By Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti
The All Progressives Congress (APC) senatorial candidate in Ekiti
State, Hon Opeyemi Bamidele, has declared that the inability of the
Peoples Democratic Party vice presidential candidate, Dr. Peter Obi, to espouse the policy thrust of the PDP-led government packaged differently to offer credible solutions to crises bedeviling the country at the recently help debate signaled that the opposition is not prepared for presidency in 2019.
Bamidele said it sounded unfathomable and disappointing that the PDP that had come with the mantra to banish poverty allegedly brought by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government could not use the debate to convince Nigerians that it has special solutions to the problems confronting the country.
He said the submission and projection on how to strengthen the country by the former Anambra State Governor, Obi, in pivotal areas of education, security, economy, agriculture and infrastructure sectors didn’t show that Nigerians would get a better deal than they are getting now if his principal, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar wins the poll.
The debate held at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja and moderated by a renowned broadcaster, Imoni Amarere, last Friday was organised for selected vice presidential candidates of political parties by Channels Television.
The former House of Representatives member lauded Vice President Yemi
Osinbajo for being forthright by telling Nigerians areas where the present administration has not been able to make tremendous impact on Nigerians, describing this as a rare trait by any African leader.
In a statement issued from Atlanta, United States of America and made available to journalists in Ado Ekiti yesterday, Bamidele urged Nigerians to avoid the mistake of electing leaders who would come to experiment with the collective destiny of the citizens, saying allowing Buhari and Osinbajo to consolidate on the democratic dividends being dished out would be a better option.
He said PDP as a political party with quests to wrest power from an incumbent would have been practical to tell Nigerians what it has to do differently to resolve whatever mistake the Buhari’s government has made.
Bamidele said all the policy thrust reeled out by the PDP vice presidential candidate that would be the hallmark of Atiku/Obi presidency were almost similar to what Nigerians are enjoying under the present government.
“The VP debate was an eye opener to Nigerians that Atiku/Obi joint ticket would be a trial-by-error government, which Nigerians can’t afford to entertain this time.
“Obi’s submission that the PDP government will provide jobs for the youth population through commercial agriculture was not different from what Buhari has been doing. Within the last three and half years, Buhari’s presidency has raised over 10,000 youth commercial farmers across the country.
“In the area of security, Obi promised that they would reinvigorate the Nigeria army to be able to combat the problem of insurgency in the Northeast when it was obvious that Buhari/Osinbajo–led government has invested in the security sector more than any government ever.
“For the 2018 alone, the sum of $1billion was earmarked to buy equipment for the army and this accounted for the tremendous successes being achieved in the fight against Boko Haram.
“The PDP also promised to give social security to poor Nigerians, when it was clear that over five million Nigerians are presently enjoying social security under the APC-led government in the fashion of
N-power, Youth in commercial agriculture and Tradermoni scheme; these are aside from the free meal programme initiative of Buhari that had shored up enrolment in schools.
“In the transport system, Obi said all the major commercial hubs of Nigeria like Lagos, Onitsha, Aba, Kano, Kaduna and Maiduguri will be connected, when the present government had inaugurated the Kaduna-Abuja rail line and had done creditably well in connecting
Lagos-Abuja-Kano while the Calabar-Abuja super highway is being given attention to connect every part of the country together for robust economic prosperity.
“With what Obi said and disclosed as the cardinal focus of the PDP for presidency, Nigerians should expect nothing special if Atiku wins presidency. They seem not prepared for the onerous task, and allowing any ill-prepared leaders to take over power at a time when the country is making steady progress by boosting local economy will return Nigeria to those dark years.
“Any policy reversal at this time which the PDP is coming to implement will make all the sacrifices and pains already suffered by Nigerians for these progresses to be achieved to be in vain.”