Our Grievances Against The APC Govt – PDP
Various organs of the Peoples Democratic Party on Thursday in Abuja listed the party’s grievances against the All Progressives Congress Federal Government, led by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Speakers representing PDP’s Board of Trustees, National Working Committee, National Executive Committee, and the PDP Governors Forum and its caucus in the National Assembly articulated the grievances during the party’s national conference held in Abuja on Thursday.
Bello, who was a former minister of defence, regretted, particularly, that the APC government had accused the Jonathan administration of leaving behind an empty treasury.
He said, “At the beginning, we learnt that our government left an empty treasury but revenues continue to be generated in the last six months, Federal Account Allocation Committee continue to hold and money shared between federal, states and local governments. Have we seen any change?
“The APC was aware of the state of the treasury when they made the promise that the naira would be raised and be equivalent to the dollar. What is happening now? The naira has continued to depreciate beyond what they inherited. Tragically, instead of saving the naira, we can say they are killing the naira.
“They promised free education and free meals for school children, among other hollow promises. Where are the schools? Where are the meals? All the excuses we hear about budget not being prepared, who is manning the treasury now? Who has majority at the National Assembly? Is six months not long enough for any adjustment required in the budget to be made? Have they not heard of something called supplementary budget?”
He said that in six months, Nigerians had expected Buhari to start showing evidence that he would abide by his campaign promises.
In his remark, the Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, who spoke on behalf of PDP senators, called on Nigerians to ensure that the Federal Government fulfilled its campaign promises.
He said, “Looking at the way our country is being run by the APC-led Federal Government today, it is safe to say that we are back in the trenches for democracy because credible and responsible opposition is an essential, indeed indispensable component of thriving democracy and good governance”.
He, however, urged the PDP faithful to pursue fact-based, responsible, and patriotic opposition.
“The ruling party must always be put at the mercy of the truth, for the job of the opposition is to confront errors with the truth; to stand up for what is right; to offer constructive criticisms of the follies and errors of the ruling party; and to proffer better ideas for moving the nation forward”, he added.
He alleged that the APC had yet to keep any of its campaign promises and called on the PDP to set up a shadow cabinet to benchmark the ruling party on its promises.
He said, “As could be seen from the events of the past few months, it is evident that while a party may ride to power on the wings of propaganda, it takes more than propaganda to govern well and retain goodwill.
“The APC won by promising much more than they could deliver. They promised to scale up the exchange rate of our currency to a Naira to one US Dollar. Have they kept this promise?
“They promised to bring back the Chibok girls in less than three months. Have they brought back the Chibok girls? They promised to pay N5, 000 to unemployed youths. Have they paid a kobo to any youth? They promised free meals to our children in the schools. Have they given any? They recently promised to end the Boko Haram insurgency in December 2015. We earnestly hope and pray that this particular promise is kept in the overall interest of our nation”.
He also faulted the management of the economy since May 2015, saying the country lacked economic direction.
Ekweremadu said, “It is worthy of note that despite the promised Eldorado, the APC-led administration has driven our economy to the point where they confess that the nation is broke.
“Inflation has nearly hit double digits high, rising to 9.4 per cent in October. Unemployment rate has hit the rooftop since May 2015, with the construction industry laying off tens of thousands of workers.
“There is massive job loss in the banking sector. Many businesses are being grounded because they can no longer buy spare parts or restock from Europe, China, Dubai, among others. The system is locked down.
“This nosedive is due mainly to the free fall of the Naira, absence of clear economic direction, delay in the appointment of ministers, the cramping monetary policy of the administration, and the exclusion of Nigeria from the J.P Morgan Bond Index. Indeed, recession stares us in the face”.
He called on the international community to caution the APC over what he termed “fast-narrowing political freedom” urging the ruling party not to “turn government into a bonfire of bitterness and a cavalcade of recrimination”.
He stressed that while the PDP would stand by the APC-led Federal Government in the anti-graft war, the nation “must diligently guide against the politicisation of the anti-corruption war.
“An anti-corruption trap that catches only those who have axe to grind with powerful political forces will appear compromised and leaves so much to be desired and does not represent a blueprint for change,” he said.
Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State, who is also the Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum, lambasted the President for allegedly concentrating on members of the opposition in his fight against corruption.
He said the President needed the support of all Nigerians before he could develop the country.
Efforts made to get the reaction of the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, on the issues raised by the opposition failed as calls made to his telephone did not go through.