Why Obasanjo, Jonathan failed in tackling power problem: Atiku
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has offered reasons why both former President Olusegun Obasanjo and the outgoing President Goodluck Jonathan failed in the critical task of providing stable power to Nigerians.
Atiku, who was vice-president to Obasanjo, blamed the failure in both instances to wrong approach and inability to do the needful.
He spoke during a political programme Politics Today aired in Channels Television at Sunday night.
According to Atiku, who is popularly known as Turaki Adamawa after his traditional title, the problem that led to Obasanjo’s failure in providing light to Nigerians, as he variously vowed in the eight years in office, was his inability to tackle the mafias in the power sector and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.
He said that he had told Obasanjo to carry out comprehensive reforms of the two inter-related sectors to break the mafias but somehow it did not happen.
For Jonathan’s administration, the Adamawa-born politician said that it got the Privatisation of the power sector wrong.
He said that the government ought not to have gone into the privatisation of distribution companies the time it did.
“What are they distributing,” he asked.
In his view, what ought have happened was to privatise the generation companies first and ensure that they generate and transmit enough power before you go into the sale of distribution companies.
He said that what is happening now is that the distribution companies that borrowed a lot money to buy the assets are unable to sustain their commitments because they do not find enough power to distribute.
Atiku said that this was why the government had to provide them bail out funds.
He thinks that if the incoming administration of Muhammad Buhari does not learn from the mistakes of the past ones, it might follow the same trend.
The former Vice President, who touched on a wide-range of issues, asked Nigerians not to expect miracle overnight from the incoming administration, especially because of the amount of rot it has to deal with.
He said that some of the changes Nigerians are asking for might take sometimes in coming, but asked for their patience because things old definitely take the right turn.
On what is one thing he thinks the incoming Buhari administration should do to succeed, Atiku pointed to devolution of power. He said that he has been a long advocate of devolution of power so that much activities would shift to the states and local governments.
While ruling out his return to Peoples Democratic Party to rebuild it, he said that key aspects of political ambition , which are the entrenchment of two-party system and ability to change government, have been fulfilled with the formation of the APC which clinched power from the ruling PDP.
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