Chuks Okocha in Abuja
Ahead of the fifth anniversary of the present administration, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) wednesday counseled President Muhammadu Buhari to avoid making false performance claims and empty promises to celebrate May 29 Inauguration Day.
The party said President Buhari should rather apologise for the tragic failures of his administration, which wrecked the once robust and cohesive country, imposed hardship and created acute despondency across the country in the last five years.
The PDP stressed that Buhari should also address the manifest manipulations, bloodletting, intimidation, coercions, abuse of power and human right violations that characterised the 2019 presidential elections, as such is the only way to achieve healing in the national polity.
According to the PDP in a statement issued by the National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, “Our party further advises President Buhari against living in denial of the ugly fact that his administration and his dysfunctional All Progressives Congress (APC) had deserted, betrayed and abandoned underprivileged Nigerians, particularly our youths, after the APC deceived them with false promises to grab power in 2015.”
The party further urged the president not to allow his handlers push him into sugarcoating the colossal failures of the last one year, which had been characterised by humongous corruption, worsened insecurity and economic hardship, while the president, who had promised to lead from the front, recedes deeper into the luxury and safety of the Presidential Villa.
Again, PDP said: “Our party calls on Buhari not to give room for presidential advisers to further ridicule his office by making him read another windy speech that would be laced with vacuous promises, doctored performance claims and myriads of incorrect and unsupported statistics that would end up being at total variance with the harsh realities on ground.
“The president should know that he cannot use the COVID-19 pandemic as excuse for failure as his administration had since lost grip of the security and economic situation in our country even before the outbreak of the scourge.”
It said Nigerians hoped that the president would always recall that the PDP handed over a robust economy which was rated as one of the fastest growing in the world, only for him to bring Nigeria to its knees as the world poverty capital and a debtor country within a space of five years.
PDP further stated that he should use the occasion to reflect that his administration had ruined the productive sector with harsh policies leading to the closure of businesses, dearth in foreign and domestic investments as well as acute unemployment with over 40 million job losses.
According to PDP, the president should contemplate on the alarm raised by the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr. Chris Ngige, that unemployment rate under this administration will hit a devastating 33.5 percent this year.
Buhari, the main opposition said, should also reflect that under his watch, the naira which was valued at N160 to a dollar during the PDP reign, fell to N500 and then to the current N390, and that his administration increased the price of fuel from where the PDP left it at N87 per litre to N145 and only reduced it to N125 after much pressure from the PDP, and that his government also increased the Value Added Tax (VAT) from 5 percent to 7.5 percent, despite the attendant spike in costs of food and essential services.