Were APC, PDP to be Judged on Performance



Government’s Poor Scorecard

From time to time, since I became Editor of this esteemed publication in 2016, at the end of the year and the beginning of a new year, I have given Government my own WAEC (West African Examination Council) scorecard based on its performance, and my expectations for the coming year. Since the inception of this outgoing APC administration, we have not had one “Annus Mirabilis” (Wonderful Year). Why does 2022 seem to be another “Annus Horribilis” (Horrible Year), a photocopy or even worse than 2016 and 2017 which I had previously described in the same way? Isn’t it uncanny that in 2017, one of Government’s Christmas presents to Nigerians was also a fuel shortage, just not as terrible as this one we are experiencing this Christmas, which has lingered for quite a while? 2022 has been quite a nightmarish year, also because of the financial crisis and hardship Nigerians are facing, in addition to all the other problems.

In its 22/12/2020 publication, the Financial Times of London (FT) had stated that Nigeria was teetering on the brink of becoming a Failed State, a point I had previously made in my own Editorial of 4/9/2018 titled “Still Far from a Country”. The reasons I gave for my assertion then, remain the same. I quote – “weak and failing institutions, poor infrastructure, insecurity and internal violence (Boko Haram, Robbers and Herdsmen), poverty, hunger and suffering of majority of Nigerians, greedy elite, political shenanigans, high level of corruption and its siblings – tribalism, nepotism etc”. 

Today, nothing really has changed. In terms of infrastructure, we can only point to the improvement in the road network, the railway (which has been seriously threatened by the Kaduna train attack of March 2022), and the Lagos Blue Line which is now conveniently being test run as the 2023 elections are round the corner, obviously in order to curry votes. 

At the end of 2018, I had given the then Minister of Power, Babatunde Fashola, SAN an A3 for the constancy in the electricity supply of the estate in which I reside, and a C6 generally for the rest of the country. With a new Minister of Power in 2019, and by the end of 2020, the A3 in my estate had fallen to a C4, and the C6 generally around the country, a P7. Today, that C4 has further declined to a C5, while that of the rest of the country is hovering between a P8 and an F9! How many times did the National Grid collapse or fail this year, plunging the nation into darkness? 

Security which scored F9 or even F10 (with WAEC, the worst score is F9) at the end of 2020, has improved slightly, and is hovering between a P8 and an F9. And, today, it is the economy that has taken the last position (F10). There has also been some noticeable brain drain, with professionals in the medical field etc, checking out to greener pastures. I personally know more than 20 people, all professionals who have checked out in recent times, at least half of that number in the medical sector. 

The fight against corruption which was hovering between a C6 and P7 in 2020, has not only dropped to an F9, but has more or less faded into oblivion. At best, it is clearly selective and partial, as we had already suspected. For example, I’m wondering why Governors who were convicted for misappropriation of funds were pardoned; Dr Doyin Okupe was convicted recently for receiving N5 million or whatever from the former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, when Dasuki’s case seems to have been stalled and going nowhere. After all, Sambo Dasuki is the lead actor who allegedly gave out monies unlawfully, upon which some of the other cases are offshoots. While I’m not saying that the law shouldn’t take its course in Dr Okupe’s or any other case, I’m wondering why it hasn’t taken its course in that of Colonel Dasuki, the main player’s case. Is this not selective or witch-hunting, having regard to the fact that Dr Okupe, a former member of the main opposition Party, PDP, moved to another opposition party, Labour Party, to spearhead their Presidential campaign which has emerged as a healthy contender against the ruling APC, despite all odds? See Section 42 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended)(the Constitution) on discrimination. Also see the case of Lafia Local Govt v Governor, Nasarawa State & Ors (2012) LPELR-20602(SC) Page 18-19 per Rhodes-Vivour JSC. Education remains at F9 (especially with the prolonged ASUU Strike) and Health at P8 (not really because of Government, but I would say as a result of private initiatives in the sector).

