By Titus Akhigbe
Former National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, has expressed sadness that Nigeria is yet to attain its full potentials six decades after Independence he expressed his feelings while fielding questions from journalists in his Benin City residence.
Oyegun said starvation, terrorism, and dwindling resources have bedeviled the nation but added that though the country is facing such huge challenge, a very solid foundation has been laid for it to thrive above all its challenges.
“Things have been tough. What I can say confidently is that the basic foundation of our future growth has been laid, no question in my mind about that but the administration has not been lucky at all.
“We have had very tough periods of dwindling resources right from the beginning of this administration and I think but for careful management, we probably, we would not have gotten as far as we have today. There is no question at all.
“There is hunger in the land, economy is not growing as it should, unemployment is very high, terrorism has risen its ugly head again after initial success and controlling it, and cost of production of crude oil now is almost equating what we are getting from selling crude oil.
So, the resources are just not there. “I must say I am sad that things have gotten to this kind of situation, totally outside control”, he said.
Oyegun said the problem the country is facing is that those in the helms of affairs of this nation are not doing enough in building hopes and confidence in the people that though things are rough at the moment, there would always be better days ahead and that they should keep their hopes and faith in the country alive.
“The only missing link that I will think is that we are not sufficiently giving the people hope or explaining things to people and giving them hope that tomorrow will be better.
“So, there is despondency in the land, that critical ingredient that makes people say okay, things are bad today, but they are telling us that it will be better tomorrow, that is missing.
In addition to economic difficulty, economic deprivation, we have not successfully conveyed to them, the picture of a better tomorrow.
“We prayed that COVID-19, which has also played a very major role will be contained and put out of the way because it has also created major economic problems, massive diversion of resources to protecting the lives of Nigerians”, Oyegun said.
Oyegun, while decrying the spate of insecurity in the country, alleged that there could be external forces that do not mean well for the survival of the nation that could be responsible for its resurgence, stressing that the resurgence of the insecurity in the country has to be investigated.
“60, tough but I have hope that if we can contain the difficulties that beset us, particularly insecurity, then, this country still has a bright future.
“I am very worried about insecurity because of my untutored mind, I don’t know anything about security.
“It is beginning to sound to me as if somebody outside this nation, groups outside this nation has interests in our country that are contrary to the public notice because what is happening otherwise doesn’t make sense and there are a lot of foreigners involved, a lot of AK47 all of which are coming in through the Sahara desert.
“I am a layman and I don’t know much about it but it is something that needs a very in-depth investigation.
Are we as a nation being sabotaged by external forces? It is a question that has to be looked at and must be investigated”, he said.
On the just concluded Edo State governorship election and why he didn’t participate in the APC governorship campaigns, he said he never wanted to be part of illegality.