• Gives reasons for not participating in APC governorship campaign
Against the backdrop of starvation, terrorism, and dwindling resources, the former National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, (APC), Chief John Odigie Oyegun on Monday lamented the dwindling fortunes of Nigerians.
Oyegun who spoke on the state of the nation said that the country has not attained its full potentials and was facing such a huge challenge even though a very solid foundation was laid for it to rise above all its numerous challenges.
“Things have been tough. What I can say confidently, is that the basic foundation of our future growth has been laid. There is no question in my mind about that but the administration has not been lucky at all.”
Oyegun who spoke with journalists in Benin noted that the country has been going through a very tough period right from the beginning of the current administration, adding that things will certainly have been worse if not for the prudent management of resources.
He said: “We have had very tough periods of dwindling resources right from the beginning of this administration and I think, for careful management, we probably would not have gotten as far as we have today. There is no question at all about that.”
The ex-Edo State governor conceded that there is hunger in the land and that the economy was not growing as it ought to be while unemployment is very high.
He wailed: “Terrorism has risen to its ugly head again after initial successes and control over it. The cost of producing crude oil now is almost equating what we are getting from selling it. So, the resources are just not there. I must say I am sad that things have gotten to this kind of situation, totally outside control.”
Oyegun, however, blamed those at the helms of affairs of the country who he insisted are not doing enough by building hopes and confidence in the people.
Oyegun laments dwindling fortunes of Nigerians
According to him, the leadership through its action should make Nigerians believe that even though things are rough at the moment, there will always be better days ahead and that they should keep their hopes and faith in the country alive.
He said: “The only missing link that I will think is that we are not sufficiently giving the people hope or explaining things to people and giving them hope that tomorrow will be better.
“So, there is despondency in the land, that critical ingredient that makes people say okay, things are bad today, but they are telling us that it will be better tomorrow, that is missing. In addition to economic difficulty, economic deprivation, we have not successfully conveyed to them, the picture of a better tomorrow.”
On the rising cases of insecurity in the country, he charged that there could be external forces that do not mean well for the survival of the nation that could be responsible for its resurgence.
He noted that at 60, things are very tough for the ordinary Nigerian but expressed hope that if Nigerians are able to contain the difficulties that beset them, particularly, insecurity, then, the country still has a brighter future.
He lamented: “I am very worried about insecurity because of my untutored mind, I don’t know anything about security.
“It is beginning to sound to me as if somebody outside this nation, groups outside this nation have interests in our country that are contrary to the public notice because what is happening otherwise doesn’t make sense and there are a lot of foreigners involved, a lot of AK-47 all of which are coming in through the Sahara desert.”
He continued: “I am a layman and I don’t know much about it but it is something that needs a very in-depth investigation. Are we as a nation being sabotaged by external forces? It is a question that has to be looked at and must be investigated.”
Oyegun confessed that he didn’t participate in the APC governorship campaign during the just concluded election because he didn’t want to be part of illegality.
“I am a man of conscience. I am a strong believer in justice and fair play. When the rules of an association you belong to have been so flagrantly disregarded, put aside, not complied with, then, you have to go back to your conscience to say, can I support what has happened? Can I support what has happened? I cannot support injustice.
“Your loyalty in life should be what is right, that is the principle. So, it was a basic issue of principle, it is a basic issue of conscience.
“And the firm belief that the group you belong to has committed a grave injustice. When that happened, if you are a man of principle, if you are a man who respects yourself, then, you will point it out and they will stand back.”