Jonathan running government of ‘clientelism’ – Atiku

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Former vice-president, Atiku Abubakar, said on Monday that President Goodluck Jonathan runs government of ‘clientelism’, and nepotism which only his cronies and family benefit.

Atiku also said the presidential system of government under Jonathan has been turned to presidentialism, in which the president wields enormous power, where he favours only his cronies.

The former vice- President stated this at a press conference held at Olusegun Obasanjo President Library, Abeokuta, to herald a two-day Atiku Abubakar policy review summit.

Abubakar who spoke through the Director-General, Atiku Campaign Organisation, Prof. Babalola Borishade, lamented that the country was being misgoverned by the present administration.

According to him, presidentialism means the systematic concentration of political power in the hands of one individual or a cabal.

He said, “as a result, effective accountability and representation through popular democratic participation is giving way to personal rule and single party dictatorships rooted on politics of Clientelism.

“Clientelism refers to the awarding of personal favours among patrimonial cronies. These favours take the form of public sector jobs, appointments, distribution of resources through licences, contracts and tax wavers.

“Corruption, nepotism and official impunity have brought our country down to the bottom three per cent in the world in terms of political stability.

“In essence, what we have now in Nigeria is a form of patrimonial democracy. This is posing serious threats to the durability of democracy.

“Not only because it erodes civil liberties of citizens, thus creating a culture of political apathy and disenchantment among them, it also severely limits the extent to which Government can be pressed to be responsive and accountable towards the citizens.

“Thus, for both of those who are inside and outside the network, the future is bleak,”he said.

He said Nigerians need democracy of substance that would respond to their socio-economic demands and bring about improvements in their living conditions, and that was the aim of the policy review by resource persons.

Speaking on his desire to govern the country, Atiku said, the country should not be ruled by greenhorn, saying, only the experienced knows what governance means.

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