The large Auditorium of Transcorp Hilton was bubbling with enthusiasm and a surging crowd, as the Civil Society met with key members of the PDP. In attendance, were the PDP Vice Presidential candidate, Pete Obi, the Senate President; Dr. Bukola Saraki, Dino Melaye, Tanko Yakassai and members of the Civil Society. This comes at a time when the Civil Society, which is supposed to be the eye and ear of every responsible government, has been sidelined by the Buhari administration. A notable event is the recent spat between the FG and the Amnesty International over the death tolls from the herdsmen attack.
Alhaji Buba Galadima who was an ardent follower and campaigner for the Buhari government dropped the bombshell when he apologized for the “regrettable act of helping to bring Buhari into office.” He went on to affirm that “Buhari cannot lose marginally, we have to work hard to make him lose overwhelmingly.” This was met by large applause, Senator Dino Melaye focused attention on the Gentlemanly and learned nature of the VP aspirant; Mr. Peter Obi, while referring to him as “the man who turned orators into stammerers.” The Senate President, Alhaji Abubakar Bukola Saraki spoke on the budget presentation yesterday amongst other key issues in the country, stating that “It is a budget that does not have any hope for anyone,” and that Nigerians have two months to determine the destiny of this nation.
Mr. Peter Obi spoke, reiterated the commitment of himself and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and plans to carry the civil society along in government. The Vice Presidential aspirant, who has shown to be a Democrat, was particular about the importance of the Civil Society in governance. He assured that the Atiku administration will give the Civil society back its role as the third sector of society. He also spoke very passionately about the budget and capital projects. He stated ” Population is increasing, health budget is going down, education budget is going down but Petroleum subsidy budget is going up. It’s a crisis. These people have to go….February 19 is the day Nigerians will make their decision on this government, but the Business sector voted already, you know how? There’s no investment and jobs are being lost.”
These statements become significant, seeing that the nation is heading to the poll. Nigerians will have to decide whether they want a government that will work with the Civil society to ensure dividends of democracy, or not.