In his characteristic bluntness, the National Leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) Bola Tinubu on Wednesday in Washington DC, United States (U.S.) told an elite audience of scholars, academics, advisors, researchers and members of the business community that Nigeria was being crippled by the rudderless leadership at the federal level.
The former Lagos State governor stated this while delivering a speech titled “The Role of the Opposition in meeting Nigeria’s challenges.”
He berated President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, saying if elections were to be conducted in the country today that the President would lose.
He said that President Jonathan’s errant policies have awakened Nigerians to the grave mistake they made when they handed him the staff of office. “If an election were held today, Jonathan would not win. To all Nigerians, his administration has been a disappointment. If it continues as it is, they will come to see it as a manifold disaster.
“By his policies; political and economic, the people believe he has turned his back on them, that he has broken the contract between the government and the governed. If given a viable alternative, they are more than ready to turn their back on him and his party. The opposition now is ready to provide that alternative.
“Political competition in Nigeria is no longer primarily driven by personal rivalry or ethnic considerations. Democratic policy and principle drive the politics of my party. On one side, there stands the PDP and its governing aristocracy. Their vision for the nation is neither caring nor democratic. Their vision is to impress the vast majority into the service of small elite. They seek a Nigeria that is modern in appearance yet quasi-medieval in the relationship between the governing elite and the governed masses,” Tinubu said.
The ACN leader however urged that Nigerians must not give up hope in the face of bad governance at the centre and the insecurity unleashed on the land by extremist group, Boko Haram. “I assure you that the challenges we now face is a passing phase and Nigeria will overcome. We are not known to be fundamentalists. Nigeria will overcome the Boko Haram menace,” Tinubu told the audience as he warned that that victory will however not come cheap.
According to him, “government must be ready to tackle the root cause of this type of radicalism, provide jobs for the people, ensure that intelligence gathering is excellent and lead with courage and vision.”
Tinubu noted: “Nigeria is fast becoming one of the most dangerous places on earth. The stories of militia killings, brutal attacks and bombings we thought were restricted to Afghanistan, Iraq or Somalia are now daily fare in Nigeria. In Boko Haram, Nigeria confronts a creeping, low-grade, brutal insurgency. These extremists oppose more than the current administration; they threaten Nigerian democracy. Large parts of the country now lie outside the authority and control of the Federal Government.”