November 04, 2014.
The government of President Goodluck Jonathan came on board totally unprepared for the insurgency ravaging some states in the North, the Presidency has said.
Speaking at the public forum on the impact of the Jonathan administration on Tuesday in Abuja, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Public Affairs, Dr. Doyin Okupe, said those that were bent on rating the present government, based on the worsening state of insurgency in Nigeria, were wrong.
He said, “Somebody wants us to believe that the only testimony of performance of this administration is insecurity. (But) that’s not true. This government was totally unprepared for the insurgency. Nobody planned for insurgency. And yet insurgency is a serious problem on its own to contain. America, with all its power and resources, was in Iraq for up to about five or six years with over 400,000 soldiers put on ground and yet see Iraq the way it is today.”
He noted that it was a national misfortune that the Chibok girls were still held captive by the terrorists, stressing that the ceasefire agreement between the Federal Government and Boko Haram was at the instance of the sect.
He said, “Yes, a ceasefire was announced and it was at the instance of the insurgents. What the President has demonstrated today is that he said that all options are on the table. So, when the insurgents call for talk, how can anybody blame the government for that? If it doesn’t work out, that is not the fault of the government. That is actually the nature of the insurgents. Because they are factionalised, their line of command is not clearly defined.
“So, this government’s capability and performance cannot solely be represented on the outcome of the insurgency in Nigeria. There is agriculture, education, infrastructure, health, social development and many other component parts.”
Okupe further argued that Nigeria had three tiers of government and Nigerians should start demanding the dividends of democracy from their respective state and local governments.
He said, “There are three tiers of government: federal, state and local. The Federal Government only takes 48.5 per cent of the total revenue for the country. The other 51.5 per cent is taken by the states and all the local governments put together.
“But everybody focuses only on the Federal Government and that is wrong. It is right to put their focus on the Federal Government but it is wrong to put their focus only on the Federal Government, because the share of the money for development and administration is equal. And out of the Federal Government’s share, about 15 per cent goes to foreign affairs and military, which the states do not bear at all.”