Godwin AJOM, Calabar
Ahead of the presidential primaries of the PDP, chairman of the party in Cross River State, Venatius Ikem has told a former senate president, Dr Bukola Saraki that the state chapter of the party will decide his fate in the days to come.
Ikem said this when he received a delegation from Saraki’s campaign organisation who were in Calabar to meet the party’s delegates. Saraki is one of those angling to become president of Nigeria in 2023. The delegation was led by the Professor Iyorwuese Hagher.
Briefing newsmen on their visit to the state, Hagher, the Bukola Saraki campaign and advocacy council chairman, said they were sent by the former senate president to inform Cross River state of his intention to run for the office of the president in the 2023.
“The biggest failure of Nigeria is that we have failed to provide the correct leadership, to harness the resources of this country for the overall betterment of the entire country.
“This is the only country that has managed to waste five hundred trillion dollars by successive administrations. That money was supposed to link all the major towns in the country; through rail system, bus systems, complete road system, 24 hours uninterrupted power supply, but instead, the money has been wasted.
“Despite these, the last seven years, we have had the worst insecurity in this country since independence. The time has come for us to do something different; the type of leaders we have now, especially in the APC, if we allow four more years of APC, we will be picking Nigeria in pieces. They cannot manage Nigeria.
“Today, we have less than three million Nigerians consuming 90 per cent of Nigeria’s revenue. This include the president, governors, entire civil service, National Assembly, local government chairmen, their special assistants; they are not up to three million, but they consume 90 per cent of Nigeria’s revenue. This means we have bad leaders who are bad managers. We cannot have a country like this.
“We are here to sensitize and inform the PDP delegates in Cross River to elect the flag bearer of the PDP in the next presidential election. We have come here because, Dr Saraki is a very humble man, he doesn’t want to go ahead and declare without informing the delegates about his intention to run for president,” he said.
Ikem said in response, that ” I have the highest respect for his capacity and I believe it is ultimately God that gives power, we will do our beat; as chairman, I have to manage all the contending aspirations, that come to us both at federal and state levels.
“We have all seen what politics has done to us, ultimately we are now agreeing on looking at how we can contribute to salvage this country by looking at who is able and capable to lead us; because the next presidency is going to be very difficult, Nigeria is over borrowed, in practical terms, what it means is that last year Nigeria used 4 trillion naira to service debts; that is just to pay interest and other charges on the loan, and if you recall, our budget was about 4 trillion, that means very soon, we will be using half of the budget to finance debts, and using half of the budge to attempt running this country.
“So we are heading to a very serious disaster. By the time we start removing subsidies on everything and reducing the work force, there will be real hardship, so we need people who have capacity; who can navigate their way through the economy and other sectors come 2023,” Ikem said. He assured that when the time comes, Dr. Bukola Saraki will hear from Cross River state.