Tinubu Govt Has No Clear Direction Of What It Plans To Achieve – Yunusa Tanko

The Chief Spokesperson of the Labour Party (LP) Presidential Campaign Council in the 2023 election, Dr Yunusa Tanko, has said the Bola Tinubu administration lacks clear direction of its plans for Nigerians.

In an exclusive interview with Naija News, Tanko said the All Progressives Congress (APC) led federal government has failed to explain to Nigerians how it intends to revive the economy, tackle corruption and fight insecurity ravaging the country.

Speaking further, the LP chieftain said the crisis rocking the party would soon be resolved through a national convention and all aggrieved persons would have to participate in the process of making the party organised.

Below is the full interview with Naija News Assistant Editor, Olugbenga Ige.

What’s your assessment of the Bola Tinubu administration so far?

“As far as I am concerned, the Tinubu administration, as I’ve observed, is a government that has no clear direction of what it intends to achieve. I’m not so sure also if they have followed the manifestos of the party under which they ran. The reason is the fact that the APC has its own manifestos, and it tells you exactly what it wants you to achieve but you notice that the Tinubu administration hasn’t been able to come out and give you a clear core directive of how they intend to change the economy of this country. How he intends to fight corruption head-on. How he intends to deal with the issues of security, how he intends to get Nigeria out of the woods, and how they visualize Nigeria in the international community.

“Yes, they must have had a manifesto. The manifesto which the presidency sold to Nigerian people, but at the same time, are they following that particular manifesto as it were? The answer is No. This is very important for us to know, especially from what we have seen recently. In the act of the presidency itself, the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I’m not so sure if he has declared his assets according to the Code of Conduct Bureau, and I say this because if he had done so we would have known what he’s worth, what he’s assets worth, how he intends to say ok look this is what I have and I come with a clean slate.”

What area of the economy do you think the President should address?

“With the issue of the economy, the Presidency can look deeply at the concrete arrangement in the area of agriculture in trying to diversify our economy from a one-legged economy from oil. It could start adding value because once the issue of hunger is removed from the hearts and minds of people, they can now start working collectively to start thinking in another direction.

“Two, the issue of our refinery, which has doubled down and increased the cost of food items. Every logistics in Nigeria should be looked into. That means that Nigeria, as a matter of urgency, should start building modular refineries, which would have been one of the things Peter Obi would have done almost instantly to make sure that the Nigeran refineries are working. At least, we can have one of the modular refineries in each geopolitical zone of the country, and we can start exporting, and the price of food items would reduce.”

What are your thoughts on the kidnappings and killings in the country?

“I think there is a conspiracy within the state both within and outside the country. The government needs to deal with the issue of within before thinking of trying to deal with the outside because when they have no person to communicate with inside the government, then they can be able to ostracize those who are infiltrating the country from outside. I say this because I saw a video where bandits were wearing military and Nigeria Police uniforms. The bandits were wearing combatant uniforms, which is very rare before you could lay your hands on it. How come? It is either somebody within the system who sold it to them or gave it to them, and they have arms. Most of the bandits have been assumed to be foreigners coming in from other tribes and these tribes do not produce guns. So somebody somewhere must have been giving them guns and uniforms. So, it is a coordinated conspiracy against the state, and the government has been unable to checkmate the internal mechanism some people are making stupendous money at the expense of killing Nigerians.

“Meanwhile, this particular government seems completely incapable of solving the security issues, and they don’t even know exactly where to start from, which is a minus on the part of governance. So it means that this particular government is not prepared for governance in the first place. How come one bandit leader has not been arrested, and no investigation has been carried out to arrest these criminals disturbing the peace of the nation?”

What’s your take on the different policies implemented by the Tinubu government?

“As I said earlier, there is no clear-cut directive. Even the policies that are reported to have been implemented. I have not seen any particular one they have implemented. They are just picking and trying to play to the gallery. In the first place, the issue of the removal of fuel subsidies was not properly thought out because immediately after they removed it, everything went up. Even though President Muhammadu Buhari has also removed it from the budget as it were. This government just played to the gallery, and before you know it, bam! It increases the prices of commodities of food items almost 10 times and that isn’t well thought out. Before you can make such a statement, you should have been able to provide an alternative in which people can survive and take care of their basic needs.

“When you come out with the issue of palliative. Up till today, the majority of Nigerians have not seen any palliative. I only heard that one governor is doing palliative which is completely an insult to the Nigerian people. Governor Obaseki, who was repairing federal government roads, said he was doing palliative roads. Can you just imagine? This is the level. And one person is having 25 billion, 25 thousand dollars and 25 thousand euros. All In one person’s account, that is Betta Edu. That is one out of thousands of people who have stolen this country’s money into a point of stupor. So the case of Betta Edu, she is just being used as a launching pad to say ok let’s just window-dress this issue in the interest of the Nigerians and make them look like we are just doing something.

“Quite honestly, there is no clear-cut directive on the implementation of the policies this particular government has put in place. What you would have convinced me is to say that yes, this government has done something by letting them put it on the table yes, this is exactly what we promised to do for you in terms of economy. This is what we promised that we are going to do in terms of security, in terms of education, in terms of employment, and in terms of international relations and all. When you put it down in the public domain and then start picking them one by one against the policy put into place then Nigerians will now know that we’re dealing with the issues of security, economy, employment and education. That is the only way u can have a checklist of saying that these are the proposed policies that the government has put in place for why they have promised, but that is yet to be done, so the government is still searching in the dark without a clear-cut direction that tells you they are ill-prepared for governance.”

Some people said the Labour Party has performed woefully as an opposition party, and its federal lawmakers aren’t doing their job. What’s your response?

“The Labour Party has shown resilience and determination under the leadership of Barrister Julius Abure. As far as I’m concerned, it has done so well for itself. Yes, Nigerians must have been expecting the party to have done better than the way it is doing at the moment, but the fact still remains that the party has done well. This is a party that was relatively unknown even though it had been in existence for some time. But today, it can boast of a governor, and if not for the allocation of the result they gave to the party, the party actually won the election in 2023 and also won several of the states, not even one. Of course, the powers that be manipulating the system have stifled the actual winning of the party and then most of our members in the legislature are learning some of the procedures of the lower and upper chambers. But then, it is a work in progress, as it were.

“But I can tell you that the Labour Party is redefining and redesigning itself for achievements in no distant time. So, the party is getting stronger by the minute and a lot of people are interested in it. In fact, it has been seen as a third force, meaning that the Labour Party is seen as the only party that can save Nigeria from its present challenges, considering the fact the Labour Party is under the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC).”

When will the Labour Party crisis be resolved and the Lamidi Apapa faction be integrated into the main fold?

“The party is on the verge of calling for a national convention starting from the ward level to the national level. Once that is done, everybody who believes he has a stake in the party can come up and contest according to the guidelines that would be put in place by the party. So, therefore, all of this particular agitation by individuals or different groups will come to a halt. Those who are conspiring against the party, those who are disguising themselves under the party and those who have gotten the legitimacy to fight the party will all come to a stop after the pronouncement of this particular procedure for a national convention that will ready for everybody who believes in the party.”

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