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When did the PDP start loving and respecting debates?

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By Sharon Faliya Cham
Performance over talking

For the 1999 presidential election, General Olusegun Obasanjo of the PDP refused to debate with Chief Olu Falae of the APP/AD coalition – Obasanjo won the election!

FILE: President Goodluck Jonathan and other presidential candidates at the 2015 Presidential Election Debate

For the 2003 presidential election, President Olusegun Obasanjo of the PDP refused to debate with General Muhammadu Buhari of the ANPP – Obasanjo won the election!

For the 2007 presidential election, Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’Adua of the PDP refused to debate with General Muhammadu Buhari of the ANPP – Yar’Adua won the election!

For the 2011 presidential election, President Goodluck Ebele Nnamdi Azikiwe Jonathan of the PDP refused to debate with General Muhammadu Buhari of the CPC – Goodluck Jonathan won the election!

For the 2015 presidential election, General Muhammadu Buhari of the APC refused to debate with President Goodluck Ebele Nnamdi Azikiwe Jonathan of the PDP after it emerged that the organizers of the debate have carefully leaked all the debate questions to President Jonathan – General Buhari won the election!

By the way, what is even a debate? The fact that the PDP left 27 states broke to the point that they owed workers’ salaries for upwards of 14 months despite selling crude oil at $142 per barrel and Buhari came and bailed them out with oil selling at $27 per barrel has made the PDP lose whatever debate they want!

How about the pensions and gratuities of workers of the Nigerian Airways, Nigerian Railways Corporation, NITEL, M-TEL, NEPA and other public outfits which the PDP killed and refused to pay during their 16 years of ruinous rule but which Buhari is now settling in spite of not earning even half of what PDP earned in revenues? Hasn’t this won the debate and election for President Buhari already? In all honesty, can the PDP have answers for such questions in any debate?

And can the PDP even answer debate questions on why it took the coming of Buhari as President for the roads they neglected to begin to be rebuilt? If the debate moderator asks Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to say something to President Buhari on the road Buhari is building to Jada, Atiku’s village, what will he say? Will he thank Buhari or will he say ‘’the PDP initiated the road and forgot to implement it’’? And can Atiku Abubakar explain in any debate what the PDP did with the $16 billion they purportedly spent on giving Nigerians electricity between 1999 and 2007 alone but which only megawatts of darkness was given to Nigerians?

ALSO READ: Buhari: To debate or not to debate (2)

In just 3 years out of PDP’s 16 years ruinous rule, the PDP under the presidency of Goodluck Ebele Nnamdi Azikiwe Jonathan purportedly spent about 700 billion naira on their so called SURE-P Programme, which is almost the annual budgets of about 10 states in Nigeria, but no one has seen the fruit or results of this monumental ‘’investment’’ in our economy – no industries were built by any of ‘’the beneficiaries’’ and neither has it translated into the diversification of the country’s economy through agriculture and other production sectors, just as it has not resulted in the revamping of the textile factories and other industries that were alive and productive when the PDP took over from the military. In the end, PDP’s unexplained use of such humongous sums of our country’s finances over time resulted in Nigeria now becoming the poverty capital of the world!

How can anyone or any country spend such humongous sums on social investment, and yet the country ends up being the world’s poverty capital? Where are the beneficiaries and who are they? What did they do with with such large sums that they received from the federal government? Even if they drank beer or smoked weed with the monies, shouldn’t it have still boosted the country’s economy? Now, can the PDP or Alhaji Atiku Abubakar answer such queries at any debate?

Very poignantly, just today, the day of the so called presidential debate, President Buhari commissioned a water port at Baro, Niger State, which is the first of its kind in northern Nigeria, a successful programme that will ease the movement of heavy industrial goods and equipment to the northern part of the country through ships, which then boosts the local economy of the north and hence that of Nigeria in general. Why did the PDP fail to do this noble project throughout their 16 years of ruinous rule? Equally important is, while the PDP is polluting Nigeria’s healthy airspace with hypocritical noises about a debate, work on the Second Niger Bridge in Southeastern Nigeria is in full progress under the leadership of President Buhari. Wasn’t this the very same project that the PDP converted to a mere campaign promise for the Igbo?

ALSO READ: APC accuses Ohanaeze of sabotaging Buhari’s campaign

So many questions over the 16 wasted years of the PDP at any debate but serious Nigerians are more focused on fixing and clearing the pungent rot they created and left behind than wasting more precious time in debating  on live TV!

President Buhari’s superlative performance in just three years has defeated PDP’s 16 years absence at debates and their grossly poor performance for Nigerians!

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