• PDP governors condemn FG’s excessive borrowing, NNPC’s opaque operations
• Twitter should ban scrutiny in the interests of the nation
Nobel laureate Prof. Wole Soyinka has said that Nigeria may not celebrate another day of democracy as a nation if President Muhammadu Buhari doesn’t look at the people hears and decentralization of the system of government.
Soyinka said this yesterday in an interview with Arise News that focused on the June 12 commemoration in Nigeria, where he described the country as an airplane landing on a Suicide slide is located. and that citizens have the right to get off the plane before it crashes.
He urged President Buhari not to exude false confidence and to speak like a leader who is ready to face the country’s challenges to get active.
“And that happens to the people on the street. That’s why they move, that’s why they demonstrate; That is why they defy threats from the police and the government themselves – if you demonstrate, we will do so, if you do this we will deal with you, we will speak to you in a language that you understand – no one will wash up with you anymore . Because when a nation is on a suicide slide, the people who feel they don’t deserve this kind of suicidal crash have the right to say they get off that plane before it crashes. ”The Nobel Laureate noted that the recent surge in secessionist agitation in the country is due to Buhari’s refusal to listen to Nigerians.
When asked, “Do you think Nigeria can go on as a unit?” Soyinka replied: “Not if it continues like this. Not if decentralization does not succeed. If Nigeria fails in decentralization, and I mean decentralize as soon as possible, overtly and not rhetorically, then Nigeria cannot stick together.
“Again, it’s not Wole Soyinka who is saying that. Everyone said it: ex-heads of state said it; Politicians said so; Analysts have said it; Economists have said so, and sometimes we get tired.
“I am saying this whole nation is about to self-destruct and I am not the only one saying that, except for Buhari and his government listen and take action, we won’t celebrate another democracy day next year.
“Take the position of the governors of the south on open pasture, for example, at least 50 percent of a nation say we are within that Democratic dispensation are operating, let’s say on behalf of our people, we don’t want any more open grazing and then someone sits in Aso Rock and says to them, I’m instructing my attorney general to dig up a kind of colonial law that is mediated between farmers and shepherds / p>
“That means he doesn’t listen to what people say, he doesn’t listen to what the government they represent says. When I listen to things like that, I really despair. His last interview was educational, not that it contained anything new, it was just hoped that this government has transcended that kind of partisan thinking. “
Soyinka noted that President Buhari is undoing the very essence of democracy, saying that a practicing democratic regime has many responsibilities, implications and commitments. In his opinion, democracy is based not only on a sequence of symbolic gestures such as the restoration of June 12th as Democracy Day, but an act that should be consistently manifested without exception.
Soyinka commented on the recent ban on Twitter in Nigeria, noting that cutting down the various channels of self-expression open to any community amounts to an absolute abolition of the very essence of democracy.
“If you cut off every channel of self-expression by a people, you literally become an enemy of democracy. It’s so obvious and clear that I don’t even understand why you have to stretch on it, ”he said.
He noted that kidnappings were taking place in the western corridors of Lagos, Ogun, Kwara and other states had become a deal, but the president often came on the air to act like nothing had happened. Soyinka argued that the creation of a regional security team, the Western Nigeria Security Network, codenamed Operation Amotekun, was due to people’s frustration and desperation.
According to him, Buhari was still asleep and did not know the nation had changed dramatically in the past few years.
Soyinka said it was time the president fired most of his government officials and said they were doing him or the nation no service.
“I think they do it to people who tell him the things he wants to hear, when he depends on them, his government is doomed and so is this nation. On this so-called Democracy Day, it is time for drastic deliberations on the part of his government. “
Yesterday, the governors of the states raised the alarm on the platform of the large opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) about the country’s current debt profile, which is estimated by the federal government led by the All Progressives Congress (APC) at N36 trillion. The forum expressed concern that the federal government of Nigeria was gradually plunging into bankruptcy with its excessive borrowing for frivolous items, adding that over 80 percent of funds are being spent on debt servicing.
All in one Communiqué that after. At a meeting of the PDP Governors Forum in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, the PDP governors also accused the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and other revenue-generating agencies of the federal government for a lack of transparency and accountability in declaring revenue.
