ACN’s National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed
By Onyebuchi Ezigbo and Damilola Oyedele
The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has urged Nigerians to gird their loins and fight for their freedom from the grips of local colonialists who have denied them the gains of the country’s independence from British colonialists since 1960.
Similarly, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has called on the Federal Government to free itself from pressure and blackmail from foreign institutions whose neo-liberal policies, it said, has never worked for the collective interest of Nigeria.
While reacting to the President’s national broadcast Monday, the ACN picked holes in his assessment of progress in the manufacturing and power sectors, saying not much has been recorded those areas.
The party in a statement Monday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, to mark the country’s 52nd independence anniversary said incompetent leadership, bad governance, massive corruption and lack of patriotism by successive administrations have made Nigerians worse today than they were shortly after independence.
“A country that offered so much hopes and possibilities for its citizens at independence has today become a land of suffering, insecurity and near hopelessness, no thanks to visionless leaders who have failed to lead a well-endowed nation to harness the talents of its vibrant, energetic and resilient people. The result is what we have today: a country exhibiting all the characteristics of a failed state,’’ it said.
The party urged Nigerians to keep hope alive and to remember that they are the only ones that can reclaim their independence from these class of ignoble people masquerading as leaders.
It said while it will be unfair to blame the current leadership of the country for all the woes of post-independence Nigeria, it has proved to be incompetent and visionless as its predecessors in its efforts to take Nigeria to the Promised Land.
“About 13 years after the PDP took over the reins of power in Nigeria, the people have been left to gnash their teeth and rue lost hopes and opportunities. Over two years of President Goodluck Jonathan being in charge, it has been a season of cluelessness and the country has been forlorn of hope.”
Also, the NLC called for deliberate policies towards industrialisation of the country as a means of creating more productive employment and reduce the current trend of criminality in the country.
The congress in a statement to issued to mark the country’s 52nd Independence anniversary, cited ‘Breton Woods’ as one of the policies that have failed to work in Nigeria, but rather weakened the nation’s socio-economic structures and widened the gap between the rich and the poor.
The statement added that “even the apostles of neo-liberalism, had to resort to intensive state intervention and huge dosage of regulation when hit by the recent global financial crisis. It is time for our leaders to wake up for Nigeria, and stop being guided by economic stereotypes that are arcane and have been tested and found wanting.”
NLC President, Comrade Abdulwahed Omar, in the statement called on President Goodluck Jonathan match words with action in the anti-corruption fight.
“For instance, those listed as having diverted or misappropriated petroleum subsidy funds are yet to face serious prosecution due mainly to undue interference by the powers that be. It will be a tragedy, and one that would have serious repercussions from the working people, if government is seen to be protecting those who have been accused of stealing public funds,” he said in the statement.