect lives and property of Nigerians”.
“By the time they realised that the economy under PDP had done very well, they dropped that as an issue. But today, it has become an issue. It has become an issue because APC has performed very badly in the management of Nigerian economy.
According to him, “PDP handed over the economy that was rated as number one in Africa, the fastest growing economy in Africa. Nigeria alongside China, was the two most investors’ havens in the world. More investors were anxious to invest in Nigeria. Also investors who invested in the country were diversifying their investments. But today, they are looking for other places where their investments will be protected.
While recalling that the PDP tried to have the middle class, Turaki argued that “PDP had given young persons and women a lot of opportunities not only to get employed, but also to establish their business ventures. They have given opportunity to become what they want to be. We had been able to, through a well –organised management of the economy to make Nigerians who initially never believed in Nigeria, to begin to come back to Nigeria to work and assist in the development of Nigeria”.
“They also brought their hard-earned money and invested into the country. These things don’t happen now. When you talk about insecurity, in 2015, APC was more concerned with the issue of the insurgency in the North East. I am talking about the three frontline states of Yobe, Borno and Adamawa. PDP was able to ensure that there was security for elections conducted in 774 local government areas in Nigeria. We did it. So, we were on the verge of bringing to a total end the issue of insurgency in the North East.
“What we have today is that APC government has failed to conclude what PDP had started. There was a lot of reversal. Every day, we hear of killings either in Yobe, Adamawa or Taraba States. Worse still, the government keeps on telling lies that Boko Haram has been technically defeated. Then came other forms of insecurity that were not there in the past. The issue of banditry in Katsina State, Zamfara, Kaduna, was not in these states before now. The issue of conflicts between herdsmen and farmers which is happening in the North Central of this country, and some States like Adamawa, Taraba, thereby killing so many people and destroying a lot of property. This was unknown before.
“Then came the issue of kidnapping. It has become so notorious that nobody is safe anywhere. We are not safe in the house, in the streets, work places. It was no like that in the past. We now have the problem of restiveness in the Niger Delta, which PDP government through well-organised productive and positive programmes was able to calm the restiveness. We were able to address this issue through vocational training, educational training, and other people-orientated programmes.
“We have been able to make positive impacts on the lives of the people there. Apart from these, there are now house-breaking thefts, among others. As far as security issue is concerned, this government has performed below average. If they are sincere to themselves, they will know that they have performed below average. I don’t blame President Buhari for this. I rather blame those who work for him. They are not assisting him. When you win election and you bring people to work with you, it is expected that this people will be honest, transparent, add value to your government. What is happening today is that all the people Buhari has brought to assist him in this government are not helping him. At the end of the day, the buck still stops at his table. I sympathise with Buhari.
“This is the reason why Buhari should have done cabinet re-shuffle long time before now to inject new blood into his government. Members of his Federal Executive Council, Service Chiefs, and others working for him, have failed him. Ultimately, who is Nigerians going to hold responsible? It is the person that they gave mandate to. That is Mr. President.
Speaking on the fight against corruption, the former minister argued that “When you look at his war against corruption, it is neither here or there. It is because this war against corruption is more like a witch-hunt of the members of the opposition parties”.
“You steal money even with empirical evidence, you move to APC or you are a member of APC, you become a saint. People tried to persuade you to come to APC, and you refused, tomorrow, they will start to witch-hunt you. The person is tried on the pages of newspapers and you are vilified, demystified and labeled as a looter. All these things that APC is doing to the leaders of APC, Nigerians are watching. There will be judgment of posterity and Nigerians are not fools. Nigerians have started to realise that the fight against corruption is nothing but a witch-hunt of PDP leaders. Arrest anybody you could, convict them on the pages of newspapers, and this will not affect the fortunes of PDP as far as 2019 elections are concerned.
“Indeed, Nigerians are resolute in the fact that they know what APC is doing. Certainly, Nigerians are not deceived by this deceit that APC is doing in the name of fighting corruption. When PDP was in power, a lot of PDP functionaries who were found to have engaged in corruption, were not only investigated but arraigned in court. No single APC member from May 29th, 2015 to date has either been investigated or arraigned before the court.
“Is it how to fight war against corruption? The President had sworn to the Constitution that he was going to do justice to all the people. We will ask Nigerians to judge the performance of APC led government,” Turaki thundered.