Tinubu not responsible for economic woes, says George

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Bode George

…says president should rejig economic team

Former Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) deputy national chairman, Chief Olabode George, has said President Bola Tinubu cannot be blamed for the country’s current economic woes and other challenges.

He said it is too early to attempt an objective assessment of the one-year-old administration, stressing that real evaluation of its performance can only come in the second year.

George said Tinubu inherited many problems from the Buhari government, which he described as the worst in the country’s history.

However, the former Ondo state military governor urged Tinubu to rejig his economic team and put Nigeria on the path of true federalism.

George told reporters in Lagos that the current socio-economic crisis became complicated between 2015 and 2023 during the Buhari administration.

He said the country almost collapsed because those eight years were probably the worst in Nigerian history since 1960.

George lamented that despite that calamity of eight years, some Nigerians are defending the Buhari government and blaming the Tinubu administration, which has only spent about one year in office.

Frowning at the subject assessment of the Tinubu government, he said government administration is not a hundred-meter dash race.

George stressed: “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.”

George advised Tinubu to “come out and tell Nigerians the true position of things in the country,” adding that “this is not the time to play party or regional politics.”

 He stressed: “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.”

Urging Tinubu to restructure Nigeria, George said:” 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.

“This is the time to listen to the voice of reason because real progress lies in true federalism and good governance.”

George wondered why some criminals have created a parallel government in Nigeria, pointing out that “every corner of the country is challenged by variegated insecurities ranging from banditry, urban outlaws, destructive fissiparous forces, the murderous Boko Haram terrorists and sundry insidious elements.”

He said through intelligence gathering mechanism, enemies of the state must be dealt with immediately in the true spirit of true statesmanship and progressive leadership.

George called for true federalism, saying that the current ‘unitary or despotic federalism’ is counter-productive.

He added: “Look at the United Kingdom (UK). It operates a unitary system but possesses more federalism-compliant institutions and systems than Nigeria which claims to operate federalism, just on paper, not in practice.

“The military left the polity in 1999 but pitiably, 25 years later, a military-imposed command structure is still seen in our political system – federal, state and councils. It is as if we operate a military-civilian structure.

“Obviously, the Nigerian Federation is skewed, and distorted and should be restructured for equity and fairness to prevail.

When are we going to have state police? When is the Federal Government going to devolve power to federating units? What are we doing about electricity? Electrical power is the very lifeblood of the industrial revolution. It is the fuel of all economic development.

“A nation without efficient power supply cannot rise into the bright dawn of the digital civilisation. It is stuck forever in the bleak dark side of economic underdevelopment and teeters inevitably on economic ruination.

“Nigeria can be a better place when we all eschew ethnic jingoism, sectarian bias, and crass nepotistic agenda.

“We cannot continue like this. Something must give. There is no other way. There is no other path. Obviously, the 1999 constitution is not working and with the way Nigeria is structured, it can 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.

“Let us know that God created us in His own image, to do the right thing in governance while here on earth. God is also greater than anybody and everybody and there is nobody He created that He cannot handle. Therefore, let us submit ourselves to the will of God by making Nigeria a great nation.”

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