Yusuf: Nigerians are yet to see the dividends of democracy
The Dean of the University of Ilorin Postgraduate School, Prof. B. L. Yusuf, has said Nigerians are yet to see the dividends of democracy, especially in the education sector as President Muhammadu Buhari clocks one year in office.
Prof. Yusuf who is also of the Department of Religions in the University, urged the Nigerian President to “to go back to the drawing board and to scrutinize the people around him so that he will be able to know those who are on the same pedestal with him, people who are on the same frequency with him so that collectively, they will be able to bring up a programme that will put smiles on the faces of the Nigerian masses, so that those people will not be full of regrets that, at the end of the day, where is the dividend of democracy.”
According to him before the landmark 2015 general elections, “the tension was very high and everybody was losing sleep clamouring for change, and change indeed we were all looking for; probably wanting the outgoing administration to vacate on time, the 29th May when swearing-in ceremony will take place.”
“One year into the office of the new government, the question we are going to ask ourselves is that have we been able to realize the objectives which guided the electioneering campaign of the APC? I will say no. We have not been able to achieve that. We are trying to run from frying pan, I wouldn’t know whether we can say that we are putting fire now because anything that has not been able to remove hunger from the society is as useless as not to have such a thing in place.”
“Many people have been saying that the government of APC under Buhari is a bundle of contradiction in the sense that we know the Head of State very well and we know his antecedents, but if you are surrounded by wolves, people who do not match their words with their action, you will discover that one man cannot constitute an administration just as one tree cannot make a forest.”
“Therefore, one can say that the performance of Mr President as far as education is concerned is nothing but pleasant in the sense that, bypassing the processes in doing things within the Education Ministry is the first thing that hit us when we woke up one day to hear that 13 Vice-chancellors had been sacked, not by their governing councils but by the Minister of Education, who is more of a journalist than an educationist, who has probably not been in academic community before and who does not carry along the Councils of the 13 universities concerned. To add salt to the injury, the Ministry of Education appointed more than two people from the same community from the same state as if Nigeria is in short of qualified people that can do very well in the office of the vice-chancellorship of Nigerian universities.”
“I also want to say that some of the decisions taken by the government is a contradistinction to the principles of democracy and democracy is a system where all of you having different interests try to jaw-jaw and the minority will have their say and the majority will have their way. But for government to just wake up one morning and say henceforth, we will be buying a liter of petrol at N145, is that the change we bargained for? Where is the principle of democracy?”
“One would have expected a caring president to address the nation the way he was shedding tears when he thought he was cheated in the election that brought in Jonathan or Yar’Adua and said never will he contest again; he should have tried to shed the tears on the screen of televisions, nationwide broadcast and say, it is against my intention to increase this fuel price but I am very sorry, I want to assure you that there will be cushioning effects, I want to assure you that in the nearest future we are going to smile because the prosperity will now begin to knock at the door of everybody.”
A president that did not do that keeps a very big question mark in our minds. Is he a caring President? But thank God he’s not bad because it’s just one year into the administration that has three more years to spend. It is advisable for Mr President to go back to the drawing board and to scrutinize the people around him so that he will be able to know those who are on the same pedestal with him.
“The summary is that, Buhari is spending one year in office, the question is where is the dividend of democracy? We have not been able to see any but all hope is not lost; within the second year, he should try his very best to let us see the dividend of democracy. But I must commend him for one thing, which is, waging a full war against corruption and this has led to recovery of billions of naira. But on this note, I want to say that he should do better by deploying the recovered loots to programmes that will better the lives of people in the grassroot areas.”
“Up till today as I am addressing you, a lot of rural areas do not even have pipe-borne water, so if they can put up maybe boreholes, if they can equip our hospitals and they should give us adequate report on how much is spent per Local Government Area as part of the loot recovered, that will give us rest of mind. But right now, we are agitating that the loot recovered will eventually be re-looted by another set of people who are pretending to be saints. So, we are sounding a note of advice to Mr. President that the loot recovered should be used to bring a better life to the rural area people.”
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