By Dirisu Yakubu
ABUJA—On its 19th anniversary today, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP is lauding former President Olusegun Obasanjo for the role his government played in exiting Nigeria from the Paris Club and laying the foundation for the fight against corruption in the country.
The chairman, National Caretaker Committee of the party, Senator Ahmed Makarfi, gave the commendation in a greeting to members and supporters of the party on the occasion of the 19th anniversary today.
In a statement signed by the Head, Publicity Division of the party, Chinwe Nnorom, Makarfi described the PDP as the only viable, prosperous and visionary political party in Nigeria.
He also lauded the Supreme Court for restoring democracy to the country through the Supreme Court judgment that legitimised his executive.
“History has not forgotten how the former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo on the platform of the PDP worked diligently with other western powers to settle all our foreign debts accumulated by the military thereby detached Nigeria’s economy from the burden of foreign debts” the party said.
“Similarly, the PDP Administration established two major anti-corruption agencies, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission, ICPC, to curb the Menace of corruption in the Country. These efforts reduced corrupt practices and further increased the confidence of foreign investors that resulted in huge investment inflows into the country. The APC-led Government of today has destroyed the independence of these agencies.
In the beginning
“The PDP formally came into being on August 31, 1998 and has since then, remained the only viable, prosperous, strongest and most visionary political party in Nigeria.
“We commend the efforts of our founding fathers that dared the military establishment at that time to usher in a history of reformation and innovation in the country’s political landscape by returning Nigeria to the path of civil rule,” the statement read in part.
Makarfi in the statement urged Nigerians not to forget the role played by the PDP in sustaining civil rule in the country dating back to the return to democratic governance in 1999.
The statement continued: “Nigeria as a country is today celebrating close to two decades of uninterrupted civilian rule because of the sacrifices and investments made by the founding fathers of the PDP. We are proud of them and their legacies will be immortalized in the anal of Nigerian history.
“We also thank the people of Nigeria for the overwhelming support and confidence reposed on us in our sixteen years of administration. As a human organization, there might have been some issues or areas we could not cover when we were governing. We promise to make amends when given the opportunity again in 2019.
“We are optimistic that Nigerians have not forgotten the enormous infrastructural developments, policies and programmes developed by the PDP Administrations in contrast to the current All Progressives Congress, APC, led-government.
“For the record, in 1999 the image of Nigeria internationally was in a deplorable state with very poor human rights records. The PDP took conscious steps to change that perception and within a very short period, it restored the country to its pride of place among the comity of nations. We promise to do it again come 2019.”
“Finally, we thank the judiciary for restoring democracy in Nigeria by the Supreme Court Judgment of July 12, 2017 that affirmed the decision of the May 21st 2016 National Convention of the PDP,” Makarfi said.