29th April, 2012
Any talk of a transformation agenda in the face of the unsettled issues of corruption and insecurity is bound to fail, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) national leader has said.
Exchanging views with Joe Stafford, outgoing US consul-general in Lagos, who paid him a farewell visit, Asiwaju Tinubu declared: “The twin problems of corruption and insecurity undermine any attempt of transformation as touted by the government. A lot of things are going wrong. Our ship is drifting and the people in power are not paying enough attention.”
He said the greatest challenge to Nigeria’s security and to investments is the Boko Haram issue. He wants the Boko Haram phenomenon interrogated very well by the government and the intelligentsia. He is worried that Nigeria is now faced with several faces of Boko Haram.“What is the genesis of Boko Haram?” he queried.
“We are now confronted with two Boko Harams – the original Boko Haram and the political Boko Haram. We must ask if a section of the country is now being stigmatized so that the government can get some sympathy or if we are confronted with a serious security problem that the government has no answer to?”
Tinubu condemned the recent attempt to use the civil service reforms as an excuse to scrap the anti-corruption agency, EFCC, not minding the amount sunk into establishing it, the work it has done and the important mandate it holds.
He said there is a deficit of sincerity in government, adding that Nigeria could not be run on the whims of partisan individuals.
In further assessing the Nigerian political situation, Asiwaju Tinubu told the consul-general that Nigerians voted for President Jonathan in the hope that he would stabilize the polity, grow the economy and be a true leader.
But the ACN leader lamented that Nigeria had nothing at present but a partisan leadership: “It is unfortunate that the president does not seem to realize that the image of this country and stability is crucial for any economic growth and attracting investment. We have a country that is drifting. We hope that drift will be halted; and Nigeria can see a better day”.
Tinubu said whereas the second coming of Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala excited many Nigerians, who had hoped that she would make a difference in reviving the economy, he regretted that the expectations had all but vanished.“We had hoped that her return would inject some stability and prudence to the financial structure of Nigeria and create opportunities but this unfortunately has not been the case. Other than paying lip service to reforms, there are no concrete actions to re-invent governance.
The present government is not seeking the low hanging fruits,” Tinubu insisted.
Mr. Stafford, the outgoing US consul general, said his country would continue to closely monitor events unfolding in Nigeria and would continue to provide support in key areas.“The US will continue with its robust engagement with Nigeria and pursue cordial foreign relations with the country,” he said.