The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), yesterday, told President Muhammadu Buhari to perish the thought of pushing forward a successor, saying Nigerians would firmly reject anyone from him and his All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 2023 presidential election. The main opposition party berated Buhari for embarrassing his office and making a joke of himself by appearing confused and dwelling on false figures and bogus performance claims during his Channels Television interview on Wednesday.
PDP made the assertions in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba.
In a related development, Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom commended the Buhari administration for heeding his call and finally labelling bandits terrorists, but said, “This is not enough.” Ortom called on the president to be bold enough to go a step further and declare also as terrorists the widely known violent organisations among his Fulani ethnic group, like Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association ofNigeria (MACBAN), and Fulani Nationality Movement (FUNAM), just as he had done to other groups.
PDP said the president should have used the interview to show remorse and apologise to Nigerians for his serial misgovernance.
PDP said, “While we understand that lying is the standard gauge of performance of the APC, it is rather unfortunate that the president is also in that frame. It only reinforces the fact that nobody is immune to lying in the APC. Of course, he cannot extricate himself because lying is the official policy of his party, the APC.”
The statement said Buhari, in his ludicrous attempt to rationalise his failures, falsely claimed that under the PDP, from 1999 to 2014, crude oil sold for an average of $100 per barrel but collapsed to $37 per barrel, when he and his APC assumed office.
“Such false claim flies in the face of hard fact as the records, which the president must have, clearly show that when the PDP took office on May 29, 1999, crude oil sold at $16.27 per barrel and at about $80.42 and $63.28 by November and December 2014 respectively,” Ologunagba stated.
He added, “Under President Buhari and the APC, oil price has never fallen as low as $16 per barrel as recorded under the PDP but started at $37 to $39.44 per barrel in 2016 and had continued to hover between $60 to $70 per barrel to date.”
PDP said it was on record that despite the low oil revenue, when the PDP took over, it expanded the economy, paid off the foreign debts, revamped the productive sectors, provided conducive investment environment, which encouraged massive foreign investments, and handed over a $550 billion economy (largest in Africa and 26th globally) to President Buhari and the APC in 2015.
“Mr. President had no answers when, in the Channels TV interview, he was confronted with the facts that when he took over, the debt stock was N12 trillion but now N32 trillion and counting; that inflation, which was about nine per cent under the PDP is now over 15 per cent; that unemployment rate, which was about 8.9 per cent is now 33 per cent, that our naira, which exchanged about N197 to a dollar under the PDP is now over N500, and that the petrol price, which was N87 in 2015 is now N165 per litre under the APC watch.
“President Buhari should have seized the opportunity provided by Channels TV to show remorse, apologise to Nigerians for his monumental failure and national embarrassment that the APC government represents instead of trying to rationalise APC’s failures with falsehood and grandstanding about a successor.”
The opposition party explained that the mindset of the president, as exhibited in the Channels TV interview, confirmed the fears of Nigerians that APC did not believe in democratic practice and was determined to manipulate the 2023 election by all means. This, PDP stated, explained APC’s desperation to scuttle the Electoral Act Amendment Bill provision for electronic transmission of election results, which will effectively truncate its plans to rig the 2023 election.
PDP said Buhari and APC must know that Nigerians were fully rallied on the platform of PDP to face them in 2023 and the resort to underhand processes and false indices, like those reeled off by the president in the Channels interview, would not avail them.
Ortom Wants Miyetti Allah, Fulani Movement Declared as Terrorist Groups
The Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, applauded the Buhari administration for heeding his appeal and finally declaring bandits terrorists. But ortom said the president must be bold enough to move a step further to also label some well known violent Fulani groups as terrorists.
The governor was reacting to the Buhari interview on Channels TV. Ortom said the step taken by the federal government would go a long way in containing the atrocities of the criminals and give innocent citizens the opportunity to go about their legitimate businesses unmolested.
According to the governor, “Even though the federal government’s measures on bandits now seem strong, the security challenges will only be adequately addressed if similar hard position is taken on Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, MACBAN and the Fulani Nationality Movement (FUNAM), who have vowed and continued to cause mayhem in Benue State and other parts of the country, because of the anti-grazing laws.
“For us in Benue State, the law has come to stay. It is irrevocable. In fact, we have maintained our position that Benue State has no grazing routes, reserves or areas whatsoever. It was enacted in good faith for peace and order in the state. It was done, among other things, to end the incessant farmers/herdsmen clashes in the state.”
Ortom also tasked the president to do everything necessary to revamp the ailing economy and save the citizens from poverty. He said, “Nigerians have absorbed enough hunger and misery in the hands of the All Progressives Congress (APC) misrule. Or is it possible that Mr. President is not aware that Nigerians are dying from his misrule?”
The governor dismissed the president’s classification of PDP as a failure, insisting, “As a critical stakeholder of the PDP, this is completely false. If anyone has failed, it is the Buhari-led APC federal government that has failed by taking Nigeria from top to bottom.
“The PDP is ready to rescue Nigeria from the insecurity and economic horror placed on Nigerians by the APC.”
Ortom stressed that the party was better prepared with laudable programmes on the welfare of Nigerians and to rebuild the country from the APC tale of woes.
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