The 2023 presidential poll in Nigeria is still two years away but political permutations and tractations have commenced in earnest. The (mis)ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) party are positioning themselves to retain power post-Buharism. Since President Buhari has failed to deliver on anything and change or transform Nigeria it would be very difficult for the APC to convince Nigerians to vote it again into power. But Nigeria being Nigeria (where everything is fair ad possible) the APC could pull off a ‘stunning’ victory through elaborate rigging.
Having rejected the electronic transmission of results the APC apparatchiks are apparently preparing the ground for electoral fraud come 2023. But the conventional and non-conventional opposition elements are alive to their responsibilities.
On the other hand the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are desperately thirsty for power at the zenith. Having dominated the national political scene for 16 unbroken years ad now forced to be in the opposition six years down the line the PDP are strategizing and re-strategizing towards seizing power democratically for the sleazy funds to get rolling again!
Now, Nigerians are at the mercy of these two corrupt political establishments united by only graft and mediocrity. A third force could rise to challenge the two dominant parties in order to force a desired change.
As 2023 general elections draw ever closer chances are that things could change when President Buhari and his enabling cabal are sent out of Aso Rock.
Issues abound that ought to occupy our attention as campaign issues. Issues like power generation and distribution, poverty, corruption, agitations for secession, restructuring, infrastructure decay, policing and justice delivery. While corruption remains the greatest challenge facing our nation the Buharian sectional ethno-religious politics is another. And yet another is power — its generation and supply chain.
Today we shall be focusing on power and how inadequate supply of same nationwide is keeping Nigeria from reaching her greatness. Potentially Nigeria is a great nation given her abundant natural and human resources.
When Olusegun Obasanjo was President he had claimed that billions of Dollars (sixteen or thereabout!) were pumped into the power sector. But we are yet to experience any difference despite the humongous funds thrown into the all-important sector. Or did ‘Baba’ and his cronies simply share the money and sign off bogus or non-existent contracts to that effect?
Earlier this month the human rights lawyer, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, (SAN), had issued a statement entitled “Government in power without power” and published online. In the release the notable senior lawyer lambasted the Buhari administration for its inability to provide or guarantee steady power supply to Nigerians. He made it clear that Nigerians were tired of excuses from the Muhammadu Buhari-led government and wanted value for their votes.
For the senior advocate: “Power generation is the main issue in regard to the socio-economic development of any nation. In Nigeria however, successive governments have deployed it for political gains, knowing the importance that Nigerians attach to it”.
And continuing he railed: “The impression that our leaders in power have conveyed to us is that it is practically impossible to have stable and permanent power supply; that we don’t have the resources to build the needed energy plants that will meet the needs of all Nigerians….. that we must accept generators as second nature, if we must function and survive, as a people….Churches, Mosques, banks, schools, small businesses, factories, government ministries and departments, police stations, the courts and even the Power Holding Company of Nigeria itself, all depend on generators.”
Lawyer Adegboruwa called out the Super Minister of Power and former Governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola, SAN, for having asserted that any serious government would fix the power problem in six months prior to his entrance into the Buhari regime and now doing practically nothing to “crack this seemingly hard nut”. Now, Fashola “had power but could not deliver power!”
Adegboruwa questioned the rationale behind our supply of power to neighbouring Niger Republic when we do not have enough for ourselves! You do not export what you do not have in abundance or do you? We export petrol because we have it in abundance but the same cannot be said of electricity.
What is surprising is that in Niger Republic or Benin Republic where we reportedly export electricity these Francophone countries enjoy more stable power supply than Nigeria, the exporter! How can you give what you do not have? It is criminal to sell what you need at home.
The man of law concluded soundly that: “The campaign now for all Nigerians should be that of Power for Power. If you cannot provide POWER (electricity) to better our lives and develop ourselves, then you are not entitled to POWER (governance) to better your pockets”.
In 2023 Nigerians must insist on power for power! That is, whether the ruling party gets re-elected or the opposition regaining power (or even a third force conquering Aso Villa) the candidate must be able to demonstrate his or her capacity through a convincing programme of action to transform the comatose power sector.
It must be power for power! Power (electricity) must be the priority. We have lived too long in power slavery!