In this interview with JOHN ALECHENU, National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, speaks about the challenges of managing the nation, President Buhari’s policies and other national issues. Excerpts
Your party also criticised the presidency under Jonathan for running the largest presidential air fleet and the APC promised to cut down on this. What have you been waiting for?
I think this has largely been cut down. Besides, I think they are even available for hire in case you want to use any of them (general laughter). Don’t forget, from the very first day, even the vehicles being used by Mr. President were exactly the same vehicles used by his predecessor.
Do you agree with those who say that APC’s popularity has waned because of the harsh economic reality Nigerians are facing since it took office?
All governments worldwide in between terms lose some degree of popularity; no question about that. We are having harsh economic times, no question about that and that does not increase the popularity of any government. It only diminishes it to some extent. What is different is that, in our case, in spite of the harsh economic realities, the people still have full confidence, trust. I think that is the proper word, in President Buhari, that he will do his very best to improve their lot and I think the proof of that was the reaction to the threatened strikes by the labour unions. You can see that even though people are unhappy, they refused to come out because they understood. They are in pain but they understood why the pain was there and they trusted the President that he was doing everything within his power to ameliorate their pain. So yes, there is a lot of grumbling all over the place, but also there is a lot of trust in Mr. President.