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There’s No One In Charge In Nigeria — Fasehun

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Founder of the O’dua Peoples Congress, OPC, Dr Frederick Fasehun in this interview laments the lack of leadership in the country and urged Nigerians in the face of the coming elections to right the wrongs of the past by choosing a leader who will improve the standard of living of Nigerians, build infrastructure and actualise the on-going clamour for the restructuring of the country.

Excerpts:
The elections are drawing closer and the problems of Nigeria are increasing by the day. Killings are still going on, kidnappings are happening and lately, political assassination attempts are being alleged. What seems to be our problem?
Our problem is leadership. There is no leadership. The general impression in Nigeria is that nobody is in charge. If anybody is in charge, the lives of almost 200 million people will not be like this. This is why whatever is happening now is provoking Nigerians to be more assertive in their choice of leaders. That is why some of us are particular about who comes on in 2019 and the type of leadership we want for Nigeria. If Nigerians had paid attention to the quality of leadership and made the right choices, things wouldn’t have been as they are.

Before independence, we had resonating wishes and promises were made and kept. Politicians promised us good roads, electricity, free education and we enjoyed some of these things till a few years after independence. But then in 1966, the military struck and things never remained the same. We have never recovered from the damage. Politicians have been coming and promising so many things: road construction, improved power supply, improved quality of life. But they have not been keeping these promises.
As a matter of fact, the politicians use the country’s resources for their personal aggrandizement. The politicians are no longer ten percenters in terms of their own cuts; they are now 100 percenters. They no longer use the nation’s resources to improve the standard of living of the people. They use everything for themselves and for their families. The nation and its people suffer while the resources are in the pocket of politicians. We have not been able to correct this. That is why this time, Nigerians should get deeply involved not only in the elections but in the political party selection process at various levels,even to the grassroots.
Like you said, in the First Republic, the politicians kept promises but now, they don’t and they don’t care. What do you think happened along the line?
The people became this bad after the resumed democracy was installed. The truth is that, there is no democracy in this country. We should stop deceiving ourselves. We have bastardised that concept. We cannot claim we have democracy. There is nobody in charge and those who are running the country behind the scene know this truth and they are deceiving themselves. As long as Nigerians are not participating in the selection process at political primaries levels and candidates are being imposed on us, there is no democracy. Nigerians should insist in having a hand in the selection process. When primaries are being conducted by political parties, the people should play a role in who emerges candidate.
We have two major political parties: the All Progressives Congress, APC, and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. Since the APC primaries at different levels, there have not been peace. The party is scattered across states and in some states, they don’t have candidates. The PDP has its own issues. The parties have been factionalised in many places and these are the parties Nigerians are expecting will continue in 2019.
There are countries that have just one political party. Even these countries manage their affairs. They are not as bad as Nigeria. If Nigerians are left with one or two parties to make their choices from, they should still be actively involved. But there are many political parties in Nigeria. APC and PDP are not the only parties to choose leaders from.
There are others and like I said, Nigerians should be wiser this time. We cannot stumble twice over the same stone. We can no longer have leaders imposed on us. We should be able to choose our leaders and we have the opportunity now that elections are coming up. Nigerians should know what the parties are promising us. The state of infrastructure across Nigeria is bad. The roads are bad. The schools are poorly funded by the Federal Government, many children are out of school. What are the political parties telling Nigerians?

Which of them are promising free education, better state of infrastructure, good roads? Which of them have written manifestoes so that Nigerians can cross-check and see how they have fulfilled their promises to the people. How many unemployed Nigerians do we have today and how many will be employed after a political party comes into office?
Verbal manifestoes should not be acceptable to the people. Let the political parties distribute heir written manifestoes with their party logos to Nigerians so the people can judge them after they have assumed office.
Politicians are known to promise and fail and even deny some of the promises they made. Nigerians should watch out for these and do things right this time around. We should not let those who have deceived us come again and deceive us. When we have their written promises, we cross-check their performances so they don’t come back and deceive us if they don’t keep to their promises. If we must fail again, let it not be a failure that will be replicated . If you deceive the people, let them mark it against you.
In the South-West, block-voting is highly practised. When they want to support a party, they massively vote for that party. Do you think it will happen again in 2019?
Once bitten, twice shy. If you lie to us the first time and you come back to us the next time, we will not be deceived or we will set a trap for you. Your lies will work against you. Yes, people do block-voting but after an experience with the persons you voted for, you cross-check their performance and decide what next to do.
APC is a major political leader in the South-West and Asiwaju Bola Tinubu tends to get things done his way and as long as he remains in APC, that means the southwest will continue to vote for APC.
I have not seen any political party having sole ownership of a people. As much as we respect Bola Tinubu, we have appreciated the good things he did but I don’t perceive a situation where people of the South-West will say because Tinubu is in APC and therefore APC we all go. No. Things don’t happen that way. APC can get majority votes but there are others in the South-West with other political ideologies. Not everyone is APC. I am UPN for instance and others are in other parties other than the APC. We have seen the APC government in power and I can tell you that we in the South-West are not ready to put all our eggs into one basket. If it happened before, it will not likely work like that again.

...Read more details on www.vanguardngr.com/2018/11/theres-no-one-in-charge-in-nigeria-fasehun/
There’s No One In Charge In Nigeria — Fasehun - General Discussion

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