BY GODWIN OBI
Former National Vice President of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Bode George, has described the last eight years of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration as a failure.
The former military administrator of Ondo State, who stated this in an interview with newsmen in his Lagos office at the weekend, said that if he were to score Buhari’s administration, he would give a five per cent score, insisting that the performance has been shambolic.
“My personal assessment is that they failed, not completely in every sector, but if you do an exam and say you have a minimum of 33 per cent, then you can go to the next class, but they did not even attain that 33 per cent.
“If I give them maybe about five per cent, even the five per cent requires a lot of retrospection if you are to talk about the economic, education, agricultural and infrastructural sector. Also, the most important thing you must guarantee to your people as a government is security of lives and property, but who is safe now? Whether you’re a poor man, middle-aged, when you are walking towards any direction, you have to be looking, front, back, left, centre, to ensure you’re safe.
“So it is very disheartening and heartbreaking that the number one job, which is to guarantee security of lives and property has failed,” he said.
Speaking on the 2023 general election, George said that Buhari took Nigerians for a ride when he promised that the poll would be free and fair, but failed to fulfill his word.
His words: “The postmortem analysis of why this, why that, a few came up before election, but we will on my party side, sit down, we messed up too. So, for me, I’m in a quagmire. I am disappointed, but the Almighty in His words says that the journey of life cannot be in a straight line all the time.
“There are times we need the bump, sometimes the round about, sometimes we go into the tunnel, I believe we will learn and make mistakes and I now quote the words of General Powell, the former chief of defense staff in US Armed Forces, he said ‘the only mistake a human being can make is the one that you do not learn lessons from, but if you learn from it, it’s no longer a mistake’.
“When he was coming in, Buhari was telling us, I would fight corruption, I will secure the lives and property of the people, I will do this, I will do that, all kinds of promises. So, let’s put those promises now into his departure, because that’s what will be written in the pages of history. So, whatever a leader does during his time, it is on the pages of history.
“Now, we are starting another journey on the 29th, we must be full of prayers, because I worked with Buhari before. I think maybe age is not on his side. He came out around the middle of last year, publicly and internationally, and stated that look, I am going to leave one legacy, that the electoral process in this country will be second to none in the world, the mess we used to call election process will be a thing of the past, that they were going to buy technology that will remove interlopers, manipulation and manipulating people, straight from your polling unit into the control centre. We were so happy, we even popped champagne here. People said are you sure? I said it’s a general who is talking.
“They budgeted, released the money, bought the equipment, headed to do the test run in Anambra, Ekiti and Osun and it was flawless. But on this final election, Professor Yakubu Mahmood made a broadcast and reassured Nigerians that they have done a test run and that this would be the best election ever, only for him to tell us that there was a glitch on the election day. The election was disgraceful, shambolic, it wrenched my heart.
“INEC now went back to the way we used to do it. What happened to all the money budgeted for the election? We have almost hit the bottom in this nation. Take any sector. There was a time the children in the university were home for almost nine months, no school, no nothing, the teachers were asking for their salaries.
“Look at our economy now. Few days ago, interest rate was increased to 18.2 per cent. Who will go and borrow? Unless you’re a thief or you know you’re going to default, because you will pass on that extra to the people. Inflation rate has also soared to 22 per cent. I’m not a pessimist, but facts are facts.”