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Bolaji O. Akinyemi
Agency Reports Interviews Politics

Why We Must Endure Tinubu’s Government for 8 Years – Akinyemi

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Dr Bolaji O. Akinyemi a fiery public affairs analyst and an Apostle and Nation Builder.
He is the Convener of the Apostolic Round Table (ART) and the Board of Trustees (BOT) Chairman of the Project Victory Call Initiative, popularly known as PVC-Naija.
In this interview, Dr. Akinyemi spoke on the state of the nation, addressing specific issues, including the victory Bola Ahmed Tinubu (BAT) at the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal (PEPT), Tinubu’s 100 days in office, the CBN, the labour movement, the forthcoming off-season elections in Kogi
Edo and Bayelsa states, among others.

Excerpts:

How do you see Tinubu’s recent Tribunal victory over Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi?

Go to Court! The now infamous rhetoric emanated from him, it was actually quoting his reaction to the displeasure of the world over the shameless jamboree of our election. Since by our constitution Judiciary is the hope and thus commonly referred as the last hope of the common man. Unfortunately, it isn’t in this instance. We must however accept that this has robbed the renewed hope mantra, of its hope! Take it or leave it, the pronouncements of subsidy removal by this government from its very first moment at the eagle square is suggestive of a government divorced from the people. The days ahead will tell; good or bad, whether or not mandate was gotten or snatched!

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Do you see any foul play among the different stakeholders as regards the Tribunal ruling on the presidential election?

There is no smoke without fire! PEPT smoked its screen, it was cloudy. Any one who saw clearly must have belonged to the side watching from the other side. Jackson Ude raised an allegation that Justice Mary Odili was running judiciary errands for Bola Ahmed Tinubu. She came public to deny same in August, by September few days to the pronouncement, she was the Guest at a Colloquium delivering a paper with the content of Ude’s claim. Complicated by acknowledging Olanipekun and Fagbemi as some of the most brilliant minds on the topic slated for discussion which unfortunately is the matter before the Tribunal on which pronouncement was being expected. The two led BAT’s defence. Is that not suggesting that the query that the pronouncement was written on BAT Team letterhead by the public is not out of place? Civility shouldn’t allow us to be speculative or prejudicial in such matter but our reality is that of a buried trust. Have you forgotten Senator Bulkachuwa’s confession of his errands to his wife with respect to election matters heard by the Appeal Court?

Would you say that the Supreme Court may come up with a different ruling bearing in mind the long presentations by the Tribunal Judges?

I don’t know where that thought is coming from? The most powerful President in the world is that of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. You are expecting the Supreme Court to remove the man to whom the CJN administered oath of office on? It has never happened in the history of this country and I dare to say it will not happen! Our cart as a nation is before our horses on this and I am not expecting any movement. Legislatively speaking, there is work for us to do, but unfortunately we have elected representatives and senators who are prepared for the pay but not the work. Sadly, the idea of concluding election petition before the swearing in will not become our reality before 2027.

Would you say the ruling APC government under Tinubu has made significant positive impact among Nigerians in its first 100 days in office?

This question is needful, but you know the answer! Please, let’s us wait, BAT (Bola Ahmed Tinubu) led APC received a badly damaged country from Buhari led APC. He needs time. Nothing will change in four years. If you don’t mind, the campaign for BAT’s 2nd term has started from me. He needs our understanding, we should be suffering and smiling. This price we must pay for 8 years for our hope to be renewed. You see, Dave Umahi is the best Minister of Works we may ever have, he travelled from Abuja to Benin, spending 14 hours only to know how bad the road is so it can be fixed. He obviously will need the first 365 days of this government to know how bad our roads are before planning what to do in the second year, meeting with contractors in the 3rd. And in the 4th year contractors will report to sites so we can use the huge construction sites the country will become to campaign and win the 2nd term election for APC.

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If you are doubting me, study our trajectory with the blue rail; how many elections we have used that to win. The rumour of the 4th mainland bridge to Ikorodu has kept the electorate in Lagos State enslaved for how many years? But is it our fault? The opposition in the State since 1999 are the laziest set of people intellectually, that I have ever seen. They are not funding Governance Impact Assessment Research. They have been in opposition at the Federal since 2015, have they been involved in any critically structured Governance Impact Assessment since then?

How do you see the few outings of Tinubu on international fora? Would you say they are really arousing investors’ interests in Nigeria?

Ask, Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission, to provide data to support PBAT’s adventures for investors! Do we need to arouse investor interest in Nigeria? We are naturally endowed to be any serious investor’s destination. The question is, why are investors shunning us for less attractive destinations?

Insecurity, economic stability and the ease of doing business. I have been at the mercy of Polaris Bank over a memo raised on my corporate account, it has taken me to several agencies of government without a solution. For two months we couldn’t access the money we worked for. Does the government care about how easy it is for us to do business?
BAT should seat down to improve indices in those two areas and investors will be here falling over each other and local businesses like mine will compliment economic growth in our own little way.

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Could you take a critical look at the federal cabinet? Do you see them as round pegs in round holes?

Our failure are systemic; more from constitutional lacuna, federating structure than the individual attitude that often becomes our chase. Emefiele is our chase with regards to CBN. But there are 29 departments at the Central Bank of Nigeria, with four deputy Governors. That Institution should stream from 29 channels and pooled for decision recommendations on four tables; of the deputy Governor Corporate Services, Economic Policy, Financial System Stability and Operations.

The collapse of 29 departments and failure of 4 deputy Governors translated to the overbearing ego driven personality we are prosecuting. The President has appointed a new Governor and deputies Governors, but their table will be served by what the 29 departments will supply. We must rejig the system.

Would you say that Tinubu has so far followed his promise of running a Government of National Unity?

To the best of his ability and that of my knowledge, I think he has. But South East being the weeping child of our union as a nation, the President must further assure that they have a future in Nigeria.

Going by feelers from Imo, Kogi and Bayelsa, could you predict the outcome of the off season governorship elections that will hold in these three states in November?

am too deep and committed to right leadership evolution and political activation for good governance. I will rather concern myself and all the interests I represent with what should win election in those states than predicting the parties and persons that we likely win. It’s our responsibility to intelligently frustrate failure from winning any off season election.

A public Governance Impact Assessment is key and we will give our best to it in partnership with electorate in those States. Who was the error of our involvement that saw Obaseki to power in the last Governorship election in Edo State. We are confronted with the most autocratic personality ever in our democracy. He is a mistake Edo State must not make again. Nothing can substitute for rights of individual in a democracy. His treatment of his Deputy is just undemocratic. What should be the focus of our staggered election?

Would you say that the Labour Movement as represented by the NLC and TUC are representing Nigerians well under the Tinubu administration do far?

We unfortunately still live in the historical context of the Labour Union in Nigeria. Hallucinating for a Michael Imodu led kind of Labour movement. I will leave your judgement to whatever the experience of Adams Oshiomhole’s transformation from labour leader to a political leader has served us. We are gagged by a leadership structure across board who are enemies during the day and friends at night. Nigerians must take responsibility and bear their fate in their own hands.

The coastal highway construction contract from Lagos to Calabar has been signed by BAT led Presidency, don’t you think he should be applauded for this?

It’s high time we do away with the slavery mentality inflected on us by our colonial masters. He is hired to work and is getting paid for his job! Applause for a man whose interest is captured in the contract! A PPP project that will be tolled from Badagry to Calabar, mark my words, it will run through Lekki and will see the Lekki toll gate reopened. The location of the Toll gate may shift, but it’s a silent way to see the toll gate back, up and running and the switch back in the hands of the lad that had control of them before the mauling of our children.

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