Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has replied the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over its scathing criticism of the hard times facing the country, insisting that the PDP lacks credibility to do so.
APC said for a party whose administration brought Nigeria to its present situation after 16 years of locust, it lacked the moral basis and the credibility to comment on the country’s economy or condemn a government that is working hard to clear the mess it left behind.
In a statement credited to the National Chairman of the party, Chief John Odigie- Oyegun and signed by Mr. Segun Dipe yesterday, APC said: “It is stomach-churning and downright immoral for the ruinous PDP which has yet to show remorse or exhibit any form of penitence for presiding over the mindless looting of the nation’s treasury, to now put itself up as the saviour of Nigerians.”
The APC chairman said Nigerians are now bearing the brunt of the economy that was mindlessly mismanaged by the PDP and cannot forget in a hurry that some $15 billion was mismanaged under the guise of the equipping the military, when in reality the funds were largely salted away by PDP fat cats.
He said Nigerians are also not unaware that just before the last general election, some $2.1 billion was shared out to just a few PDP faithful, either to be used for praying again Boko Haram or for phantom communication purposes, when in reality the soldiers whom the money was meant to equip were dying in droves.
Oyegun also gave other instances of the massive looting of the national till under the PDP, which never differentiated between the party’s finances and the Nigerian treasury, to include, the $20 billion in oil proceeds that was never paid into the Federation Account
“The N33 trillion in national oil revenue that was not accounted for, considering that while the nation earned in excess of N56 trillion over five years under the last administration, the total budget for those years amounted to about N23 trillion
“The $47 million that was distributed to a few individuals just to oil the election process before the last polls.
According to the statement,” while it was glaring that the PDP-led administration was profligate and rapacious, nothing prepared Nigerians for the mind-boggling discoveries that have emerged in the past one year, including the fact that just a handful of people could have plundered far more than half of what belonged to a country of over 170 million people!
‘’What is happening now is clear: Just because the farmer has not checkmated the thief, he (thief) has become so emboldened that he is now making a move to even cage the farmer from whom he has been stealing.
“How else can one characterize the most annoying statement by the PDP that it is on a mission to rescue Nigeria, the tale of a killer presenting himself as a life saver! Are these people jokers? Do they think Nigerians do not realise that the stage for today’s tough economic situation was set by the same PDP that is now masquerading as a saviour? Worse still, is this PDP’s bold face not a ploy to distract the Administration that is on a rescue mission?
“Nigeria is currently in ICU (Intensive Care Unit), after it was rescued from the PDP. Yet, the same PDP has the audacity to constantly pillory the ‘doctors’ trying to save the ‘patient’,’’ the chairman said.
He appealed to Nigerians not to succumb to the antics of the PDP but to continue to support the efforts of the present administration, which is working day and night to ease the impact of the tough economic situation on the citizens.
‘’Yes, we knew the situation was bad, but we never imagined that it was this bad. Yes, we knew that the vast majority of our national patrimony had been stolen and converted by PDP and their cronies, but we clearly under-estimated the scope of the stealing. The fact that our country and people survived the PDP and the last administration is perhaps the 8th wonder of the world.
‘’But we have long moved beyond bothering about this mindless party to seeking to bring the nation back to its feet. What we cannot fathom is for the same PDP to now be heckling us and pretending to be the new saviour of Nigerians.
“Engaging in a campaign of calumny by claiming that the country’s economy under President Muhammadu Buhari was deteriorating is so unconscionable on the part of the PDP, which frittered away the huge windfall that the nation earned during the years that oil sold for over $100.
“Even with the number of PDP operatives and officials who have confessed or admitted their complicity in the looting of the treasury, the party has continued to try to pull the wool over the face of Nigerians.
‘’This shameless distraction must stop forthwith, and here is serving notice that henceforth, the PDP will no longer have a field day in trying to twist facts and present the Buhari administration, which is on an urgent rescue mission, as the villain,’’ Oyegun warned.