The sum and substance of this administration’s scorecard is that, not only has it failed to deliver on its three main campaign promises, vanquishing insecurity and corruption (see Sections 14(2)(b) & 15(5) of the Constitution), revamping the economy (see Section 16 of the Constitution), and a fourth one, restructuring the country, Nigeria has never been as far away as it is today, from achieving the goals set out in Chapter II of the Constitution, that is, the Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy. In over seven and a half years of this administration, Nigerians have become worse off. 

Improving Nigeria

The FT and I had made some recommendations, on how to improve things in Nigeria. While the FT recommended that “the Government of Mr Buhari redouble efforts to get a grip on security” – and I must admit that, we seem to be seeing some traction in this regard, though there has been an increase in the attacks on INEC installations in recent times (which can only be taken to be an attempt to destabilise the forthcoming elections); I suggested inter alia, that Nigeria required leadership that would make good choices on behalf of the whole country and not just a part of it, and more importantly, a new Constitution which is equitable and more desirable for majority of Nigerians – a solid foundation on which Nigeria can stand upon, is urgently required. Unfortunately, here is one of the reactions that my editorial of last week, “APC and the Farce Called Constitution Amendment” elicited. 

Dear Editor,

I am a former Member of the House of Representatives, and I want to confirm the fact that any Constitution Amendment exercise being peddled by successive Legislatures from 1999 to date is indeed, as you have rightly stated, a farce. 

When I was in the House earlier in the Fourth Republic (and I was there for more than one cycle), it was just another fruitless, money guzzling exercise. There was a healthy budget allocated to Constitution Amendment, and members only looked forward to ways in which they could benefit from the largesse. What struck me was the insincerity and hypocrisy, as there were areas which had already been tagged as ‘no-go’ areas that must not be touched in the extant Constitution! What would be the essence of any Constitution amendment exercise, if areas which may actually be the key areas that need to be addressed, are out of bounds? In those days, State creation and State Police were no-go areas. I don’t know if that has changed. 

Will it make a difference that a number of the old brigade are not returning to the National Assembly, and maybe there may be hope that the new Legislators in the 10th National Assembly will make a difference, and actually make the much needed adjustments to the 1999 Constitution? I’m not so sure, since most of them have got their tickets by the grace of their Governors, their positions may depend on their Governors’ stand on issues.

Therefore, going forward, I won’t hold my breath that there will be any meaningful constitutional amendment.

Former HOR Member

South African Example

What then is the way out of this conundrum? I have a Nigerian friend, who maintains that Black people do not make good leaders. Even when we are smart enough to see the solutions to our problems staring us right in the face, we choose to ignore them and rather, choose that wide, reckless and wrong path that leads to destruction instead. We are self-centred, unpatriotic and live for the moment; we do not plan, we are greedy and corrupt. Take for example South Africa, why didn’t they have issues with electricity supply like they do today, when the whites were in charge (though one can never subscribe to ‘Apartheid’, the evil style of segregation against non-white South African citizens, discriminating against them)? For at least a decade, the signs were there that steps needed to be taken, in order to avoid the problem of power outages that they are experiencing today. Corruption etc held them back. This is not to say that white people are not corrupt, but obviously not to the extent that they destroy all their institutions and infrastructure, and stunt the progress of their societies just for some individual interests and personal gain. 


It used to be the practice that if a student failed a class the first time, he/she would be allowed to repeat the class. If they failed the second time, they were expelled from the school. With this poor report card, after having ‘a second bite of the cherry’ by virtue of their second term (repeat), APC still wants to return. Similarly, PDP had four bites, and also didn’t do so well. For one, instead of strengthening our institutions and solidifying our democracy, PDP institutionalised corruption which APC has strengthened with gusto and aplomb. Can we successfully exclude from Nigeria’s failures, those aspirants who had previously been members of APC and PDP, and part of their dereliction which they have now distanced themselves from, and have reinvented themselves as innocent Messiahs? Luckily they are politicians and political parties, not students, and getting elected or re-elected in Nigeria has nothing to do with past performance, or whether or not those seeking elective office have shown that they have the capacity to lead Nigeria to the promised land. 

Happy New Year in advance, my dear readers. See you in 2023 God willing. Amen.

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