A former minister and member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has berated President Muhammadu Buhari and the party for failing to deliver campaign promises to Nigerians.
Solomon Dalung, who served as Minister of Sports and Youth Development between 2015 and 2019, under Mr Buhari’s first tenure, said this in Abuja on Tuesday as people from diverse political leanings attended the official launch of the National Movement (TNM).
Conceived in 2021, the movement is to serve as a melting pot for Nigerians desirous of working together collectively “to redeem the nation from what they believed to be the lack of capacity of the current administration”.
Despite being a member of the ruling party, Mr Dalung in his speech, expressed disappointment in the current administration as he adjudged the government’s performance using ‘socio-economic yardsticks’.
“As I stand here, my face is notorious for mobilising Nigerians between 2009 to 2015. I was the first official opposition to Jonathan’s government because I started opposing the government on the day the constitution was violated and he was coronated as acting president.
“APC met me in opposition. But today, we must begin by apologising to Nigerians, we must sincerely apologise because we never promised Nigerians that they would be buying rice at N35,000 at this time instead of the N7,000 that we met,” he said.
He apologised to Nigerians for the role he played in mobilising Nigerians for a government which has not fulfilled its promises after six years in power.
“It’s our inability to live within the reality of our promises that as a Christian who have conscience, I must apologise to Nigeria because after this world, I will appear before God on the day of judgment and one of the questions would be, Solomon Dalung, you went and mobilised Nigerians and when they are killing people, bandits raping women and children, what did you say?
“And I can’t claim that because I love my party APC and be silent on what is indignifiable. Every other person who participated must apologise. We owe Nigerians an apology,” Mr Dalung said.
Meanwhile, with its slogan “Save Democracy, Rescue the Nation”, a former Governor of Kano State, Rabiu Kwankwaso, who is the converner, said the formation of Third Force was borne out of the need to reposition the country from the grip of politicians who do not see beyond election.
He lamented ills bedeviling the nation and ascribed the goal of the movement to the need for a united Nigeria before any political interest.
“For us, we see ourselves not just as politicians, even though we are. Rather, we saw ourselves as leaders; we saw ourselves as patriots; we saw ourselves as nationalists; we saw ourselves as democrats; and we saw ourselves as major actors and factors in the evolution and future of Nigeria.
“We were therefore convinced that there must be a Nigeria first before politics and democracy can be nurtured and there must be Nigerian people alive and living largely harmoniously with each other before elections can take place.
“While most of us would want to contest and win elections, we resolved that we must do everything possible within our abilities,” he said.
Although Mr Kwankwaso, a member of the PDP, did not declare any intention to run for president, some of the speakers at the event used the medium to declare their support for him.
The former Kano governor contested for the PDP presidential primaries in 2018, less than three month after defecting from the APC.
Mr Kwankwaso has been reported as nursing ambition to recontest for the president under the PDP.
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