Hon. Bimbo Daramola is the Vice Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) has described Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi’s membership of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) as a man in a wrong bus. Precious Igbonwelundu reports.
WHAT is your assessment of the Jonathan Administration?
The economy is going bad. As a member of the opposition, I am not just in opposition party because it is inherent in the opposition to criticise. I remember that President Goodluck Jonathan believes in his two year score card that perhaps, he has done well and he asked Nigerians to judge him, that his period in office has been eventful and impactful. But, if you ask me, I see a man struggling to win the trust and confidence of the people again. He met issues on ground and he assured Nigerians that he would address and deal with the issues and now, he is returning back to Nigerians like saying ‘’go and judge the marking scheme to mark the exam that you set for me’’. The teacher cannot tell the students to come and mark the exams he set. That, to me is a role reversal. He made those promises that he would deliver, but an average Nigerian knows that his life has not been positively affected with what the government is professing or brandishing as its achievement. There is also the politics of the majority party. Take, for instance, party saying that, because a governor did not take a phone call from the national chairman of the party, so, he got suspended. Another governor ran into problem for holding different views with its leadership. So they had to employ the instrumentality of the state to frustrate him. They have alluded so much to growth in terms of figures; they will show you beautiful graphs, the nation’s GDP is growing above our population but you don’t find a corollary to buttress their claim when you look at the people and the majority is still living in abject poverty. Look, if your car does not have fuel and you say it is still a beautiful car, that beautiful car cannot take you to your destination.
They will give themselves high mark, but the masses are still wallowing in poverty. I am surprised that an Okonjo Iweala, our Finance and Co-ordinating Minister who would have been the head of the world bank is saying that there is no relationship between the figures being bandied about and job creation. In the two years of Jonathan’s government, we should by now take a stock on how many companies or industries have come back to the system. The industries, sadly enough, are re-locating even to African countries that we should be far ahead of. We are cruising at a very high speed and I hope somebody calls them to caution. What we are having or getting is disappointing, given the our resources that abound.
Can the opposition make the difference?
2015 provides for us the opportunity to critically take stock and say enough is enough. It is a time to say we have played party loyalty for too long, we have played active politics for too long and it’s about time to now ask ourselves as individuals and as Nigerians whether we are better off than we were in 2011. Is the country better off as it was in 2011? Do we have better roads now than what we had in 2011? Do we have more infrastructures now? Is life better now than what we had in 2011? These are the questions that must bother us. When you vote a government and put that government in power, we expect real impact, real changes. It is amazing that, as individual we do stock taking but as a nation, we refuse to take stock. So, 2015 provides an opportunity for a turn around to be able to ask ourselves, if are better now. No matter how long you have gone on a wrong direction, you will never get to your destination until you make a turn around. The destination, we are talking about is improved society, improved security, improved social infrastructure, improved life etc, these are the indices that you must look at to begin to assess whether a government is working or not.
Are you saying that the PDP is the problem?
Well, I am not going to sound puritanical and say everybody in PDP is bad. There are pockets of them that are good. For instance Governor Rotimi Amaechi is good.
But he is almost an opposition member
If you say so. It’s a truism in life. Show me your friend and I will tell you who you are. You cannot be found in the company of armed robbers and you will be leading praise and worship in the church on Sunday. When you lie with dogs, you wake up with flies. If you get into a car going to another place, what do you do? You simply tell the driver you have entered the wrong bus and you come down. People who have chosen to identify with the politics of the opposition must have seen something diametrically different. Don’t forget that there is the politics of service and of the people and the politics of the stomach. Some politicians can masquerade politics of stomach and you may think that they are for the people. Even in the Bible, the holy book, Jesus said at the last day when the Son of Man shall come, he will condemn some people and those people will come to him and ask Him if He is making a mistake because they will tell him they cast out demons and healed in His name. But he will ask them to go away because they were workers of iniquity.
There are some people in opposition that have no business there. Are there people in opposition who are doing the right thing, yes. Are there people in opposition who are doing the wrong thing, yes. But Nigerians will now come up to a point where we will identify the weed and the chaff. We must identify our destination. We have invested our fortune in the life of somebody for four years.
Source: The Nation Newspaper
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