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Over 80% of Nigeria’s crude oil gets stolen

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By Abiodun Okunloye

Nigeria needs to be saved from ineffective leadership to meet people’s needs.

Olusegun Obasanjo, the former President of Nigeria, pointed out that the country’s economy is suffering because Nigeria is unable to track its oil production like other oil-producing nations can due to theft. This observation coincides with comments made by Prof. Ango Abdullahi, a former Chairman of the Northern Elders Forum and former Vice Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University. Abdullahi commented on the state of Nigerian leadership, criticising its failure to meet the needs of the people. He emphasised the urgent need for the country to be saved from ineffective leadership.

During the book launch in Abuja for “Court and Politics” by Dr. Umar Ardo, a former confidant of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, discussions revolved around the alarming state of the Nigerian economy. Former Niger State governor Babangida Aliyu, who represented former President Obasanjo’s highlighted the detrimental effects of the reported theft of over 80 percent of the country’s crude oil reserves on its economic stability. He revealed that out of the daily crude oil quota of about two million barrels, approximately 1.7 million barrels are being stolen.

People need to come together and brainstorm solutions to save the nation.

He spoke on the debate between returning to the parliamentary system or sticking with the presidential system in Nigeria, stating that the issue lies not with the presidential system itself but rather with the lack of adherence to rules by Nigerians. Abdullahi, as the chairman of the event, declared that it was time for a change. Their failures cannot continue to hold this country back. They must put an end to this cycle of failure. He emphasised the need for everyone to come together and brainstorm solutions to save the nation.

When recounting his interaction with Aminu Dantata, an elder statesman, Abdullahi shared that Dantata expressed frustration towards northerners for their shortcomings in improving the North. He emphasised that it was time for them to acknowledge and take responsibility for their repeated failures. His frustration was evident as he expressed disappointment towards him, emphasising that the Northern population was responsible for the region’s shortcomings. Progress will only be achievable once the Northern community acknowledges their failures and collaborates to devise a plan for advancement.

The presidential system has not been successful in the nation.

In 1978, a meeting was convened to transition back to civilian rule. The group had intended to analyse the shortcomings of the previous system from 1961 but was surprised when the discussion excluded the parliamentary system. Instead, the suggestion was put forth to adopt a federal system of government, with two models presented for consideration such as the French and American systems. After 24 years of implementing the presidential system, it has become evident that it has not been successful. In his evaluation, he would give it a failing grade of F9.

Being the ex-NEF chairman, he expressed disappointment at the fact that Nigeria, despite having a population exceeding 200 million, is only able to produce 4,000 megawatts of electricity. Abdullahi emphasised the need for a return to the beginning in order to rescue the nation. Meanwhile, Prince Secondus, the ex-National chairman of the PDP, urged for reforms in the judiciary system regarding political processes, advocating for elections to be determined by the public rather than the legal system.

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Kanu Agabi (SAN), the former Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice emphasised that the judiciary plays a crucial role in preventing Nigeria from falling apart. On a different note, Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo, former national chairman of PDP, claimed that he was ousted from his position because he advocated for internal democracy within the party. According to Nwodo, establishing internal democracy within political parties would greatly reduce the need for courts to interfere in the parties’ operations.

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