By Dayo Johnson & Dirisu Yakubu
ABUJA- Ahead of the 2019 general elections, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has chided the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government of failure to demonstrate sufficient leadership responsibility in tackling national challenges, saying it rather wasted the past three and a half years, blaming past administrations for its woes.
The party said having failed to convince Nigerians to buy into their re-election bid, President Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo have been blaming the PDP for every electioneering promise made and broken, adding that in 2019, Nigerians would speak with their votes.
Speaking exclusively to Vanguard, yesterday, Kola Ologbondiyan, the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP enjoined Nigerians to reject the All Progressives Congress, APC, and President Buhari at the polls, stressing that the resort to blame-game has shown clearly that “the Commander-in-Chief doesn’t have what it takes to move Nigeria forward.”
The publicity scribe noted that the PDP government of President Olusegun Obasanjo (1999-2007) did a lot to salvage the nation, following prolong years of military rule, noting that “when they started, there was nothing on ground for them to build upon.”
His words: “Since they came on board in 2015, the APC have been blaming past governments for their inability to deliver dividends of democracy to Nigerians. Their promise of change, anchored on the plank of economy, anti-corruption and war against insurgency, has turned out a fraud. They promised to create three million jobs in a year but the nation has witnessed job losses running into millions. Innocent people are being killed in Zamfara, Plateau, Yobe, Borno, Adamawa to mention a few states and our military officers are not spared either.
“We need to remind President Buhari that if the PDP wanted to make excuses in 1999, it could have done so knowing full well that there were no democratic structures to build upon as it were. Today, the legal institutions in the fight against corruption-the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Offences Related Commission, ICPC and others were established by the PDP administration.
“Rather than blame the PDP for his woes, President Buhari should own up and declare his lack of competence to govern.”
SDP’s Adniran concur
When Vanguard sought the view of Professor Tunde Adeniran, a chieftain of the Social Democratic Party, SDP, his position was no different from that expressed by the PDP image maker.
In the words of the former Education Minister, Buhari’s resort to blaming past administrations for the slow pace of progress is untenable.
“He has no moral right to re-contest in view of his lack of capacity to deal with Nigeria’s terrible security situation, his partial and selective prosecution of anti-corruption agenda and his embarrassing lack of understanding and competence to deal with Nigeria’s grave economic challenges,” Adeniran stated.
On his part, Inibehe Effiong, a legal practitioner and Convener, Coalition of Human Rights Defenders, said Mr. President has no one to blame but himself.
“The President’s excuse that the delay in the fight against corruption is due to the system does not hold water. While it is true that the criminal justice system is slow, this government is not fighting corruption but merely chasing members of the opposition.
“There is no serious commitment by President Buhari to rid Nigeria of corruption. Buhari has encouraged and condoned corruption. It is tragic that we have a President that never takes responsibility for the failures of his government. He keeps blaming other people,” he said.
Past govts didn’t lay good foundation – Abdullahi
But rising in defence of the first citizen is Haruna Abdullahi, founder of the Open Diaolgue Initiative, who argues that in as much as the President has a lot to offer Nigerians; past administrations, he said, failed to lay a solid foundation for the consolidation of democracy in the land.
According to him, “That we are where we are today is as a result of our past actions and inactions. No country develops with the kind of mindset we have in Nigeria. This is a nation with no national cohesion or ethos, a nation without empirical national development that is sustainable, a nation where a few people pillage the resources of everyone, a nation where government officials divert monies meant for security architecture to private hands.
“Whether we trace our lack of sustained development to the days of the PDP or to the doorstep of the APC, it’s a lamentable reality that it is Nigerians, not mere parties, that have put us where we are today. We have failed the nation and whatever it is poking us in the face, is well deserved, for you do not plant maize to harvest apple.
“In this same Nigeria, monies meant for power, roads, and security were embezzled,” Abdullahi added even as he called on Nigerians to give President Buhari a fresh mandate of four years to enable him “consolidate on foundation laid.”
PDP will rescue Nigeria from APC’s misrule – Akinmade
A PDP House of Representatives candidate in Ondo State, Mr. Kayode Akinmade, yesterday, asked Nigerians not to despair, assuring that the PDP was poised to better their lots in the new year.
The former information commissioner in Ondo, who is seeking to represent the Idanre/Ifedore federal constituency in next month’s general election, said ”Nigeria had been adversely affected by the misadventure of the APC government.’’
Akinmade pointed out that the Goodluck Jonathan administration built 14 new universities, made Nigeria Africa’s largest economy and organised free and fair elections, saying that the mistake made by Nigerians in 2015 will not be repeated in 2019.
“Nigeria today is more divided than it has ever been and even the so-called technical defeat of Boko Haram by the APC government has turned out to be a hoax. Boko Haram has become a roaring monster shedding blood at will and the government has looked helplessly and cluelessly on.’’