Ndubuisi Orji and Okwe Obi, Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described President Muhammadu Buhari’s statement that frustration and disenchantment among the youths were responsible for the rise in kidnapping and other crimes in the country, as an admission that he has failed in administering the country.
In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, the main opposition said the comment is also a confirmation that he is aware that the youths did not vote for him in the February 23 presidential election.
The PDP lamented that instead of seeking solutions to the deplorable security situation, Buhari has resorted to rhetoric.
“This self-confession by Mr. President is equally an admission that he has no solutions, and points to the ugly situation that would continue to confront the nation, if the stolen presidential mandate is not retrieved in the courts.
“Is it not appalling that at a time when other world leaders are leading their youths to constructive and productive ventures and developing their nations, Nigerian youths are being pushed into situations of anger, frustration and recourse to criminality?
“Under President Buhari, our national economy has continued to slide; over 30 millions Nigerians have lost their jobs and basic means of livelihood; businesses have continued to shut down; cost of essential goods and services have persistently soared, while purchasing power of citizens worsen.
“It is more disheartening that instead of finding solutions, Mr. President resorted to rhetoric and begging the question to the extent of describing criminality as a ‘new occupation and a business.’”
The party further stated that Nigerians were shocked at President Buhari’s insensitivity to the victims of the bloodletting, kidnapping, banditry and other acts of violence in the country when he trivialized and made a joke of the insecurity in the land by stating that losing weight is a sign that the Inspector General of Police, Adamu Mohammed, was effectively tackling the security issues.
“It is most heartbreaking that at the time President Buhari was making a joke on the security situation. Bandits are having a field day in communities in Zamfara State where they reportedly killed over 50 Nigerians, while many more compatriots are still held hostage by kidnappers in forests in various parts of our country.
“Such attitude to governance, especially on issues that have to do with the lives of Nigerians, is completely unacceptable and must be condemned by all.”
Meanwhile, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has said the real disease impeding the development of Nigeria is lack of quality leadership.
He lamented that the leadership model practised in the country has bred sycophancy and endemic corruption.
Dogara, who spoke at the second edition of ‘The Convergence 2.0’ organised by the sponsors of Not-too-young-run Bill in Abuja, urged newly elected legislators to cultivate the culture of integrity and hard work.
Dogara said: “Nigeria’s real disease is lack of leadership. I disagree with all those who say our major national disease is financial corruption. Rather, the real disease has been the absence of true leadership which in turn breeds moral corruption and wickedness. Get a true leader that solves moral corruption and wickedness; when that happens, you will search for financial corruption to no avail.
“Unfortunately, the leadership model we have practiced so far is the kind of leadership that produces sycophants who are expected to serve their political godfathers and not the people.”
He noted that Nigerian leaders have mastered the art of political witchcraft to torment independent-minded politicians.
“Our so-called leaders have mastered the art of political witchcraft so much so that if you are independent-minded you are automatically disqualified and if for any reason you are picked then you have to surrender your soul for them to eat in small bites until you become their worshipper.
“In the midst of this pandemic sycophancy, our so-called godfathers expect us to fit in and not to stand up to be counted or make a difference. We need leaders who will lead us to build a nation and serve others not godfathers who demand that we worship and serve them rather than serve the people.
“For you, trailblazers who carry the burden and the promises of a generation that must not fail, if you are ever going to get there, it must be on the wings of discipline that produces character,” he added.
Project Manager, Yiaga Africa, Cynthia Mbamalu, said the event was organized to enable newly elected legislators chart a new course to advance the development of the country.
“The convergence 2.0 is about working together to set a legislative agenda that is people driven, that promote inclusion and the indices that enable sustainable development. It is about building a strong network of committed young lawmakers who support each other and speak truth to power,” she noted.
The British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Liang, said her country supported the Not-too-young-to-run movement with over €795 million.