Buhari Has Given Nigerians Negative Change – Fasehun | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Buhari Has Given Nigerians Negative Change – Fasehun

Posted: Sep 8, 2015 at 1:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Dr. Fredrick Fasehun, founder, Odua People’s Congress (OPC) has scored the first 100 days of APC’s government of President Muhammadu Buhari very low. In this interview with AUGUSTINE ADAH; he speaks about the failure of the government and other national issues. Excerpts:

The APC government is just 100 days in office, looking at the promise made during campaigns, do you think the party has  done well within the  first 100 days in office ?



The APC government has not been fair to Nigerians, they made Nigerians expectant because of the various promises they made. They promised that within two months, the Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria would fizzle away, the electricity failure would be a thing of the past, the economy would be rejuvenated, but all these have not been kept within the promised period. They made change their swear song but unfortunately, the change has been in a negative form. The Boko Haram is still waging stronger and the girls they took away are still in their custody. There have not been change at all and for over three months now Nigeria has been without a government. Ours is a presidential system of government,  we did not want anybody to be a sole administrator,  Buhari has been the sole administrator of Nigeria for over three months now. There is no federal executive council,  the National Assembly is in shamble with members quarrelling every day and the president has been behaving as if he is the president of one section of the country. Those he has so far appointed to serve in the government come from one section 0 the country. But he owes the constitution a great debt because the constitution prescribes federal character in appointments and he has not complied with that constitutional provision. He is the sole administrator and he is running a solo government, unfortunately Nigerians are very long suffering people, they have not called his attention to the promise made. Obviously, if the government has no programme for the first 100 days in office, then  the people cannot expect anything from that government .  I don’t know if you can still remember, the APC  said that Buhari would come down and start running and now Buhari has jump the ground and he is still looking here and there to find out which direction he has to run. This is not fair to Nigerians at all.

Talking about the appointments made so far, we are told that the president would consider other zones in the next appointments…. (Cut in)

Why should a country be governed for more than 100 days without ministers?  It is very inimical to good economy, who would want to come and invest in a country that is govern by an individual?.

If anybody wants to come and invest with the country, it is the ministers they would meet.  If anybody wants to buy oil whom did he discuss with? It is the minister of petroleum.  We have not been told that Buhari is an all rounder; he needs other people to work with him. We hope and pray that the situation would not continue with the way things are going at the moment for long. ******What is happening has portrayed the country in a bad light; it is showing to the outside world that every Nigerian is a criminal. For three months he is still searching and has not found people that are competent to be appointed as cabinet members*****. It is a bad reflection of the character of Nigerians that a country with over 170 million people, the president cannot find about 37 persons to be appointed from each state and FCT.

Do you believe Buhari is selective in the fight against corruption?

I do, and that is why I said that if we want to have a probe, let us know and if it is witch hunting, let us know too. Unless he want to tell us that he knows the government that is not corrupt. If he can hit his chest and say I know the government that is not corrupt then he should probe all of them, if he chooses one or two for probe, then he is  involved in witch-hunting.  We were told that nothing was left in the treasury and yet for 100 days the machinery of  government has been working and has been dishing out money for bail out to states. Let Nigerian leaders rule the country with honesty. Where do we get the money for bail out to states if Jonathan has spent all the money as we were made to believe.  Now the electricity supply is a bit better  but is it the day this government came to power that it was able to pay contractors and things started working the way it is?  Government is a continuous process.                 

I  don’t think we are enjoying relative power supply because Buhari is in office, he is not a magician. I think it was Bola Tinubu that said sometimes ago that the president would not perform magic. We don’t expect any of them to perform magic but we expect all of them to serve the country very well.

OPC threatened to take appropriate action over non-payment of the pipeline contract executed, have you been able to resolve the issue by now?

No, the issue has not been resolved and government is not giving an indication that he is ready to resolve the matter. May be we were being stupid to have accepted the contract without mobilization but, Nigerians were in a hurry to stop pipelines vandalisation that has resulted in the loss of oil. I personally, put over 4,000 staff between Mosinmi and Oyo State and nobody gave us a kobo, we bought vehicles, generators and other items to mobilize the people.   For three months that we executed the contract we were not paid a kobo from the government and the contract agreement stated that each staff would receive about N1500 per day which if you consider how much an Okada rider earns in a day, you would not consider that to be anything because majority of those boys were graduates. We  completed the contract  since June 15 and now we in September without payment. For a government that wants its youths to be  employed and now refused to pay for a menial job of this nature is cruel and wicked without principle. Mind you the government wants to make a dent on employment and if somebody has worked for three months and stayed for another  four months without payment then how  do you guarantee security? People say that a hungry stomach is an angry mind and this action is part of what has contributed to insecurity in the country.  The government did promise to provide for security of lives and property yet it has subjected these youths to hunger,  it is a paradox, a government that promise to provide security of lives and property  yet subjecting its youths to such pains and hunger is cruel and wicked and does not worth its name.

Do you intend to take appropriate action if the government continues to pay deaf ear to your appeal and plea?

We will take appropriate action because there is limit to human patient. My people in the first month accused me of collecting money from the government and subjecting them to such dehumanising condition, but it took me hours to convince them that I did not receive anything from the government at that time. You remember when UPN came on board; there was APC leader, Lai Mohammed who accused me of collecting about N2.8b from the government for a pipelines contract and  I called him a liar that time. Maybe his government wants to confirm that I called him a liar because we were not paid anything throughout the three months duration of the contract and barely four months after we left the site the situation has not changed. May be the APC government is making it a deliberate policy of not paying the money  despite the bogus lie they told the whole Nigerians and the whole world that N2.8billion was paid to Dr. Fredrick Fasehun. About 25,000 staff was involved in the contract that cut across the country. It is very unfair and cruel for any government to do this to its citizenry. These boys were subjected to attack by wild animals, reptiles, snakes and other risks while the contract lasted. I went round the pipelines that time and discovered that these boys were drinking garri for 11 days.  I had to apologized to them that it was my fault for not insisting on collecting mobilization fee before commencing the contract.

Do you attribute the non-chalant attitude of the government to non-appointment of minister of petroleum?

Yes, that is why I said that administrator should not govern a country that is heavily populated as Nigeria, because they keep on doing what their minds dictate to them and not listen to their conscience.

Do you foresee the coming together of opposition parties like what happened in the case of APC before 2019?

I foresee it, because everybody that was expecting change has not seen it except for the negative. When Jonathan was in office, a bag of rice was sold for N6, 500, now it is being sold for N15, 000, where is the alleviation of poverty? They promised to guarantee security in the country but I tell you now go to a party with your jewelry on, criminals would snatch it immediately and you can’t dare  challenge them. All their promises has failed, the National Assembly came in and turn the place to a battle ring.  Probably, that is the change they promised to the country.  I am tempted to think that the crisis at National Assembly is politically motivated, may be the president is saying  let them not have peace so that he would continue to have his ways  and govern as administrator.      

There have been criticisms especially by PDP over the appointment of Amina Zakari as INEC acting chairperson, why do you think it is so?

Women if  entrusted with key  positions all over the world have  done well as we can seen in UK, Liberia, Pakistan and even in Nigeria, we have some women that were appointed into key positions and did very well. We have people like Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, late Dora Akunyili, Oby Ezekwesili  just to mention a few. However the case against Zakari has nothing to do with her competence. I think the grouse against her is about her closeness to the president which some people are afraid may not allow her to do the job as expected.