Monday, 7 March 2016

Nigerians will begin to see results of Buhari's Government very soon - Oyegun

Chief John Odigie-Oyegun is the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC). In this interview with journalists in Abuja, he urged Nigerians to continue to exercise patience with the Muhammadu Buhari administration and stated that even though no one can put a date to it, we will see results from the new government very soon. He further dismisses the argument that the anti-corruption war is one-sided. Excerpts below:

It has been almost 9 months since the APC took over government at the federal level. When will Nigerians begin to see results of a new government?
I do not see how anybody can give you a date. But it’s very soon. I have no doubts at all. The president knows what our national issues are, he knows that a lot of it has international connotations. A group of the World is fighting to be the most highly industrialized. China wants cheap oil because it’s a manufacturing hub, India wants cheap oil and a lot of other countries want cheap oil, which of course, is contrary to our own interest because we want good prices for oil so that we can carry on with our own national development plans. So, that is only the tip of the iceberg of what Mr president is doing, trying to talk to those who have an impact in rearranging the international economic realities to change some of the current dynamics that is making oil collapse in such a precipitate manner.

Are the president’s trips abroad not becoming expensive ventures?
We want to plead with the press. We cannot totally on our own solve our problems. The world is a global village. Everybody now knows that. Everybody trumpets it. Since we are in a bit of a bind now, thanks to forces not totally within our control, we must talk to others, who would have a role to play in helping you out of your present issues and problems. So, that is where we are. We need a lot of investment. We need a lot of infrastructural upgrading. You would be surprised that very soon, particularly in the field of infrastructure, some of what Mr. President has been travelling about and putting together, would become manifest, because these projects would start the process of implementation. They would bring smiles to the faces of Nigerians. 
‎Some of the last trips, especially the ones to the Middle East countries have had to do with oil and you read some of it in papers that it has to do something to shore up the prices of crude worldwide, because the minutes we allow things to drop to the point that what you get paid become less than what you invest in producing it, then we have real serious issues. So, Mr. President is doing a fanstatic job. It is not building an estate or things you can see visually and physically, but it is building and rebuilding the cracked foundation of our nation Nigeria. Please let’s understand that that is what is going on. Let’s understand because he (Buhari) is the best salesman internationally for this nation.

Are you really gagging the opposition as claimed by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) because the anti-corruption war has affected more members of the former ruling party than the APC members?
I don’t know how often we will repeat this. We have a major problem with corruption. It is what has crippled this nation. If you are cutting down a tree, wherever it falls, so be it. The colour, the party, ethnic group or whatever as do not matter anymore. So, I don’t know how else to explain that. In sixteen years, this is the first progressive, actively anti-corruption government that this nation has had. So, if the results are the way they are, I mean, did you expect anything different? I don’t know unless somebody is wiser here. We will like to share from your wisdom. If we are investigating corruption, where else will you go except those who have participated in government and in the process. I don’t know, please enlighten me. If there is other way to look at it, then we will go and give it a thought.

How will the APC ensure that state governments domesticate the party’s election promises, especially on social development programmes?
‎All I can tell you is that, they are going to be federal programmes. They have been actively worked upon. But they will be implemented without doubt with the active participation of the state governments who would also have to put in something in the process, especially in terms of resources. These programmes are real. They are not only real, but we also have the support of the United Nations (UN) and various agencies like the Bill Gate Foundation that will participate. So, it’s a matter of time. We are talking of months not years when these programmes would swing into action. Relevant agencies will be the ones to unveil their action and implementation plans at the appropriate time. But I can assure you that they have been actively worked upon with very intense international participation.‎

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