A chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Farouk Aliyu, has admitted to the party’s ignorance of the country’s situation before selling its “Change!” mantra to Nigerians ahead of the 2015 General Elections.
With President Muhammadu Buhari as its candidate and its assurance of better security and socio-economic development to citizens in record time, the party won the election thus ending the 16 years rule of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Mr Aliyu said inadequate knowledge of the situation in the country at the time was a mistake the APC made during the electioneering.
He stated this during a political discussion on “Politics Today” on the programme on Channels Television on Thursday.
He featured on the programme alongside a member of a newly formed political group, Rescue Nigeria Project, Usman Bugaje, and a chieftain of the PDP, Umar Ardo.
Mr Aliyu, a former Minority Leader of the House of Representatives under the defunct ANPP, described the APC’s promises as “assumptions” which have continued to serve as yardsticks to measure the performance of the Buhari administration in the last six years.
Although the administration has recorded some modest success in terms of infrastructural development, that did not come without mounting debt profile and worsening insecurity situation across the country.
“Sometimes, let me concede, when we were in the opposition, there were certain assumptions that you made out of ignorance, sometimes out of sheer mischief.
“When we were in the opposition, we came all round the country demonstrating against fuel hike. That time, we were ignorant, that is the truth, I agreed.
“When we came to realise and we later thought what Jonathan did was not wrong, in fact, the subsidy should go. Now we have come to know that there are certain indices that can’t continue to be subsidizing. This is the reality,” Mr Aliyu said, highlighting the depth of corruption among other assumptions the party made as opposition.
He dismissed the speculated dilemma of the APC to present a candidate as acceptable as Mr Buhari in the 2023 General Elections.
The former lawmaker said the incumbent president had never been the best candidate the ruling party could offer but a candidate favoured by the electoral system.
He also admitted to the corrupt tendencies of some of the party members despite the promise to wipe out corruption in the country.
“I’m not telling you that there is no corruption in the country; corruption is still going on but this time around, you dare not sit and discuss corruption in the open.
“Back in the days, you sat around the table and you shared contracts, money and so on when PDP was in government.
“I’m not telling you that there are no corrupt people in our government, absolutely there are! Some of them are already being investigated,” Mr Aliyu said.