Chairman of the National Caretaker Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Senator Ahmed Makarafi, has exonerated President Muhammadu Buhari of blame over the current economic recession in the country.
According to the former Kaduna State Governor, the issues that built up to land the country in the present economic recession, predated the present administration.
The caretaker chairman of the opposition PDP, therefore, described the present economic situation in the country as a product of collective governance failure, which builds up over the years.
Mr. Makarfi expressed these views in an exclusive interview published by LEADERSHIP yesterday.
The PDP chieftain said the present economic recession has strong roots in structural inadequacies in the economy, which successive governments in the country have refused to address.
“Some of these things are structural that even predate this democracy, long before 1999. They are issues that dates back to the time of the military and the intermittent civilian administrations that we had. Depending on how you look at it, you can apportion blames anyhow you wish, but that being the case, it is a collective responsibility, from a collective failure”, he said.
Though he posited that the Buhari government must take some of the blame for the economic downturn, especially in view of the admittance by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) that there is failure in quite a number of monetary and fiscal policies, Makarfi warned against the politicisation of the economic recession.
“If you politicise the problem, we at the high level, it may not affect us personally but it will continue to affect our followers in whose interest we say we are doing politics. Of course if you come to the current administration, even the CBN has acknowledged that there is failure in quite a number of monetary and fiscal policies. I have not heard a strong statement from the executive on what is its own failure. But again, blame game is a major factor. You solve half of the problem when you acknowledge that the problem exists, shifting the problem in order to apportion blame to your opponent is unhealthy and it is not going to make us come out of the woods”, he said.
While faulting the mix in the President Buhari’s cabinet, he noted that “The personal integrity of the president you cannot question even before he won election. So where you should give credit, you should give credit, and where you should acknowledge something you should acknowledge, and where you should criticise, you should criticise and say no, that is not the way to look at it”.
On the Buhari administration’s war against corruption, Makarfi notes that “it is only when a government is not in power that you can measure corruption. Whether it is governor, minister, chief executive of parastatals, friends of government, it is only when the government is not in power that independently you can know and measure its level of corruption. APC is now in power, let it be any other party then you can be in a better position to measure which period was more corrupt”.
He, however, gave thumbs up to the anti-corruption fight of the federal government to the extent that it has touched areas where no such fight has touched under any previous government.
“Let us also look at history. For the first time, military men and high level civil servants are taken to court. Just look at the military officers being prosecuted for alleged corruption. This has not happened before. It has not been proved, still an allegation, but it is more than the entire campaign fund you are talking about”, he said.