LP tackles Buhari on economy, energy crisis
Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called on the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to face the business of governance and stop blaming the past administration for its shortcomings.
Speaking on next Saturday’s council poll in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), the National Chairman of the party, Senator Ali Modu Sheriff, alleged that some APC governors had relocated to Abuja for this weekend’s FCT area council elections but warned against rigging the elections.
The opposition party said barely one year after it was handed over the affairs of the country, APC ought to have been able to chart its own course and stop blaming it (PDP) for its administrative lapses.
President Muhammadu Buhari had on Monday said Nigerians should hold the PDP’s 16-year reign responsible for the nation’s prevailing economic woes, and said the party failed to save for the rainy day.
Also, following the lingering fuel scarcity that has continued to ravage the nation, the National Leader of the APC, Bola Tinubu, asked Nigerians to hold the PDP, responsible.
However, speaking at the inauguration of four special committees for the forthcoming national convention of the party, PDP National Chairman, Sheriff, expressed dismay that almost one year since the governance was handed over to the APC, the party was still blaming PDP for current fuel scarcity in the country.
“The leadership of the party share the pains of Nigerians after one year in office of the APC-led government. Nigerians have now have the opportunity of comparing the PDP and the APC. The ultimate judge of this exercise are Nigerians.
“Instead of the APC addressing the problems of the country, the ruling party has kept blaming the PDP for lack of petrol in the country. I saw the other day a publication by one of the leaders of the APC that we are responsible for lack of petrol after their one year in office.
“I would like to advise the leaders of the APC to stop blaming us in the PDP, we are now in the opposition, repositioning our party to show Nigerians that we could do better,” Sheriff said.
He said the inauguration of the four committees was one of the important steps being taken by the party to strengthen and reposition itself for challenges ahead. “We are taking the PDP back to the owners. We are going to organise congresses all over Nigeria and we are going to let Nigerians elect their own leaders,” he said.
Speaking on the ongoing effort to reconcile aggrieved members of the party, Sheriff said that his doors are open and that is prepared to take advice from any of the leaders on how best to rebuild the party into a potent force.
The national chairman advised party members, whom he accused of not observing the party’s rules. He also enjoined members of the committees to work towards successful conduct of the national convention, adding: “We are taking PDP to the grassroots.
“We will allow Nigerians to choose their leaders. People should respect the party’s rules. Nobody runs a party on pages of newspapers. The doors of the national chairman are always open. We welcome advice from members.”
On the forthcoming council election in the FCT, Sheriff said his party has information that APC has invited its governors to storm Abuja to try and assist their party’s candidates during the polls.
“We don’t want violence in PDP, so APC should be guided. Let’s play this game according the rules. PDP will not be part of violence but we will protect our votes. We don’t want rerun or inconclusive elections,” he warned.
While responding, the Chairman of the National Convention Committee and Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, assured Nigerians that they would do their best to ensure the party has a successful and rancour-free convention.
In the same vein, the Chairman of the zoning committee and Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Emmanuel Udom, promised that his committee would carry out its assignment in a most transparent and unbiased manner so as to engender confidence and trust among members.
“This must not be a period of rumour; we should not suspect ourselves,” he added.
Meanwhile, Labour Party (LP) has said the last last 10 months of the President Buhari administration has not brought joy to the land instead dramatic elements of fear and traits of political and economic siege on the people.
The party also expressed worry over what it described as the growing disharmony among various arms of government which is threatening the stability of the polity.
Speaking to journalists yesterday in Abuja on the state of the nation, the National Chairman of the party, Alhaji Abdulsami Abdulkadir, blamed the lackluster attitude of APC-led government for the prevailing economic crisis which has been further compounded by shortcomings in the energy sector.
He said APC’s ‘Change’ mantra had only been successful in the fostering a siege mentality, a shared feeling of victimisation, defensiveness and defenselessness on the people.
“The president should know by now that with Nigeria in economic crisis and the lack luster attitude of the government in power to setting up a powerful economic machine, there are only two courses open to the government which are the, ‘monetarist, deflationary course” and ‘the protectionist course,” he said.
Abdulkadir accused some officials of the federal government of carrying on as if they were not aware of current difficulties being faced by Nigerians, adding that a situation whereby Nigerians are being “oppressed, isolated, manipulated, disoriented, dejected and disjointed in the face of the negative manouvering of the ruling party is regrettable.
“But, the government, legislature and judiciary creating signs of political instability and therefore not allowing a deeper analysis on the working of the different branches of government which is leading to the supremacy of the executive and weakening the judiciary and democratic principles:
“Even much more worrisome is that a sitting senate would direct the reversal of hike in electricity tariff and the minister would refuse to honour the directive of the law making chamber
“APC’s ‘change’ has only been successful in the furtherance of the siege mentality, a shared feeling of victimisation, defensiveness and defenselessness – a collective state of mind whereby Nigerians are been oppressed, isolated, manipulated, disoriented, dejected and disjointed in the face of the negative manouvering of the ruling party.
“Perhaps the president does not know that poverty in the country has reached “unprecedented levels” with the number of Nigerians living in “deep poverty” almost doubled. As at today, more than 46 percent of public sector employees do not have enough food to meet their basic needs, with 53 per cent of households reporting decline in their incomes.
“And equally would not know how difficult it has become for peasants and the majority of the populace to send their wards to school particularly when his acolytes have succeeded in destroying the quality of education in their desperate and wicked desires to make their private schools thrive and particularly as their children school abroad.
“Even when the president has used the better part of the last ten months running around the universe with stop-over in the UK for his medical needs rather than visit our own hospitals in other to promote medical tourism in Nigeria. Everything seems to be about corruption with no credible alternatives for transformation is projected.
“Altogether, someone needs to remind the president that there is presently no fuel, power, electricity, gas, work, food and peace in the land but lies, pretences and negative propaganda,” he said.