The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has again blamed past civilian administrations for the nation’s economic woes.
Tinubu stated this in his address as the special guest of honour at the 35th annual Aminu Kano Memorial Symposium, held in Kano, on Tuesday.
Tinubu, who was represented by Oyo State Governor Abiola Ajimobi, described the ex-President Goodluck Jonathan-led administration as the worst culprit in the pillaging of the nation’s resources.
Speakers at the event including the Publisher of Premium Times, Mr. Dapo Olorunyomi; and a stalwart of the APC, Dr. Usman Bugaje, examined the “Democratic governance in Nigeria and the imperatives of party ideology and supremacy.”
Tinubu attributed the country’s current infrastructural deficit to the billions stolen by the past governments.
He said the APC government had in the past three years been labouring hard to clean the rot and give the people a new lease of life.
The APC leader stated: “The APC government may, at times, be imperfect in fulfilling the spirit of Aminu Kano but we are far from the PDP (Peoples Democratic Party), which has perfected the malign craft of giving selfish ambition primacy over the public good.
“Consequently, the Buhari government has spent inordinate time cleaning the rot and plugging the holes in the corrupt system the others had institutionalised as their strategic policy and national direction.
“The APC has been working to steer our national ship from this awful direction in order that we may bring the people and their welfare into safe harbor.
“Had the billions of dollars and trillions of naira that were stolen by past governments been used for the people, the nation would have been able to acquire the infrastructure and implement the programs that bring greater development and economic justice to all.
“Instead, the select few ate more than their bellies could contain. Distorting the cause of justice and hijacking the means of national welfare, they wildly enriched themselves and left the average Nigerian to dine on the passing wind.”
Due to the drop in oil prices, he said that the ruling government had had less resources at his disposal than its predecessors, but had done more with the less.
Tinubu said the theme of the symposium was apt and timely.
He commended the Aminu Kano Center for Democratic Research and Training and Bayero University for the initiative.
Tinubu described Aminu Kano as a “great man that could have lived an easy life by exploiting, for selfish objectives, all the opportunities opened to a man of his great abilities and social station.”
He added: “Instead, he (Aminu Kano) devoted himself to the welfare of the people. He took the harder path because it was the true and correct one. As Aminu Kano did, we must do!
“The spirit of this great man must guide more than our deliberations here today. That spirit must direct our political intercourse and actions.”
In his paper, Bugaje raised a few posers such as the difference between power and authority, legality and legitimacy, as well as eligibility and sustainability.
He argued that it was possible to have power without having authority, adding that it was also possible to be eligible, but not suitable for a given position or office.
In order to succeed, he said a leader must be knowledgeable, courageous and selfless; while adding that a leader must be like a shepherd who leads his cattle to a place of pasture and a good place where they can graze.
In his own presentation, Olorunyomi stressed the need for the country to be in accord and be united in purpose.
In spite of the challenges that Rwanda recently went through, he said that the country was able to bounce back into a unified entity where law and order reigned because of unity of purpose.