The ineptitude which the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) mistakes for governance is nowhere more pronounced than in the power sector. The gross incompetence exhibited by the party in this sector simply beggars belief.
Billons of dollars belonging to the people of Nigeria simply went down the drain as a result of lack of planning, corruption and a refusal to pay attention to details. That there is no light anywhere in Nigeria should not come as a surprise. The weak political structure of the PDP had at its summit, a man who was impervious to reason. After all, this was the man who once infamously retorted that ‘I am not bound to take your advice’ when addressing his newly-sworn-in advisers. The rest, of course, is history. Nigeria has been living since then in the dark ages.
While neighbouring less endowed West African countries are forging ahead, achieving increases in volume of electricity generated, transmitted and distributed, Nigeria is in a terrible mess. The wobbling and fumbling in the power sector has come with a terrible opportunity cost. The so-called ‘Peoples’ Democratic Party continues to wallow in graft, ineptitude and corruption, while the country is effectively been de-industrialized.
Everyday, there is alarming news that whatever is left of Nigeria’s manufacturing base is literally fleeing from the country’s notorious infrastructure deficit. Ghana is now the preferred port of call.
The irony should not be overlooked. Lacking Nigeria’s mouth-watering resources, it nevertheless has that most vital of ingredients-sensible governance. This has translated into superb retooling of the country’s infrastructure. No wonder, companies that have been in operation in Nigeria in some cases for over 60 years are heading there. If this is not for us as Nigerians, a national calamity, what then is?
Good governance makes a difference. Pivotal governments with focused programmes have been decisive in the history of nations. Examples include our own Action Group government in Western Nigeria in the 1950s, Indira Gandhi’s ‘Green Revolution’ in India and Lee Kuan Yew’s remarkable feat in taking Singapore from inconsequence to first world status within a generation. This shows, with due apologies to Barak Obama, that it can be done.
Unfortunately, it’s not going to be done by a totally unprincipled formation such as the PDP. Two years into President Umaru Yar’Adua’s government, the country has nothing to show in terms of achievement. Wobbling and fumbling, lacking a coordinated position, the government is in a perpetual state of confusion. It could not have been otherwise. For, it takes the deep to call to the deep as the avatar; Chief Obafemi Awolowo had cause to observe. A comparison with the focused, superbly prepared, progressive government in Lagos State is enough to make a grown man to weep. Fashola and his able crew have shown in Lagos State that it can be done.
The issue now becomes how to translate this purposeful sort of governance into the Centre. Luckily, the year 2011 is just a round the corner. By vigorously protecting their vote, the PDP can be booted out. There is no other conceivable route. Continuation of PDP rule means stagnation, unemployment, misrule and the absence of social and economic justice.
Preparations for regime change in 2011 must start today with all hands on deck. To wrestle power from the do nothing PDP is a task that must be done in the nation’s interest.