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May 29: Bode George says sufferings among Nigerians should stir Tinubu into action

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Ibrahim Quadri


Less than a week to the commemoration of Democracy Day, a former People’s Democratic Party, PDP, Deputy National Chairman, Chief Olabode George has lamented the plight of Nigerians, saying President Bola Tinubu should hasten up to reverse the trend.


The Atona Oodua of Yorubaland stated this during a news conference on Thursday in his office, Ikoyi, Lagos, saying successive Governments have failed to grapple with the problems of the nation.


In his speech which was titled, ‘My thoughts on the State of our country in the last 25 years: A Time to chart a new direction,’ the PDP chieftain said “Nigeria is gradually becoming the permanent invalid Giant of Africa.”


George said, “Today, all patriots are ashamed of what is going on in the country as the polity is straying towards its elastic limit. It is now over-stressed and over-stretched beyond the bounds of acceptability. Our survival as a nation is genuinely being questioned by all lovers of democracy.


“Violence sprouts everywhere and the country gradually descends into a dangerous gangland where the rule of the bayonet and clubs seems to be the norm. If Nigeria is to survive (and I pray this happens very fast), this ruinous course must be reversed immediately.


“Because successive leaders have failed to successfully grapple with the problems of nation building, Nigeria is currently facing an existential crisis.


However, he dvised Nigerians should stop blaming Tinubu for Buhari’s failure, noting “This crisis became complicated between 2015 and 2023 during the administration of my oga President Muhammadu Buhari.


“The Nigerian state almost collapsed because many Nigerians will agree that that eight-year era was probably the worst in Nigerian history since 1960 when we got our independence. It was as if nobody was in charge of the country.


“Everything promised before the 2015 general elections was observed in the breach by the Buhari administration.


“Despite that calamity, it is a pity that some Nigerians have come out to defend that administration, which ruled Nigeria for eight years. They are now blaming the Bola Tinubu administration which has spent about one year in office. Government administration is not a hundred-meter dash race. We will advise and condemn so that in a year’s time, we can assess the methodology and performance of the Government.


“Pitiably, some Nigerians have resorted to a blame game. Let me advise that we have to be careful in this country because Nigeria is not for any individual, group or region.


“Nigeria belongs to everybody. It is through cooperation and unanimity of purpose that we can lift the country up.      Tinubu should also come out and tell Nigerians the true position of things in the country. This is not the time to play party or regional politics. Nigerians have suffered enough and they want fast results.


“This is the time for Tinubu to rejig his economic team. There are many Nigerians – from the North to the South – who can offer him economic advice that can turn this country around.


“You can still give him the excuse of only one year  hoping that he will learn from the mistakes of the past.


“The first year in his office, he has never been there, he needs to study, focus and rejig.


Continuing, George stated, “Fortunately they belong to the same party, so I don’t want to start firing salvos against him. By this time next year, it will be two years, no more excuses, then he will have enough time, either to succeed or hang himself.


“But, so far people are hungry and angry, that should hasten him to get things work.”


The elder statesman also noted that the imbalances in the geopolitical structure of the country should be tinkered with.


“Nigerians are also saying it loud and clear that the skewed structure of political power constitutes a very huge hindrance to national development. The excessive centrality of political power holds everyone down to an unhealthy indolence, strips the states of individual growth and development, disallows free-willing local initiatives, strangles fairness and equity in the larger Nigerian union, inflames tension and fissiparous tendencies.



“We also need to urgently do something about our so-called federalism which can be described as a ‘unitary or despotic federalism.


“We can achieve this if we start to redefine our value system, to rejig and restructure the various anomalies that presently hinder the greater possibilities of the Nigerian Union.”


He stressed that the 1999 constitution is not working, adding with the way Nigeria is structured, it could never work.


“So, the earlier we have a people’s constitution, the better for all of us. We have been operating this constitution since 1999 and it has taken us nowhere. It is only a fool who will be doing the same thing over and over and expect a different result.”

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