(From This Day (Nigeria) - AAGM)
Before we proceed into the thrust of the details of our campaign theme and issues, it is important and very necessary that we attempt a dispassionate appraisal of how well we have fared these past 44 months. Human memory can be very short at times, such that people tend to forget the exact previous situation or the status quo ante, before we got to where we presently are.
Among other things, the pre-May, 1999 situation was characterised by several human rights abuses and national angst, intimidation, brutalisation of the collective psyche of the citizenry, as well as state-inspired violence and elimination of real and perceived enemies of the state, which hall-marked the style of government, especially in the years between _993 and 1999. The nation was very loosely held together with the future being very uncertain, tension very high, talks of secession very much on the lips of ordinary people, and the economy retrogressed in a state of pervasive corruption.
Similarly, the entire gamut of public infrastructure had fallen into a state of pitiable decadence. Electricity supply was epileptic and water supply erratic, if not non-existent, roads were in a state of total disrepair while the rail system, hitherto the bedrock of our transportation system especially in the 1960s and 1970s, had become utterly dysfunctional.
Indeed, despite the truism that Nigeria is a potentially affluent country because of the sheer quantum and diversity of its human and natural resources, hunger and poverty reigned supreme in the land, and Nigerians moved out in droves in search of greener pastures. This was because the enormous resources accruing to the nation were willfully manipulated and appropriated for the benefit of a few, to the eternal detriment of the needs of the generality of our people.
Equally astounding was the persistent scarcity of petroleum products, even with …