Chuks Okocha in Abuja
Reactions have continued to trail the Independence Day broadcast yesterday as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) described President Muhammadu Buhari’s speech as an insult on the psyche of Nigerians and a mockery of the national integrity as an independent state.
This was coming as two elder statesmen, the leader of the Pan-Niger Delta Elders Forum (PANDEF), Chief Edwin Clark and the former National Assembly Liaison Officer to former president Shehu Shagari, Alhaji Tanko Yakassai, described the President’s Independence Day broadcast as uninspiring.
They claimed the broadcast did not address some of the basic issues confronting Nigeria as a country.
PDP, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said the speech was completely un-presidential, lacking in patriotic stance and replete with manifest inconsistencies, contradictions, paradoxes and false performance claims, which further confirmed that our dear fatherland is in wrong hands.
PDP noted that the President, in his recorded address, failed to forcefully address the key issues of freedom, social justice, constitutional order, separation of powers, rule of law, human rights, credible elections, national cohesion, accountability and transparency in government; the very fundamentals of an independent state, because his administration had violated them all.
The party said it’s regrettable that the President had no forceful reassurances on the challenge of escalated insecurity under his watch; he had no clear-cut and operable blueprint to revamp the economy, which his administration wrecked in a period of four years, resulting in so much hardship and despondency that Nigerians now resort to suicide and slavery abroad as options.
“Our party notes that this address further exposes that the Buhari Presidency is not interested in nation building; that it is completely disconnected from the people and remains insensitive to the plights of Nigerians,” PDP stated.
PDP added that “if anything, Mr. President only succeeded in further demonstrating that his administration is, indeed, in no position to deliver a credible, acceptable and satisfactory Independence Day address.
“This is so because under the Buhari Presidency, our nation has experienced the worst form of division, deprivation, human rights abuse, constitutional violations, disregard to rule of law, electoral malpractices, disobedience to court order, disrespect for separation of powers and curtailing of press freedom.”
The party therefore described as depressing that while other leaders motivate their citizens on a day like this, the President presented uninspiring claims, propaganda and empty promises.
PDP, however, urged Nigerians not to despair but keep hope alive as Nigerians collectively await the Supreme Court to deliver justice and retrieve the alleged stolen presidential mandate, so that the nation would have a leadership that it truly deserves at this point in the national history.
On his own part, Clark said in Abuja yesterday that the broadcast was a mere rhetoric as it did not address issues like restructuring, security issues bothering on the herdsmen/farmers crisis as well as the rising unemployment and poverty in the country.
He said: “I listened to the broadcast of the President. I was not impressed. It said nothing about the recurring crisis of the farmers-herders’ crisis. It said nothing about the advocacy for restructuring the country, and it did not address the rising questions of unemployment and poverty in the country.”
In the same manner, Yakasai said he was not impressed with the President’s Independence Day broadcast as it did not address the question of poverty, youth unemployment and other security challenges in the country.