By Clifford Ndujihe & Henry Umoru
ABUJA — NATIONAL leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, yesterday, took a swipe at President Muhammadu Buhari, asking him and the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, to urgently articulate an economic direction and stop appropriating the achievements of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
The APC immediately countered that there is nothing to appropriate from an administration that misruled the country for 16 years, adding that President Buhari will not be distracted by paranoid people.
According to PDP, instead of trying to poach achievements to earn undeserved praise, the APC and its government should brace up, articulate a precise economic policy, assemble an economic team and urgently commence the delivery of their promises, for which they were voted.
In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, the PDP stressed that it was disappointing that a government, which came to power on claims of high moral ground, rather than focus on delivering its promises “is dancing around the achievements of the previous government in an attempt to make the public believe that recorded successes in critical sectors are theirs.
“The PDP counsels the APC to always be sincere and stop appropriating the achievements of the past administration as theirs. The APC and President Buhari should make haste and activate the various economic outlets which have been stagnated as a result of their obvious inability to articulate a clear-cut economic policy for the nation.
On fight against insurgents
“For instance, how do we explain APC’s spirited efforts to make the public believe that the equipping of the country’s military for the fights against insurgency, the turn around of the nation’s oil refineries and the polio-free certification of Nigeria were products of their government even when it is common knowledge that they have not been able to find their bearing for governance since their election into office?
“If the former National Security Adviser, NSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd) had not been courageous enough to release those incontrovertible facts that the Goodluck Jonathan-led PDP administration actually fortified the country’s military before leaving office in May, the APC would have succeeded in its propaganda against that administration and led Nigerians to believe that the equipping was a product of President Buhari’s recent diplomatic shuttles.
“It is an obvious fact that before the May 29 handover to the APC, the Nigerian armed forces, using these equipment sourced under the watch of the PDP government, had already pushed the insurgents to the verge of surrender in the Sambisa forest, only for them to now resurge under the APC-led government due to apparent lack of direction and confusion that have characterized this administration.
“In the same way, this government has positioned itself to claim credit for the turn around and resuscitation of some of the nation’s oil refineries without reference to the past administration that initiated and executed the Turn Around Maintenance, TAM, of the facilities years back, which dividends the nation now enjoys and which we expect will result in steady supply of petroleum products in our nation.
“Similarly, informed Nigerians note with dismay how the APC administration has been celebrating the certification of Nigeria as polio-free in the last one year by the World Health Organization, WHO, without giving credit to the PDP-led government under whose watch the feat was achieved.
“While the PDP well understands the nervousness of the APC and its government in the challenge of fulfilling their bogus promises upon which they rode to power, such does not in any way rationalize the resort to deceit and flagrant appropriation of another’s achievements, a thing no serious, credible and honest government will do.”
Govt without a cabinet
Metuh, who noted that the PDP finds it unacceptable, not withstanding the reasons being adduced, for a government in a democratic setting to run for almost three months without a cabinet and any policy direction whatsoever, said: “This is the first time since independence that our nation has stayed without a complete composition of government for three months. Unfortunately, the negative effect of this anomaly, which has taken a huge toll on the country’s economy and the welfare of Nigerians will be with us in the coming years.
“We express this concern against the backdrop of information that unpatriotic persons close to government are already hounding civil servants for inflated concessions, allocations, jobs and other favours being unduly granted, making the system fertile for heavy financial sleaze in the absence of appropriate statutory supervising officers.
“This is in addition to the avoidable economic downturn now manifesting in the abandonment of ongoing infrastructural projects, crippling of foreign and domestic investments and continued slide in the money and capital markets.
“We want to reiterate our earlier call on Nigerians to continue to pray for President Buhari, who for obvious reasons is surrounded by people whose divergent personal interests have become a huge burden on our dear nation, the integrity of this government, the health of our economy and sustenance of our democracy.”
Orchestrated distractions won’t deter Buhari —APC
Countering, the APC said the distractions being orchestrated by certain elements in the polity will not deter the Buhari administration from its avowed determination to rescue Nigeria from the clutches of those who are holding the country by the jugular.
In a statement issued in Lagos by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said the people, including fringe elements, who have frenetically engaged in fault finding with the Buhari administration, are those who either have skeletons in their cupboards or those who are acting at their behest, for a fee.
‘’These paranoid and skittish people daily run to the media to disparage the Buhari administration. Grasping at their straws, they condemn and criticize everything from appointments to the war against corruption and the battle against insecurity, even though the party to which they belong had 16 years to make things right for Nigeria but chose to suck the country dry, enthrone insecurity and pauperize the citizenry.
“Their design is simple: Make enough incoherent noise in the media with the hope that the administration will be distracted. Unfortunately for them, they have failed in their evil machination, because this President can neither be deterred nor be distracted. While their dogs continue to bark, the caravan of the Buhari Administration proceeds on its steadfast journey.”
APC said while a virile opposition is indispensable in any democracy that is worth its salt, no opposition can succeed by dwelling on the mundane or engaging in bare-faced lies, adding that only good research, strict adherence to the truth and a focus on real issues rather than frivolities can make the opposition relevant.
It wondered how the APC-led Federal Government can be blamed for the blatant refusal of the last administration to adequately equip the military to confront the Boko Haram insurgency, when even an appointee of the administration told the whole world that he was the head of a military that lacked the relevant equipment and motivation to fight an insurgency
“What achievement is there for anyone to appropriate from an administration that will go down in history as the most rapacious, incompetent and clueless in the history of our nation?”
Buhari’s achievementsin 3 months
APC said in less than three months of its existence, the Buhari administration has started off on a strong footing in many areas, including the fight against insurgency, the battle against corruption, the reorganization of the oil sector that was the private piggy bank of the last administration, the bailout of many states that could not pay the salaries of their workers, the revival of the Nigerian dream, the resetting of Nigeria’s diplomatic relations with the rest of the global community and the overdue clean-up of the Niger Delta region, which was shockingly ignored by a President from that region.
‘’With its sure-footed efforts in all the listed areas already attracting national and international acclaim, does it not beggar belief that the same Buhari administration will be accused by the apologists of the failed regime of appropriating their dubious achievements?’’ the party said.