Dear PDP Party leaders,
As a follow up to my last publication when the APC led Federal Government clocked one year in office, I called on Party leaders and Nigerians to start praying as things were getting worse at an alarming rate, within a very short time. As it is presently, in less than two years in office, many families have become so frustrated, that they now resort to begging to survive. Parents and children fall sick, monies for medical bills are unavailable, people resort to use of local herbs and concoctions, which in often times lead to more medical complications. Many (in thousands) are migrating to neighboring countries in search of survival. Youths with promising future are giving up hope on the country, the brain drain is alarming.
Frustration is seen on the faces of people in public places. Federal government allocations have so much dwindled that many states now have problems paying salaries, it had never been this bad. I was watching recently on one of the Cable Network Television Stations where Local government workers in Edo state are reportedly on strike now and protesting the non-payment of their salary areas for 20 months running, while pensioners in same Edo state are owed 42 months arrears. How do we expect them to survive, How do we expect parents to pay the school fees of their wards, children and sustain their families?
The APC government claimed to have recovered billions of Naira, from treasury looters, they promised to mention the names of those who looted Nigeria’s money, but failed. Nigerians are still waiting for the names of those who returned this money, and how much each, they returned. Despite all the billions of Naira claimed to have been returned, more than 33 states are short of funds to pay salaries of workers as at when due (1 Tim 5:18 ..the worker deserves his wages), it is very unfortunate that the federal government cannot see reason to pump this so called recovered money to the states so as to energize money in circulation, and encourage petty trading and businesses which are dying, at an alarming rate. In a recent lecture delivered by Dr. (Barr.) Femi Aborishade to Civil Society Organizations, during Chief Gani Fawehinmi’s annual memorial colloquium, he raised feared that, perhaps the money is only recovered, so as to be re-looted, because it is not circulated back into the economy, and people are dying.
A year and a half ago, Nigerians had high hopes in President Muhammadu Buhari’s APC government and its acclaimed mantra of anti-corruption crusade, but 15 months into the administration, it is now evident that the anti-corruption crusade is only a charade, an agenda targeted at suppressing opposition members and perceived enemies; an agenda which does not affect any saint or devil, for as long as you are in the APC. Can we imagine a case of the recent Budget Padding allegations, leveled against the Speaker, and members of the House of Representatives? A case as sensitive as this? Which have become a National and International discuss, giving impetus to the “fantastically corrupt” label given to Nigeria by the former British Prime Minister. Surprisingly, The National Secretariat of the APC, rather than refer this matter to the statutory bodies put in place for such high level corruption matters, decided on dexterous moves to sweep the matter under the carpet. That exposes the hypocrisy of the entire Government’s anti-corruption propaganda. Nigerians now know that this Government is not one that can fight corruption, as they promised Nigerians. The Government is only fighting corruption in the media, people are tired. Nigerians are asking, “Na so so anti-corruption we go chop?” what Nigerians need is a viable economy, incidentally, propaganda on media, cannot manage an economy. The positive or negative effects of managing an economy will be felt by “food on the table”, and abundant life for the citizenry. As it is at the moment, unequivocally, there is no food on the table of Nigerians.
