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The presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Prince Adewole Adebayo has given reasons why government is responsible for the abject poverty in Nigeria amid rich natural endowments, saying that his party is the most consistent political parties in Nigeria in the past 30 years.
He spoke in a TVC News interview, insisting that the history of the party does not hurt his presidential bit saying that it rather the party has “been consistent in the last 30 years; order than the trouble making political parties we have these days.
Blaming government policies for the poor economy in Nigeria, he maintained that the poverty in Nigeria was caused by the hand of the government.
The SDP presidential candidate said that “As an entrepreneur, I suffer a lot.”
But he has realized that if Nigerians can get the government right by electing people who want to serve into government, not “big men, people who take ministerial positions to shore up their personal profile not to serve”, the life of the citizens will be better.
Prince Adebayo insisted that there is widening poverty gap because the country is yet to get its politics right.
“We send people to where they don’t have talents as a reward for their contributions to an expensive political system.
“So, if we can change that, and run government of services and civil servants both appointed one and the ones elected, realize that they are just servants and if we make it okay for the entire country it will be a general tide that will lead all our boats.
“But to say that you in a boat and you want your own side to be lifted and the other side goes down, the boat is going to capsize.
“We should stop reproducing big men, we should bring big ideas and let Nigerians contribute to the economy of this country”, Prince Adebayo said.
He noted that his party remained the most consistent in the country.
The SDP was the political platform on which business mogul, Chief MKO Abiola won the annulled June 12, 1993 presidential election.
The presidential poll results were canceled on the orders of the then Supreme Military Council chaired by former Military President Ibrahim Babangida.
On the consistency of the SDP, Prince Adewole Adebayo said, “We started by saying farewell to poverty and we won the election (in the June 12, 1993 presidential election) on that basis.
“At that time, we brought someone, MKO Abiola, who has never been a Councillor before, or Commissioner, or Minister of Governor; he never served in any government capacity before.
“He was a well renowned accountant, philanthropist and business man.
“The only difference between him and me is the time and instead of becoming an accountant, I’m a lawyer. Our party has been consistent.
“Secondly, our manifesto at that time is still valid right now, people still remember them, that we were the people who tried to fight poverty and poverty now has a grandchild called insecurity. And we’re now saying farewell to poverty and insecurity.
“I went to Jigawa State, I met an old man who was struggling to see me, despite how the security (agents) were making it difficult for him.
“He told me that he was a polling agent under Abiola and while you are running for office now, I have gone round Jigawa and I have been able to raise enough money, I was told that he was able to raise N8 million even though he was a farmer.
“He just had to go to people who used to be in SDP, “SDP is back, let us do what we did last time”. So, it’s been helpful.
“But we’re also aware that there are a lot of people in this generation who never know what happened 30 years ago; people who are 25 or even 30 years old.
“So, we’re reminding them that Nigeria has not always been about money politics, Nigeria has not always been about scepticism or apathy; that 30 years ago, Nigerians rallied round, without minding ethnicity, without minding religion and without minding any other thing and it can be done again today”, he said.
According to him, the legacy of consistency in the Social Democratic Party has been helpful in his campaign and the SDP presidential candidate noted that he is happy to be party to the rebirth of the political party.
On how best to tackle poverty, Prince Adebayo said the the first thing is “to to remove the hand of government because the factory that have manufactured poverty is the government.
“This is a country that does want poverty; everything around us works except government.
“So, once you remove the (hand of) government, because I have always given the people the history of this country, that even before Nigeria was established, if you study all the historical records, the colonialists who came didn’t meet poor people in Nigeria.
“They met general underdevelopment in terms of infrastructure and all of that, but there were no homeless people, there were no hungry people; people were well-fed.
“If you look at the pictures of Nigerians 100 years ago you will discover that they were well-fed and were quite muscular and the women were robust and healthy.
“So, the land was able to support us but the government came and occupied the whole land through the land use act, so government control land all over the country. Government control everything under the land and the allocative efficiency is not there.
“What government is doing now is (to) confiscate all our properties, all our natural endowments, (is) misapplying them to the priority of a few people who less than one percent of our population.
So, they rendered people to go to school, the education is not sound enough and when they come out of school they are not giving them jobs. So, people are kind of lost.
“A community that are trying to take care of their affairs, there are issues regarding licencing, the rights to control this and that.
“So, even simple public safety and all of that, the initiative has been taken away from the people because the government has a police that doesn’t work for the people also.
“When you put all of these together you will discover that it is the government that is responsible for abject poverty in the country”, Prince Adewole Adebayo said.