By Shaka Momodu
The last 16 years also witnessed the deepening of our democracy, the emergence of a truly independent INEC, and the opening up of the political space. That political space that expanded tremendously in the last 16 years and led to the rise of the APC is sadly now narrowing in just one year of the party in power. Is it not instructive that the four major elections conducted so far have been mischievously inconclusive?
The list of achievements is inexhaustive as one can go on and on, but for space constraint.
In the 16 years of ‘waste” and “rot”, Nigeria grew its economy from a pariah credit-risk status with foreign investors fleeing, to Africa’s biggest.
The APC had in reaction to the rebasing of the country’s GDP in 2014, described it as an orchestrated distraction and a mindless public relations gimmick. “The federal government has only succeeded in opening itself to ridicule. This is because if ever there was a clear play at oxymoron, this was it: the largest economy with the largest population of the poor, the largest economy with the largest population of unemployed, the largest economy with the largest population of citizens living in darkness, and the largest economy with the worst infrastructure,” the party concluded. I could hardly believe that statement when I read it. Even though the rebasing was based on facts and figures. It was about Nigeria’s progress and yet the APC was mocking it with such derogatory language just for political gains. What did its jarring supporters do? They celebrated and mocked the rebasing too.
In the last 15 years of the nation’s so-called “16 years of rot and waste,” the country’s GDP was on growth trajectory. Is it not ironic that it was in that period of “rot” that JP Morgan, one of the world’s biggest financial institutions, listed Nigeria on its key emerging markets bond index? Same as Barclay’s flagship bond index and Morgan Stanley frontier emerging markets index. In the last 10 months, two of these powerful financial institutions have evicted Nigeria from their indexes with the third set to follow suit.
One year after the party assumed office, all its statements are still emotive and sentimental devoid of reason and logic. Instead of settling down to work, it has chosen to continue on the path of playing politics with everything. It has blamed the PDP endlessly for the rot in the country. It has declared anyone with a contrary view from its own as corrupt or sponsored. Lai Mohammed responding to critics once said: “Sponsored articles have started appearing in the newspapers and on the social media while ‘Talking Heads’ have started making the rounds in the electronic media, all deriding the fight against corruption as well as this administration. Not stopping there, they have been creating distractions by sponsoring articles in both local and international media to deride the administration’s policies generally, tagging the president a budding dictator and even write off his 2016 budget.”
The question now is: when will the APC start taking responsibilities or accepting blame for its actions or inaction? It does not have an eternity to deliver on promises it made to the people. The “rot” mantra for 2019 will not work.
Let me remind the party of the time-tested aphorism: conscience is an open wound, only the truth can heal it, so said Uthman Dan Fodio. The Bible also tells us that “you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free”. Let the APC acknowledge and embrace the truth, and it shall be set free.