• Buhari preparing Nigerians for modern slavery — Balarabe Musa
By DOMINIC UZU, Regional Editor, North West
FRONTLINE politician and elder statesman, Alhaji Tanko Yakassai has described the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), as a party incapable of taking Nigeria to the dreamland of greatness, warning that the electorate may have been duped in the process.
Yakassai’s observation comes on the heel of fears expressed by Second Republic Governor of old Kaduna State, Alhaji Balarabe Musa that the APC Government led by President Muhammadu Buhari may have concluded plans to keep Nigerians under perpetual slavery.
The Two prominent northern leaders spoke to National Daily at the weekend, during which they also expressed scepticism over APC’s capability to deliver dividends of democracy to Nigerians.
They lamented about what they described as broken promises by the APC leaders to Nigerians.
“We have fallen victim of dupes in the cloak of politicians and propagandists,” Alhaji Balarabe Musa told National Daily in an interview in Kaduna.
Alhaji Tanko Yakassai, Chairman, Northern Elders’ Council (NEC), also noted in a separate interview that “the country has been duped by the ruling party, for not keeping to its campaign promises barely six months after President Muhammadu Buhari took over the country’s reins of power last May 29.”
According to him, “the party and its leadership are not reliable because six months were enough for any government to start implementing its campaign promises.”
“You don’t need to ask anybody whether the APC-Government is reliable or not because it is glaring that the party leaders are not reliable,” Yakassai declared.
The Northern Elders Council leader said it is obvious that Nigeria is again on another circus cycle heading for a cul-de-sac by the ruling party, pointing out that unknown to Nigerians, all the campaign promises were mere political statements and propaganda meant only to sway voters and win election.
“There was no truth in their promises; we have now come to realise that they were expressions not committed to a blueprint and workable document that will translate to the development of the country now or in the nearest future,” Yakassai stated.
For instance, he said, the APC has capitulated on its promise to pay N5,000 monthly to each of no fewer than 25 million unemployed youths across the country which eventually will amount to N125 billion.
“That is a lot of money that must be captured in the country’s appropriation but six months after being sworn in, President Muhammadu Buhari has not made any move to initiate a bill on it to the National Assembly for approval,” the NEC leader argued.
He also referred to the present administration’s proposed agenda to feed school pupils, at least once a day, which he said has suffered the same fate as there is no evidence on ground to achieve this now or in the future.
“My belief is that when you add up all these monies to be spent on paying the unemployed and feed school children and channel them into agricultural activities for which we have stupendous human and natural resources as well as potentials, we would create jobs and provide enough food locally to feed not only pupils but the entire citizenry,” Yakassai said.
According to him, “Nigeria will not only be on the path to achieving food self-sufficiency but also its ailing economy would be taken away from its present mono-product status while the currency would be firmed up as money spent on food importation would be conserved.”
“From every indication APC has no plans of fulfilling its promises to Nigerians. I think Nigerians have been fooled and duped,” he declared.
Also reacting on the failed promises of the APC government, former Governor of old Kaduna State, Balarabe Musa, said that President Buhari was preparing the minds of Nigerians for his planned modern slavery.
“It is not true that Nigeria is broke. Buhari is merely preparing our minds because that is the only reason that can lead him to collect foreign loans and devalue the Naira if we accept the dummy they are posting now,” he said.
According to Musa, “if Nigeria is broke, APC should have known that even before they started their campaign and planned on how to tackle it. I can say with all emphasis that APC is not reliable.” He decried: “They promised to pay unemployed graduates and the elderly N5,000 each but you can see that it’s all political deceit. They don’t even have a blue print for that.”
But the APC responded Friday to a similar doubt the opposition raised on the ability of the Federal Government to shell out N125 billion monthly to pay 25 million acutely poor Nigerians.
In a statement issued in Abuja on Friday by APC’s National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, the party said even though the PDP-led Federal Government plundered the commonwealth in its time, it has devised creative means not only to pay the money but also to fulfill its other campaign promises to Nigerians.
According to Mohammed, the payment policy has yet to take off because it was not included in the 2015 budget, which was prepared by the PDP-led Jonathan Administration. He said there is also the need to plug all the financial leakages.
”The Buhari administration has been busy putting into place measures that will make it possible to start the implementation of this project. Such measures include the introduction of the Treasury Single Account (TSA).”
The implementation of the TSA, he said, has raked in over N1.4 trillion lying fallow in various commercial banks.
Blaming the opposition, the party said, “Had the PDP not sacrificed the truth on the altar of political expediency, it would have realized that the APC never at any time indicated it has reneged on its promise to pay N5,000 monthly to 25 million most vulnerable Nigerians.”
The rumour of APC reneging on its campaign promises actually afforded the party an opportunity to split its gut. Besides the N1.4 trillion TSA revelation, the party also said a $2.5 billion infrastructure fund is already in place to embark on infrastructure renewal.
”Contrary to the disinformation being peddled by the PDP, the Buhari administration is poised to lift millions of Nigerians out of extreme poverty by providing social protection and safety nets with another 2.5 trillion Naira Special Intervention Fund,” the party said.