The communiqué read by the Chairman of the Forum and Governor of Sokoto State Aminu Tambuwal complained that the lack of financial transparency of the NNPC and other agencies has deprived state and local governments of the funds needed to provide. To create jobs and develop their territories.
The communiqué reads in part: “PDP governors disapproved of Nigeria’s rising and seemingly uncontrollable debt profile, with over 80 percent of normal funds devoted to debt servicing. All the achievements of the PDP government under chief Olusegun Obasanjo, where Nigeria got out of its foreign debt, have been destroyed.
“Borrowing for frivolous things like financing the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) is scandalous. Money should only be borrowed for productive purposes as Nigeria’s current debt of over N36 trillion relative to our revenues and GDP is clearly unsustainable. We shouldn’t put the undue burden of debt on future generations. The APC administration’s borrowing, if left unchecked, is sure to lead Nigeria into preventable bankruptcy.
“The forum also looked into NNPC’s operations and expressed concern about the opaque way in which it is doing it performs its operations. It opposed the NNPC’s recent decision not to make its statutory contributions to the Federation Account, starving state and local governments, and even Nigerians, of the funds they need for employment, development and general welfare.
“The federal government through NNPC only manages our oil wealth as a trustee for all Nigerians. The meeting deprecated a situation in which, contrary to the letters and even the spirit of the 1999 Constitution, the NNPC makes completely discretionary and often bizarre decisions about how much to spend, how to spend, and how much to transfer to the Federation account.
“The meeting called upon other government agencies such as the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC), the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS), and Customs Excise and similar organizations legally required to contribute to the Federation Account to do more. Federal States should now have a say in determining operational costs to ensure transparency and accountability.
“The governors reiterated the request for a revision of the revenue distribution formula and requested the mobilization of revenue, allocation s and finance commission to urgently send the revised revenue allocation formula to Mr President for submission to the National Assembly for approval so that more resources may be made available to the states and local governments where ordinary Nigerians live. ”
The PDP Governors also expressed deep concern about the recurring issue of insecurity of life and property in Nigeria. They reaffirmed the need to decentralize the operations of the state security apparatus within the existing legal framework to ensure that local state and local government actors are involved in policing and security.
“She deplored the fact that Mr President, given his recent media interview on the matter, does not seem to know that the means of coercion of State Security are firmly in his hands and not with the governors. The meeting reminded Mr. President that, under the Constitution, he has ultimate authority over security organizations, although states have a role to play. The cooperation and synergy between states and the federal government in security operations is vital to securing Nigeria.
“Although the police are on the exclusive list, the states are spending practically huge sums to help the security agencies with the To support the fulfillment of their tasks. The need for an appropriate legal framework to involve states in policing is becoming more and more urgent. To this end, we reiterate our call to the National Assembly to accelerate the adoption of the electoral law and constitutional amendments to ensure the restructuring and decentralization of government powers and functions. ”
For suspending Twitter, the meeting condemned personal reasons for the action. “Mr President’s mere ego is not enough to take such a drastic action that is depriving millions of Nigerians of such affordable means of expression and communication. We hope that this is not a harbinger or an early warning sign of a descent into dictatorship.
“The meeting noted that social media regulation can only be done within the framework of the existing laws on this issue, and not as one seek to punish or gag Nigerians for enjoying constitutionally guaranteed rights. Nigerian youth do not have adequate access to employment and many Nigerians rely on Twitter for a living, business and self-employment. This will further worsen Nigeria’s 33 percent unemployment rate, which is the highest in the world, and improve Nigeria’s rank as the second highest poverty country in the world, all under the unfortunate leadership of APC.
“The The meeting therefore asked Mr President to review the suspension of Twitter operations in Nigeria in the national interest. ”
The meeting was attended by Aminu Waziri Tambuwal from Sokoto State (chairman); Okezie Ikpeazu from Abia; Udom Emmanuel from Akwa Ibom; Douye Diri (Bayelsa); Samuel Ortom (Benue); Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta); Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu); Nyesom Wike (rivers); Oluseyi Makinde (Oyo); Ahmadu Fintiri (Adamawa); Godwin Obaseki (Edo); Bala Mohammed (Bauchi); Darius Ishaku (Taraba); and Deputy Governor Mahdi Mohd of Zamfara State.