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One year after, hope of change dashed – CACOL

The Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders (CACOL) has observed that one year after the present administration came to power, the hope President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC-led Federal government gave to majority of Nigerians prior to the victory of the party at the last general elections held has been betrayed.

Addressing a press conference in Lagos on Wednesday, its Executive Chairman, Comrade Debo Adeniran, though gave thumbs up to the government over its anti-corruption fight but said politically, it has become obvious that fundamentally, political control still remain within the tenacious grip of a ruling class.

According to him, they have maintained and displayed the same ineptitude, maladministration, corruption, impunity and insensitiveness for decades resulting to the painful situation of existence of majority of Nigerians.

His words: “The hardships that Nigerians are going through continues to be compounded by the political decision to maintain the kowtowing to the neo-liberal dictates of the IMF/World Bank which is manifesting in the lack of access to basic needs required for humane living and existence.

“The present APC led Federal government is not a radical departure from hitherto existing governments that favoured only the elite and the extremely wealthy ruling class. Yet, this is a government that rode on the mantra of ÇHANGE to get elected. We ask, whither the change?”

According to him: “The difference between the hitherto regime and the present one is like comparing a half-full and a half-empty cup. The political scenario continues to be riddled with intrigues, deceits and abhorrence of democratic norms and popular participation.

“Insecurity of lives and properties continue to thrive; from the exhuming of the Biafra agenda and the violence it engendered to the killings by Fulani herdsmen, from undying insurgence of Boko Haram to emergence of the pipeline-bombing Niger Delta Avengers, the country remain in serious quagmire. Kidnappings, abductions, ritual killings, conscriptions, rape and other violent crimes are still rife. And all these are as a result of the absence of formidable political will to confront the security challenges of the country, reminiscent of the immediate past regime”, he lamented.

He said since the inauguration of the 8th National Assembly, NASS, in June 2015 and the emergence of its leadership, the NASS have acted in ways that are very antithetical to the doctrine of democracy and good governance. This began manifesting when it was discovered that the rules of the Assembly were forged to facilitate the emergence of the present leadership, a development which up till now remain unresolved and is in the Court of law for adjudication.

“From ‘budget paddings’ and unnecessary delay in passage of the budget which led to blame trading between the Executive and the NASS to the travails of the Senate President, Mr. Bukola Saraki over corruption charges, from the 108 Land Cruiser SUVs distributed amongst the members of the Nigerian Senate to their humongous salaries and allowances, from sexual misdemeanour to the implication of the Senate President in the Panama Paper Leak and the present ‘face-off’ between the Executive and NASS over forged rules, the journey of the 8th Assembly has been topsy-turvy in a very unprecedented manner”, Adeniran lamented.

He added that to demonstrate its self-serving ends, the NASS in spite of the hallowing and excruciating conditions of living of the vast majority had the effrontery to ask for Life Pensions and Immunity for its Presiding Officers in a putrid stench that oozed out of the Retreat of Members of the National Assembly, NASS, on Constitutional Review recently held in Lagos.

“We say an emphatic NO to life pensions for legislators. The proposal for Life pensions has however thrown up a situation that calls for introspection on the rationale behind the State paying of life pensions to any category of elected officials at all. Elected officials are elected to serve, such responsibility or duty is not a career or a profession! Elected persons are expected to work for their earnings prior to being elected and after serving their tenures; they deserve only to be paid for the period that they are incumbent.

We therefore call for the halting of the payment of life pensions to elected public officials across board henceforth as this is illegitimate and usurping!”, he stressed.

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