By EMMA AZIKEN, POLITICAL EDITOR
Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has cautioned Nigerians against being taken in by what it claims as the rhetoric of the Congress for Progressive Change, CPC, a party it claimed would lead Nigeria on the path to Somalia if given the opportunity.
Reacting to the CPC’s criticism of the Christmas day speech of President Goodluck Jonathan, the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, described the statement as a ritual bereft of imagination or sincerity.
The CPC had in the rebuttal described the PDP as being “more interested in seizing political power rather than the adequate planning for effectual governance,” noting what it claimed as the trillions of naira wasted in multiple fraud schemes, including the oil subsidy regime.
The PDP said: “President Jonathan has invested heavily in critical infrastructures such as power, road and rail transport, security, agriculture, education among others. While the maturity span of some of these infrastructure is long term and are expected to yield benefits in coming years, there is abundant evidence that steady gains are already crystalizing in sectors such as power, education and rail transport.
”The CPC will definitely be blind to this steady progress because constructive engagement is not the ultimate motivation of its criticism,” the statement added.
On the allegation that the PDP governments mismanaged resources of the country, the PDP said:
”Even in 2011 when the CPC took desperation to a criminal level, orchestrating an orgy of election violence that claimed many lives, Nigerians stood firm for the PDP in an election adjudged locally and internationally as the most credible in the nation’s recent record. But has the PDP squandered its mandate,” the statement asked.
”This can only be true in the diseased imagination of the CPC. The PDP has remained the only truly national party on whose shoulders revolve the unity of the nation. Need we say that a Nigeria in the hands of a political party like the CPC is on an express road to Somalia.
Besides, the statement continued, ”the PDP met Nigeria a pariah state, retrieved and returned it to the centre stage of global reckoning. It is also on record that at a time the economy of the western nations was hobbled by the global melt down with banks collapsing, no bank in Nigeria suffered similar fate.
”Similarly, as part of the party’s strategy against corruption, the PDP liberalized the economy and threw the door open to generate new jobs. The party also established anti-corruption agencies, the EFCC and ICPC as well as enacted the Freedom of Information law to enhance transparency in governance. The party’s dispassion in winning the battle on corruption has seen even senior members of the party convicted for corruption.
”We must add, that our battle on corruption is total and that President Jonathan has won the most critical aspect of it which is against electoral corruption. Nigerians now go to the polls and are sure their votes will count””. There is no shorter road to good governance than when mandate and withdrawal of it depend entirely on the people,” the statement concluded.