2013 One of the Worst Years in Nigeria’s Economy –Progressive GovernorsAyo Balogun, Featured, Latest News, News Friday, December 27th, 2013
Ayo Balogun, Lagos
As the year draws to a close, the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) has passed a vote of no confidence on the government of President Goodluck Jonathan, describing the administration in 2013 as one of the worst in the anal history of Nigeria.
The governors, who are members of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in a release signed by its Chairman, Rochas Okorocha said the merger, which gave birth to APC had come to give hope to the people in the face of a clueless government.
“We gladly observe that even as 2013 recedes into the annals of history as one of the worst years in Nigeria’s history, a few developments point to the fact that a new hope is emerging on the horizon, notably the merger of opposition parties and the growing commitment of progressives and patriotic political leaders to unite under the All Progressives Congress (APC) with the single-minded determination of rescuing Nigeria from a federal government that not only condones corruption, but has elevated graft into an art form.
“There is no doubt that the merger of opposition parties today represents a major source of hope for the nation and our people are full of expectations that our party, APC, its leadership, elected representatives and governments will take the right step and measures to move the country away from all the multitudes of crises, halt the current movement towards collapse, restore the credibility of institutions of governance at all levels and respect and recognize the value of the human person. This demands that all political leaders in the country must be ready to make sacrifices,’ it said.
The forum lamented that against the background of today’s federal government that steers the affairs of the nation based on convenience rather than constitutionality, Nigerians had been reduced to helpless observers of a presidency that was only efficient in weakening its moral authority, making it difficult to relate with other levels and tiers of government in accordance with the provisions of the 1999 Constitution as amended.
It stated that the hard and incomprehensible reality was that the Presidency, federal government and ruling PDP had become reckless, dishonest and completely insensitive to minimum requirement of protecting the lives and property of Nigerians, stressing that government, as far as the conduct of the federal government showed, was all about the political aspirations of functionaries of government, notably Mr. President.
“This is unfortunate and the consequence is the increasing wave of both intra-party and wider national political crises without any visible demonstration of capacity by the federal government and the ruling party to manage or resolve the crises.
“Given the severity and intensity of the crises facing our dear nation, it is clear that rescuing Nigeria will have to commence with a strong commitment to a national agenda of reconciliation in order to resolve grievances of citizens and bring forth a clear roadmap for nation building founded on respect for our diversities,” it stated.
The governors said such a commitment should be founded on the principles of acknowledging deep-seated anger of citizens and recognizing that it was in the first place a product of injustices over years of bad governance, saying that as a result, governments at all levels at different times had infringed on the rights and liberties of citizens. Citizens, have in turn, been abused and in many instances, violated.
“It is the view of the PGF that reconciliation, founded on the principles of forgiveness with governments demonstrating a strong commitment to break away from the past culture of infringements must form the foundation of a new Nigeria. Together with our party leadership, we wish to reaffirm our unflinching commitment to move Nigeria forward.
“The nation cannot continue to be run the way it has been since 1999; something must give. True, the resilience of the Nigerian people has been tested severally by the antics of a government that has continually defrauded the people at the ballot box, continues to play politics with ethnic and religious sentiments while proffering no solutions to tackle insecurity, poverty and unemployment, yet, it is not the people, but this government that must give way,” they said.
The forum lamented that after 14 years under democracy, “our electoral system has continued to be a major source of national disappointment. The elections in Delta and Anambra have clearly rolled back the small progress that was recorded in Edo and Ondo states. With state of emergency in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe and the declaration by INEC that it will not be able to conduct elections in those states, democratic rule in the country is under threat and all democrats must rise to the occasion and save our democracy.
“Our national economy has crashed to a level that is hardly explainable with reference to all rational economic theories. The common scorecard shows a nation that is efficient in mismanaging unmatched resources and wanton profligacy. Reversing this trend is not a mission that any group can accomplish alone. It requires the support of Nigerians. It is a difficult task, but we are confident that with your support, we shall seize the initiative and return Nigeria to a land where votes count, and where government will be accountable to the governed.”
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