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Nigeria is at  a crossroad – Bode George



Nigeria is at  a crossroad - Bode George
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Retired Commodore Olabode George, former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), at the Freedom Online 5th Yearly Lecture at the Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos, on Tuesday, stated that Nigeria is presently at a crossroad.

Making his contribution into the subject of deliberation at the Lecture, “2023 – 2027: Nigerians, Elected Leaders and Expectations”, under the chairmanship of Senator Gbenga Daniel, noted that the election case at the presidential petition tribunal is dicey.

According to George: “if the decision in the court favours A, there will be trouble; if the decision favours B, there will be trouble in the country. We are at a crossroad.”
The elder statesman at the Lecture urged the media in Nigeria to stand firm in the performance of their duties. “Through you Nigerians can be better educated of what is going on – the expectations between 2023 and 2027. There cannot be any hiding place.”

George chose to speak in the capacity of a citizen, not as a politician, though with remorse of the failures of Nigeria as a country. “I am not going to talk as a politician, I am going to talk to all Nigerians spiritually,” he declared.
Bode George expressed that life in the military is different from civil life. “You are trained to follow certain rules; if you fail one out of nine, you are instantly punished. We did not bother about the language you speak. Your Commander can come from anywhere.”

Bode George emphasised that civil life is different. According to him, “you can expect anything at any time because you asked for it. You asked to manage the resources of the country for the benefit of the people.”
Bode George maintained that he was not going to talk about the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) or the All Progressives Congress (APC) but to talk spiritually. He noted that the problem of Nigeria is no longer of human solution, but spiritual, thus, citing Prophet Micah in the Bible, Bode George prayed for Nigeria.

The elder statesman pointed out that he has seen the top of the mountain and have also seen the bottom of the valley in life. According to him, “I have sat with a President of this country in his personal room; we discussed the problems of this country; and I have been to prison. So, I have seen the top of the mountain and I have seen the bottom of the valley.”

Nigeria is at  a crossroad - Bode George

Chief Olabode George and former President Olusegun Obasanjo

George, again citing Biblical injunctions, declared that Nigeria will rise again, saying that nothing is new under the sun.
He decried that the magnitude of mis-governance in Nigeria. The elder statesman lamented that “experts in public institutions are doing evil; court officials and judges ask for bribe and influential people tell the judges what they want”. He cried out that the leaders of Nigeria have sinned against God, noting that the country is being punished for the sins.

Bode George also lamented the decay in the administration of the national wealth, where the political elite seek their comfort first before the citizens of the country.
The elder statesman declared: “there is rottenness in the financial management of the country. A sitting senator collects N23 million in a month; retired Permanent Secretary gets N1 million in a month; retired General collects N250,000 monthly.”

He further expressed dismay over the inequality in the distribution of intervention funds in the country. According to him,”how will the palliatives be distributed.”
Bode George further stated that the present constitution in Nigeria is absolutely military in status. According to him, “in the military, commands comes from the top. In democracy, power comes from the people, power comes from below.” he declared that the current structure will not work in Nigeria.

Bode George reiterated his support for devolution of powers, stating that power should be decentralised to states.
Bode George recalled that former President Goodluck Jonathan convened a National Constitutional Conference, noting that far-reaching resolutions were made and recommendations on a new constitution presented to the federal government. He expressed dismay that when the recommendations of the constitutional conference were presented to former President Muhammadu Buhari when he assumed office, the former President said that they should put it in the archives.

He, therefore, declared: “we must revisit how we want to govern ourselves. If we wait for how the resources of the country will be distributed in Abuja, it can never work.”
The elder statesman also said that the resources in the various parts of the country are sufficient to development each state. He added that he has been to the various states across the country, say: “there is no part of this country that God has not endowed with resources.”

George lamented that the leaders have not utilized the enormous resources of the country to better the lives of Nigerian citizens.

The elder statesman stated that in the United States of America, the Governor of California runs the largest economy in the world, noting that every state in the U.S. develop according to their capacities; according to him, “sow your coat according to your size”. He re-emphasised that the current system of centralisation cannot work in Nigeria.


George revisited his position on state police, insisting on decentralisation of the police. He frowned at the system where somebody from Sokoto State is appointed Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in Bayelsa, or somebody from Bayelsa appointed DPO in SOkoto, saying that “it is not working.”