- Blames recession on global downturn, lack of savings Stop grumbling, get to work, PDP tells govt APC, Dogara call for prayers for recovery, peace
By Tobi Soniyi, Onyebuchi Ezigbo and Damilola Oyedele in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari has said the federal government is working round the clock to revive the economy, explaining that the economic recession in the country is the result of the cumulative effects of worldwide economic downturn and failure in the past to plan and save for difficult times.
“I assure you that this administration is working round the clock to remove the hardships the country is going through,” he said in a short message to Muslim faithful celebrating the Eid-el-Kabir festival yesterday, pleading with Nigerians that the current economic hardships could not be properly understood without an appreciation of the mistakes.
“The present recession is as a result of cumulative effects of worldwide economic downturn and failure in the past to plan and save for difficult times,” he explained.
The president’s explanation was complemented by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Yakubu Dogara, and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) who called on Nigerians to take advantage of the festivities to pray for the quick recovery of the economy and peace in the country.
But the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in its message to the nation’s Muslims told the Buhari administration to stop looking for scapegoats for its inability to run the economy and get down to the task of retrieving the economy from the recess it had pushed it.
“The president and his APC were elected to further better the lots of Nigerians, and not to dish out constant complaints on the situation which they mindlessly created not minding the attendant consequences of their actions on our collective destinies,” the PDP said in a direct reference to the president’s message, adding: “It is, therefore, high time they stopped this unnecessary grumbling and concentrate on how to redeem our economy by providing good governance to the people.”
Saluting Nigerians for their steadfastness in the face of the prevailing harrowing times, the president said that his administration was working hard to shorten the period of the recession and restore prosperity quickly.
Reeling out his plans, Buhari said: “Rail and road constructions, projects in the housing sector, support for farmers and for small and medium scale industries, youth and women’s empowerment programmes, support for revival of industries are all designed to reinvigorate the economy and enhance living standards of ordinary people.”
He said just as he was getting security right and fighting corruption with a reasonable measure of success, he would get the economy right.
The president preached religious harmony, enjoining Muslims to live by the dictates of Islam, keep good relationships with their Christian brothers and sisters and as patriots to maintain the spirit of the Nigerian nation.
Dogara, APC Call for Prayers
Speaker Dogara and his deputy, Yussuff Lasun, while felicitating with the Muslim faithful called for prayers in the face of the economic hardships that Nigerians were going through, telling them to ask Allah for peace and prosperity for Nigeria.
Dogara, in his message, urged Muslims to imbibe the spirit of sacrifice, peace and unity.
He also called for the peaceful co-existence among Nigerians, and prayers for the current economic and security challenges in the country, which he said were not insurmountable.
“As we celebrate Eid-el-Kabir with our friends and families, we must never forget our country and its leadership in our prayers. Eid-el-Kabir celebration is a period of sacrifice and reflection. I urge us all to emulate the virtues of total obedience, sacrifice in faith and selfless service as demonstrated and exemplified by Prophet Ibrahim,” Dogara said.
He expressed confidence that the current administration through its diversification drive would restore Nigeria to the path of development and prosperity.
Dogara also assured Nigerians of the House of Representatives’ determination to continue to work selflessly and tirelessly for the common good and the overall interest of the country through effective, efficient and robust law making, oversight and representation.
Lasun appealed for perseverance among Nigerians especially due to the economic recession, urging Muslims to emulate the Prophet by extending good hands of fellowship to friends and neighbours.
The ruling APC in its message pleaded with Muslims across the country to pray for peace and quick recovery of the economy.
In a statement issued by the National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun yesterday, the party urged Muslims and all Nigerians to use the occasion of Eid-el-Kabir to show love and promote harmonious and peaceful co-existence with one another irrespective of ethnic or religious affiliations.
“Nigeria is today passing through challenging times in its socio-economic life, the party calls on Nigerians to pray and support the administration as it works assiduously to pull the country out of the present hardships and restore the country to the path of growth in all facets,” it said, adding: “Happily, the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC administration is already employing all legitimate and innovative means to restore the country’s battered economy back to good health in the quickest possible time.”
The party urged Nigerians to support the recently launched National Re-orientation Campaign “Change Begins With Me’’.
“In a bold move to repair our value system that has been badly eroded over the years, on September 8, 2016, President Muhammadu Buhari launched the laudable National Re-orientation Campaign ‘Change Begins With Me’. The party appeals to all Nigerians to be part of this campaign which will institutionalise the best practice and time-honoured values of honesty, hard work, patriotism, abhorrence of corruption, accountability and integrity in our everyday life,” it said.
PDP Tells Government to Stop Grumbling
However, the opposition PDP led by Senator Ahmed Mohammed Makarfi told the APC-led administration to focus on how to get the economy working rather than seeking for a scapegoat.
The party, in a message, said it joined other well-meaning Nigerians to felicitate with Muslims worldwide on the occasion of Eid-El-Kabir, the ‘Festival of Sacrifice’.
The message signed by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Prince Dayo Adeyeye, advised all Nigerians especially, the political and ruling class in the country to emulate Prophet Ibrahim for his willingness and total obedience to the will of God by agreeing to sacrifice his only son.
It called for good governance and peaceful co-existence, urging Nigerians to sacrifice for the greater good of the country.
The PDP said: “We want to use this opportunity once again to celebrate and felicitate with all our Muslim brothers and sisters in Nigeria and across the world on this occasion of Eid-El-Kabir as instituted by Allah through Prophet Ibrahim. We want to also urge Nigerians to use this period and pray for the recovery of our ailing economy, the unity and oneness of this country and continue making sacrifices for Nigeria to become great again.”
“Mr. President in his Salah Message today, again blamed the present Acute Economic Recession on the past administration and global economic downturn. Let Mr. President and his Party, the APC, be reminded that it took a smart and experienced world-class Economic Team in the Year 2010 to lead Nigerians through a cushioned global financial meltdown and beyond. The “Change” is really with them (APC) and their barrage of falsehood.”