Few months after the assumption of office of President Muhamadu Buhari, the Naira began to fall at the parallel market, economy started dipping without control, Inflation rates today are the highest ever in Nigeria. Many families have been turned to beggars, prominent Nigerians lamenting. The APC Government appears confused in office. It will be remembered that in the last Holy Ghost Congress, Pastor E.A Adeboye of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG told the story of a woman recently in Osogbo, who was making Amala on fire at the kitchen in the backyard of their house, she went into the house to pick up some cooking utensils, only to return to find out that the Amala has disappeared on fire. As she was looking for it, along with some neighbours, they found another woman (a neighbor) and her children, eating the Amala together with her children, without soup, but with ordinary water. Amazed at seeing a family eating the stolen Amala with ordinary water, she was moved in compassion, rather than taking the matter up, she went back to bring soup, and gave it to them. Things have become so bad. This brings me to Rev. Fr. Mbaka’s recent outburst, on Sunday 31st July 2016, on the state of the nation (He was an ardent supporter of the change mantra in the build up to the April 2015 presidential election), where he said “..there is hunger everywhere. My job is to tell leaders the truth, the landlords are crying, the tenants are lamenting, sellers are crying, buyers are lamenting- there is hunger on the streets…. President should know that there is trouble – if things continue like this”. He continued, saying “..there is suffering everywhere, people are suffering. To feed is now a problem, a hungry man is an angry man. Hunger and anger, will lead to danger.. Hunger is everywhere, many neighbours don’t eat again, many are being attacked by hunger, hunger is becoming a normal thing, and there are people responsible for this. Mortuary and ambulance business is now thriving because people cannot afford drugs….. Everyday, more pipelines are being blown, the Avengers are at work and up till now, there is no solution. You know when certain things begin to happen; you begin to ask some questions, somebody like me will begin to ask- when will this end? If it continues in the next three months, there will be no money to pay salaries- the vicious effect is disastrous, and when salaries cannot be paid, teachers will come home, students will stop going to school, there will be more kidnapping, more hooliganism, more armed robbery, more prostitution, immorality will be on the increase. Before you know it, people will begin to lose hope, and it will affect their faith in God, because they will begin to ask God, why? God, where are you? That is where I am concerned, when it affects the faith of the people”. Fr Mbaka equally bemoaned the continuous depreciation of the value of the naira, that there is a red light blinking on the country’s horizon. Hmmmm.
In the Volume I of “A Clarion call for prayers and action” I tasked Nigerians, especially PDP party leaders, to start calling on God in prayers, as all indices shows that the country has no economic direction, the citizens are left without any safety net or comprehensive economic program to alleviate their sufferings, things are going from bad to worse, the pains and hopelessness for the ordinary Nigerians continue to deepen, and precariously, there is no end in sight. I referred us to Holy Books of Surat Ghafir, verse 60: “And call upon me in the day of trouble; I shall rescue you, and you shall honour me..” and Ps 50:15 “Call unto me in the day of trouble..” today, apart from the fact that businesses are winding up due to unstable economic conditions, jobs are lost daily, family incomes are dwindling (even many family’s income have stopped entirely) the sour realities show that prices of essential commodities have increased at astronomical rates and government appears practically helpless, citizens are now like orphans without a home. Kerosine which used to be sold at N83 per liter is now N230, 12.5kg Cooking gas which used to be N2,500 now sells for N4000, Electricity tariff has increase by over 100%, Petrol increased officially from N87 to N145, a Rubber bowl of Garri from N80 to N250, A bag of Rice increased from N7,000 to N18,000, and so many, numerous to count. People have returned to packing saw-dust to cook, because they can no longer afford kerosene. The situation is serious, the masses who carry the weight feel the pains, and they are dying. Chai! This “change” na trouble oo!!
The sufferings under this APC led government is too much, the deception about fighting corruption does not sell anymore. People are dying, the government is just acting like an Ostrich hiding its head, but its whole body is outside. Nigerians are not persuaded by these selective “anti-corruption” drama and media trials.
We thank God that the crime rate in Ondo State is at a low ebb because a lot of things that the Government has put in place to lessen the burdens of the people, viz-a-viz the Mother & Child Hospitals where free Medical Services are given to our pregnant women till delivery, even Caesarean section (operations) , Free Bus Shuttle which take all our primary and secondary school students to school in the morning and return them home, free of charge, Neighbourhood Markets where government built comfortable and well equipped markets all over the major markets centre in the state to support our local traders, Wealth Creation Agency WECA, where government set up four Agro-business cities across the state to train our youths and young graduates in contemporary Agricultural practices and encourage them to be economically stable, independent and productive. Eto Igbe Ayo (Free Food) program, where government distributes free food to our women in the state to cushion the effect of this unfavourable economic situation that we suddenly find ourselves in Nigeria and other “Caring heart” programs/policies put in place by the Government. Even in this situation of dwindled allocations that has affected the payment of salaries, the weight of the sufferings would have been much, as it is, presently in neighbouring states like Edo state, Oyo state, Osun state, Imo State etc.
This country is gradually sliding back to 1983/1984 when Nigerians were queuing to buy essential commodities like Sugar, Milk, Rice, Vegetable Oil, Salt etc. the experience of 1983/1984 must not return.
Nigerians! All hands must be on deck, we need prayers, prayers, prayers and decisive actions.
Special Adviser to the Governor of Ondo State
On Political and Mobilization matters.