Bode George, a former deputy national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has said that the refusal of President Muhammadu Buhari to implement the 2014 National Conference report which called for the decentralisation of power among other suggestions contributed to his administration’s failure.
The PDP chieftain said it would have been a miracle if the Buhari administration had succeeded because Nigeria’s current structure was faulty, stressing that former president, Goodluck Jonathan was aware of the problem which necessitated his decision to set up the 2014 constitutional conference despite initial refusal.
In 2014, the Goodluck Jonathan administration organised a national dialogue; the conference report suggested geo-political, fiscal, administration and security restructuring of Nigeria, among other recommendations.
Goerge made the observation during an interview with some Journalists in his office In Ikoyi, Lagos at the weekend.
He added that the outgoing President’s directive to states some months ago for them to begin to generate their electricity, construct railways and build prisons, was an indication that he now realised the need to decentralise governance and the enormity of the problem.
“President Buhari was given a full report and he refused to implement the report. But some months ago, after realising that this system cannot work, he started giving directions for states to handle railway, electricity, prison etc,
George stated that the Buhari’s administration performed before expectations in all sectors, while the country was now worse off than he met it, especially in security.
According to him, “My personal assessment is that they failed, not completely in all sectors. If you do an exam, you agree with me that you must have 33% or more if you want to go to the next class, but they did not attain that 33percent.
“If I want to score them I would give them 5% even that five per cent, requires a lot of introspection, the economy sector, education, health, agriculture sector etc are all down.
“The most important thing is that you must guarantee your people’s security; where is safe now? Whether you are rich or poor when you are walking at a junction you have to look back, left and centre.
“It is very disheartening and heart-breaking that the level of killings; guaranteeing security of life and property has failed”.
Speaking on the recent visit of some political associates of Bola Tinubu, the President-elect to seek his support for the new administration, George said he has no personal problem with Tinubu, but disagreed with him about the manner Lagos State was being governed, especially the manner the former governor turned the state into a family entity.
“There is a being that is bigger than us. I explained they came with three issues; the first to apologise about what they did to me that time, that I should forget.
“And I told them clearly I have moved on. My interpretation of that experience was like; if God wants to use you, he would allow you to go through a spiritual desert to learn and see grace.
“For me to have survived for eighteen months I did not go to hospital for once and when I came out, my house became a Mecca of different people, because they knew that there was no offence. I have forgiven, but to forget is difficult.
“Nothing is personal between me and Tinubu, but I told them to establish a skills acquisition centre in Lagos for the numerous unemployed youths in the state, but he is not here, Sanwo-Olu can do it.
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“My point is that government should not be for yourself, family and your wife. I have nothing personal against him.
“The second reason they came was for us to set up a Lagos State platform; whose membership would be all Lagosians, irrespective of political association.”
Speaking on his assessment of the presidential election petition tribunal, George said the decision of the tribunal not to allow live telecast of proceedings had affected his optimism about the fairness of the process.
“I lost my interest when we were told we would not allow live telecast in the law court. I looked at the reasons given; I cried for my country, why? Is it a secret cult?
“Let the people see the court proceeding, because this issue concerns them; they went to vote, we saw the shenanigan in that election,” he said.