We have performed well, APC spokesman says

Aanya Igomu

APC National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Bolaji Abdullahi

Nigeria’s governing party, the All Progressives Congress, APC, says it has performed well in keeping its promises to Nigerians since it came into government on May 29, 2015.

The APC National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Bolaji Abdulahi stated this during an interview with journalists at the party’s headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

During the 2015 election campaign, President Muhammadu Buhari promised to fight insecurity and corruption and revive the economy.

In the interview, Mr. Bolaji explained the efforts the government has made in delivering on these promises.

“At the time we were preparing for election in 2015, more than 50,000 square kilometers of Nigeria territory were physically occupied by Boko Haram, where they declared a caliphate and planted their flag. I remember that in trying to make sense of it foreign media said the area occupied by Boko Haram was the size of Belgium. Two years down the line, what is the size of Nigeria territory occupied by Boko Haram? Zero, including the dreaded Sambisa forest. For us, this is a remarkable achievement and we believe that in that respect, President Buhari and the government of APC have justified the purpose of coming to power.”

He continued: “Let us take the issue of corruption. We must not forget that before APC came into power two years ago, we knew what was going on. We knew that people were stealing this country dry, but it was almost like it has been accepted as if it was normal. People were stealing as if it was an entitlement. But what do you find happening today? You listen to the radio, watch the television, read the newspapers, Nigerians are talking about corruption every day. It means that as a nation, there is nothing in our DNA that accept corruption.”

 “Regarding the issue of unemployment, I believe that we have to take a more comprehensive look at the challenge of unemployment that Nigeria is faced with and we have to also understand every country in the world today is dealing with this issue of unemployment. We have 46 percent of Nigerian youths that are unemployed according to the report of the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics. If we agree that the population of young people in this country is about 65 million, what is 46 percent of 65 million? If you take the entire civil service in Nigeria, I don’t think they have more than 300,000 people. If you take out 300,000 people in the context of about 30 million people that are looking for employment, no matter what you do, it will look like you have done nothing,” the spokesman added.

Mr. Abdullahi urged Nigerians not to judge the performance of the party at the federal level alone, but to consider the performance of the party in the 24 states that have APC governments.

The APC National Publicity Secretary also spoke on recent issues concerning party relations.

“Every President has his own style and his own ways of doing things. I don’t think there is a standard prescription on how Presidents are supposed to behave in relation to the party. I was told that in the second republic, President Shehu Shagari will not do anything without Chief Adisa Akinloye who was the party chairman knowing about it and that the party chairman could even summon the President. But in 1999, President Obasanjo became not just the President of Nigeria, but he appropriated the title of the leader of the party.

He had his own relationship with the party chairman and how he wanted the relationship between the government and the party to be. President Yar’adua came and he had his own ways,” Mr Abdullahi stated.

“What we are experiencing now is the way President Buhari understands and wants the relationship between the government and the party to be. It does not mean that it is a bad thing. It is just a way of doing things; it is his own style. Everybody that works in that context will have to learn to adapt to that style, that strategy and that way of doing things. It does not mean that it is bad. But I also know that the situation that we have found ourselves, the health of the president has also been a challenge,” he concluded.