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The tasks ahead of APC-led government

Posted: Apr 8, 2015 at 10:45 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Ayo Oyoze Baje


A great victory is a great danger./ Human nature stands victory worse than it stands defeat. /Indeed, it seems easier to win such triumph than to prevent it from resulting in worse defeats./ For, victory corrupts and absolute victory corrupts absolutely.


To begin with, let me repeat here part of my opinion essay entitled: ‘The hurdles ahead of APC’ published in this same column on August 7, 2013. That was soon after it was registered by INEC. This is what I stated: ‘One sweet victory leads to a new set of challenges. While some of those hitches would be expected and easily surmounted, others could be completely unforeseen and daunting. That is one of life’s unwritten patterns.
‘One would therefore, want to admonish the prime movers of the newly registered All Progressives Congress (APC) to move beyond the euphoria and the clinking of glasses to get down to brass tasks. The top of the ladder, as the wise ones say is not meant for dancing.

Striving for electoral victory, especially in a complex political entity called Nigeria is serious business.’ Now that it has eventually clinched the presidency, the real test of the party’s capability and capacity to make the promised ‘change’ a reality steers it on the face.
Truth be told, any Nigerian who believes that Buhari has the magic wand to pronto, do away with the persisting challenges of mass youth employment, insecurity and the contentious issue of corruption must be living in a fool’s paradise.

Our economy is on a tail spin. The price of crude oil, our main source of revenue is plummeting daily in the international market. Revenue from alternative sources such as agriculture, solid minerals and tourism will take time to be meaningful. Federal and state debts are on the high side. As for corruption, it has many colours. And his government will require a revolutionary change of mindset of us all; to sacrifice our selfish whims and caprices for the good of the state to succeed.

One other area of wastage of our national resources is the high cost of accessing political power which has to be done away with. Though his persona as an incorruptible patriot is a plus for the next administration, a tree, as the African proverb goes cannot make a forest.
Also, Buhari must be magnanimous in victory; to form an all-inclusive government at the centre, for now.

To do so, he should reach out to bring on board the best of brains and mind from across the country and even in the Diaspora. That is, irrespective of political persuasion, religion and ethnic background. As was evident during the public debate, some of the presidential candidates have exhibited uncommon knowledge with creative ideas on how to fix our multi-faceted, socio-political and infrastructural challenges. We cannot afford to do away with such talents. Not now.
In addition, elections form the solid foundation for the house of democracy to stand the test of time.

Since Nigerians have shown the world that they have firm belief in sustaining our hard-won democratic culture, the new administration must build on the noble legacy of free, fair and credible elections President Jonathan has bequeath our great nation. Several people called for the outright sack of Prof. Attahiru Jega but he did not do so. He had faith in him and good enough the man has excelled for the world to applaud. He should go forward with continuous voter education. The huge gap between the registered voters and those who actually took part in the polls reflects this. INEC should be more pro-active while projecting for the next set of elections, in terms of logistics, material needs as well as human capacity development. It should save the electorate the stress of waiting on end for their PVCs or getting accredited. It should therefore, go the way of India with electronic voting and accurate data base such that once a Nigerian is 18 he/she can get the PVC delivered at home or school.

There is no rocket science to this.
To have a peaceful tenure, Buhari should not dissipate his energy chasing after his political foes, no matter the pressure from his supporters. His focus should be on moving Nigeria forward. This throws up some pertinent questions. Can his administration make the paradigm shift, to influence the drastic cut- down on the salaries of public office holders? Even to have them paid based on the level of civil salary scale, as one has persistently clamoured for? Will he also retain some forward-looking programmes instituted by the outgoing government including agricultural transformation, power sector reforms, rail sector revitalization and massive road construction? There are others creating jobs for the youths such as Graduate Inter-ship Scheme(GIS) and YOU WIN. These questions have become necessary because frequent policy flip-flops through change in government have been the bane of our economic development.
Furthermore, Nigeria is still far cry from the nation of our collective dream because the foundation is faulty. The quasi-unitary system of government, with enormous politico-economic powers concentrated at the centre, which makes it compellingly attractive to virtually all the ethnic nationalities, is a persistent political albatross. This was glaringly reflected by the pattern of the voting at the just concluded presidential polls. What with the in-coming president, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari garnering more votes from his traditional Northern base and South-West(the usual poll swinger) and the incumbent President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan from the South-South and South-East axis.

]To move the country to the next level, Buhari should muster the rare political courage to see to the implementation of the Confab Report. Power must be devolved from the bloated centre. The era of political domination of any part of the country over the others has come and gone. The federating units should have their destinies in their hand; to have substantial control over their resources. This would elicit competition, fast track economic development, while bringing it closer to the grassroots. God bless Nigeria., 0805 797 1776