Shola Oyeyipo in Abuja
Prominent leaders from across the country have rated the federal government low, saying the country and the citizenry did not experience meaningful improvements in their lives in the year end.
The trio of Afenifere chieftain and elder statesman, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, who spoke on behalf of the pan-Yoruba socio-political group, Afenifere; former Liaison Officer to former President Shehu Shagari and a founding member of Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), Ahaji Tanko Yakasai, and Mr. Yinka Odumakin, who spoke on behalf of Southern and Middle Leaders Forum, in seperate interviews with THISDAY yesterday, said Nigerians are feeling the harsh effects of poverty in this festive period.
Asked how he evaluates the year 2018 under the current administration, Adebanjo said:. “You don’t need a crystal ball to know that. You just have to ask yourself how much was your naira against the dollar in 2015; how much was the cost of petrol in 2015; how much are you buying it now; how much was diesel then; how much are you buying it now?
“We have passed the stage we should be doing this. What these people should be telling us is what they have done. All these posters that ‘we are going to do these’ is strange. They are looting more than what they found there. All their inner cabinet people with corruption charges are left untouched.”
According to him, “The end of the year with All Progressives Congress (APC) is goodbye to bad rubbish. Even on the question of security, which they were boasting about, because he (Buhari) is Commander-in-Chief, it came to a stage now where senior Army officers are being killed like fowl. How do you defend that?
“After telling us that you have weakened them, that is when Boko Haram now launches offensive on you, killing your commanders and pushing your soldiers to run helter-.skelter.
It is a shame. I think they should cover their faces. We are no fools in this country. It is a pity.”
On his part, Odumakin noted that “When you look at the situation of the country now you can see that the town is not smiling. Hardly can you even know that we are in a festive season because there is so much hardship; so much poverty in the land. That people are queuing up for N10, 000 tradermoni is the greatest insult we have ever received from this government in the last three and half years.
“By the end of December, 2018, Ghana, in the last quarter of this 2018 has grown its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 7.8 per cent; Nigeria could only make 1.8 per cent. That tells where we are. Nigeria needs to brace up and it is not this government that can restore our glory.
“The Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS) just released a statistics that about 40 million Nigerians are either unemployed or underemployed; 39.91 million and you see all over that poverty now rules in the land.
“If you ask, it is as if the Christmas should be postponed.”
Also reacting , Yakassai said: “I think every Nigerian is trying to answer this question; how we started this year and how things are at the moment. To my mind, up till now, I have not seen any positive change.”