National leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has again blamed past civilian administrations for the nation’s economic woes, even as he singled out the Goodluck Jonathan government as the worst culprit in the pillaging of the nation’s resources.
In his address as the special guest of honour at the 35th annual Aminu Kano Memorial Symposium, held in Kano, on Tuesday, he attributed the country’s current infrastructural deficit to the billions stolen by the past governments.
The former Lagos governor, who was represented at the event by Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State, said the APC-led government had in the past three years been labouring hard to clean the rot and give the people a new lease of life.
According to him, “The APC government may, at times, be imperfect in fulfilling the spirit of Aminu Kano but we are far from the PDP (Peoples Democratic Party), which has perfected the malign craft of giving selfish ambition primacy over the public good.
“Consequently, the Buhari government has spent inordinate time cleaning the rot and plugging the holes in the corrupt system the others had institutionalised as their strategic policy and national direction.
“The APC has been working to steer our national ship from this awful direction in order that we may bring the people and their welfare into safe harbor.
“Had the billions of dollars and trillions of naira that were stolen by past governments been used for the people, the nation would have been able to acquire the infrastructure and implement the programs that bring greater development and economic justice to all.
“Instead, the select few ate more than their bellies could contain. Distorting the cause of justice and hijacking the means of national welfare, they wildly enriched themselves and left the average Nigerian to dine on the passing wind.”
The APC leader maintained that as a result of the drop in oil prices, the President Muhammadu Buhari government had had less resources at his disposal than its predecessors, but had done more with the less.
Last November, Tinubu had stated that during the past administration, money that should have been spent on development was squandered in ways that could cause the devil to blush, adding that so “much money grew feet and ran away faster than Usain Bolt ever could” during the immediate past administration of Goodluck Jonathan.
Speakers at the event, Publisher of Premium Times, Mr. Dapo Olorunyomi; and a stalwart of the APC, Dr. Usman Bugaje, x-rayed the theme: “Democratic governance in Nigeria and the imperatives of party ideology and supremacy.” Tinubu said the theme of the symposium was apt and timely.
He commended the Aminu Kano Center for Democratic Research and Training and Bayero University for the initiative, describing Aminu Kano as a “great man that could have lived an easy life by exploiting, for selfish objectives, all the opportunities opened to a man of his great abilities and social station.”
Tinubu said, “Instead, he (Aminu Kano) devoted himself to the welfare of the people. He took the harder path because it was the true and correct one. As Aminu Kano did, we must do!
“The spirit of this great man must guide more than our deliberations here today. That spirit must direct our political intercourse and actions.”
In his paper, Bugaje raised a few posers such as the difference between power and authority, legality and legitimacy, as well as eligibility and sustainability.
He argued that it was possible to have power without having authority, adding that it was also possible to be eligible, but not suitable for a given position or office.
In order to succeed, he said a leader must be knowledgeable, courageous and selfless; while adding that a leader must be like a shepherd who leads his cattle to a place of pasture and a good place where they can graze.
In his own presentation, Olorunyomi stressed the need for the country to be in accord and be united in purpose.
In spite of the challenges that Rwanda recently went through, he said that the country was able to bounce back into a unified entity where law and order reigned because of unity of purpose.