By Hammed Shittu in Ilorin
The National Publicity Secretary of All Progressives Congress (APC), Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, at the weekend said it was high time the opposition party, Peoples Democractic Party (PDP) kept quiet on the current state of the nationâ€™s economy .
He, however, advisedÂ the PDP to allowÂ the ruling APC government to tackle the economic difficulties that the PDP government had inflicted on the people of the country.
Abdullahi who disclosed this in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital,Â while speaking with journalists shortly after hosting Â SallahÂ get-together luncheon with Kwarans, said: â€œI think if you create a problem and other people are trying to solve it, the least you could do is to keep quiet, not continue to lay claim to any superiority. The economy of Nigeria did not collapse.
â€œIf you recall even before the last administration of President Goodluck Jonathan, Nigeria has started borrowing money to pay salaries. And so many people, including former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Professor Charles Soludo, and our own Sanusi Lamido Sanusi warned at a time that whoever took over from Jonathan was going to face a very tough time running the economy. It wasnâ€™t the APC that created the situation.
â€œSo, APC inherited a situation and tried to make the best of what we have found. Then, you also have to ask yourself the kind of revelation that is coming forward. Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has reported how much money it has recovered in loots.
â€œThen, you ask yourself, how did it happen? How did it happen that so much money can be stolen from the system? Those must have implication for the economy. If an individual is said to forfeit permanently amount to the tune of Â£17millon, the kind of figures we hear is even enough to wrap your mind around it.
â€œSo, if you take those kinds of money out of an economy, it must have an impact. How did it happen that those monies were stolen during a PDP government, and they created a situation, now you are saying that people (APC) destroyed the economy.
â€œIf APC destroyed the economy by doing what we are doing, what did PDP do by allowing the kind of mind boggling stealing that happened in the last two years, repair the economy?Â
â€œI think it is ridiculous some of these arguments we hear. But I donâ€™t think it is one of the conversations I want to indulge in, saying that PDP did this and that, because that is what they want to happen. I think they should focus on what the job of opposition is. My worry is that I listen to a lot of PDP statements and I read them, I have this disturbing feeling that it is driven largely by vengeance.
â€œOn true level, these people took us out of power and then we want to go back as quickly as possible. Or these people were very good in propaganda, let us use the same weapon and throw the same propaganda. I see vengeance in most of their comments. But I think they should remember that we have a country.
â€œLast week or so, when the president hosted our both parties, APC and PDP, he saidÂ we need a country Â firstÂ before we can even claim to belong to a political party. To everyoneâ€™s commendation, PDP Caretaker Chairman, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, said the same thing, that opposition is not a licence to madness. Even though we are in opposition, we have a duty to support our government and our country. I think that is a spirit. So, if he is saying that, I think his party men need to listen and see the need for us to support the government.â€
Abdullahi therefore said: â€œThe mandate the APC has is not two years, it is four years; we are just midway. So, they should wait until after the four years. So, if we donâ€™t perform, Nigerians know what to do.â€
The ruling APC spokesman, who was Commissioner for Education in Kwara State, also said Nigerian candidates seeking admission into tertiary institutions are being unnecessarily burdened by asking them to write JAMB examinations.
Abdullahi said as it is being done in other climes, the candidates should be allowed access to university and other tertiary institutions after having their Oâ€™Level requirements and should be ranked based on their levels of performance.â€