Of Boko Haram and APC

Th ere are several reasons why the Federal Government of the All Progressives Congress is retrogressing rather than developing Nigeria. Th e fundamental reasons include the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari to defeat rather than seek peace with Boko Haram. Count the costs in human lives and economic resources, and the war is still raging after more than two years of Buhari’s Presidency.

In relation to Buhari, one must mention also the onslaught of the Fulani herdsmen on crop farming communities, coupled with the fact that Buhari has for a long time been a patron of the herdsmen. Th at came to light when he went to confront Governor Lam Adesina in Ibadan about 15 years ago or so when some herdsmen were overpowered by some crop farmers in the Saki area of Oyo State. You would think the Fulani herdsmen became more daring since their patron became the President.

For those two reasons (war against Boko Haram and the Fulani herdsmen belligerency), Buhari is a liability and not an asset at all. Even his recovery of looted funds lacks head and tail. Yet, I initially saw him as an asset and even canvassed for him gratis until I saw his campaign poster: “I will defeat Boko Haram”. What is the sin of Boko Haram? Who did Boko Haram attack before it was attacked by the Presidency of Umaru Yar’Adua/Goodluck Jonathan? Why must Nigeria’s rulers engage in “might is right” approach to power and how can that bring about peace and progress?

All of the foregoing explains why the APC and Buhari have failed so far. Another fundamental reason is the abandonment of Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s welfarist approach to power by Senator Bola Tinubu and his boys, coupled with demolition of people’s houses and shops rather than developing creative developmental eff orts focusing infrastructure and economic progress. Hence since federal allocations dropped, hardly any state is paying workers’ salaries and emoluments but rather heavily indebted and owing workers for several months. Given the foregoing, how has the APC developed Nigeria?

Th e APC National Chairman, John Odigie-Oyegun, is another issue. He joins those who dismiss restructuring and is saying the APC’s concern is economic buoyancy. But how can that happen when many governments can no longer pay salaries, let alone develop infrastructure? If Nigeria collapses her 36 states into a maximum of 12 regions or less, and the 774 local governments are collapsed into about 360 districts, won’t there be drastic reduction in administrative costs? And what progress can Nigeria make fi ghting Boko Haram and demolishing people’s houses and shops, coupled with animal roaming and Fulani herdsmen ravaging crop farms and killing farmers?

Oyegun said Nigerians are not united on the meaning of restructure. Can’t the APC leaders take a fi nal decision? Prof. Oyeniran Abioje, University of Ilorin, Kwara State

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