By Bamidele Salam
Nigeria has been a civilian democracy for 17 years. 16 of those years were run by the PDP at the National level. Those years were enough to turn Nigeria into a truly FEDERAL state. They were enough to create a non oil , industrialised economy that will stop states from being parasitic beggars in a supposed federation. 16 years were enough to build a new, decentralised and efficient police system . They were more than enough to build at least 6 world class health institutions that will make it extremely needless to travel abroad for any form of medical need. The 16 years of the PDP were good enough to build new power stations that could generate and distribute at least 12,000 megawatts of electricity to Nigerian homes. The first 16 years were surely enough to build a six lane super highway from Lagos to Port Harcourt to Abuja to Maiduguri. The PDP years were enough to create a united Nation out of the divided tongues and faiths of Africas most important country. Sadly all of these did not happen! Yes, the PDP did some good things but unfortunately those were not the crucial, most fundamental things a Nation desiring peace and prosperity must do in the 21st century!
Now a new party, the APC, has been in the saddle for 1 year. Will it do things differently? Sadly, no such signs yet. There is no evidence yet that the APC will restructure the Nigerian federation even though most of the loudest advocates of fiscal federalism are principal leaders of the party and the government. The APC hasn’t shown a road map to revolutionise the power sector and industrialise the country. It hasn’t displayed any sense of urgency nor displayed a convincing understanding on the most fundamental problems of this country . Yes, we now have a President who appears to hate corruption but we also had an OBJ and YarAdua who displayed some ‘hatred’ for corrupt practices in public offices but ended without making the great marks. The good news therefore is that the APC was there when the PDP fell and so it has the rare opportunity to avoid those same pitfalls!
Will it make the very critical difference? Will it be humble enough to take criticism with equanimity and disregard the clownish claps of it’s supposed worshippers? Will it take Nigeria to the desired destination within a shorter time span than it took the PDP? Time is ticking away………..
Happy democracy day Nigerians!
God guides Mr. President and his team. God bless Nigeria!
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