..as PDP lamemts lack of solution to economic, security crisis
By Chioma Onuegbu, Uyo
Governor Udom Emmanuel has decried the deprivation of the South-south states of revenue due to them through the current alleged subsidy regime and the worsening economic situation in the country.
Emmanuel who spoke at a meeting of South-South zonal executive committee of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, on Thursday at the Government House, Uyo, wondered why 72 dollars per barrel crude oil price, payment of salaries and wages still constitute difficulty in the country.
He said with limited pipelines to distribute the product to every part of the country and the poor roads network across Nigeria, it was surprising that the country allegedly evacuates 93 million litres of petroleum products every day.
His words, “As of today, oil price is 72 dollars per barrel, while our budget benchmark was less than 40 dollars, yet there is not a dollar in the excess crude account. Even our 13 percent derivation is not given to us.
“They say they are using it to pay for subsidy and we don’t know those consuming 93 million litres of petrol every day. Tell me, what logistics do we have in Nigeria to support the importation of 93 million litres of petrol every day.
“Even during COVID-19 crisis, we were still paying for subsidy on daily basis, but there was no movement. Who were those moving with the petrol?, we don’t know. All these, to deny us of the 13per cent derivation when we can barely pay salaries. And to construct a kilometre of road here takes about eight times the cost of making it in other regions”
The governor who stressed that Nigeria’s problem is not about political party but lack of sincerity on the part of those in leadership, commended the zonal EXCO for winning the trust of the party faithful to run the affairs of PDP in the South-south zone.
He reiterated that the South-south would remain the PDP strong hold, noting that PDP has not lost Cross River State, despite the recent defection of Governor Ben Ayade to the All Progressives Congress (APC).
He expressed concern that the people of Cross River State were at the verge of losing PDP which is the only political party that its governors have been able to showcase projects in the nation over time.
He reiterated that the rumour of his planned defection was a mere wish, stressing, “that the touch of excellence and capacity brought to bear by the PDP led state governments have a lot to do with the quality of people in the party”
Governor Emmanuel also reiterated his position that the National Assembly should ensure speedy passage of the electoral Bill, because it is fundamental to the sustenance of Nigeria’s democracy.
“Taking the nation on the path of constitutional review will portend a deliberate distraction, when the issue of Electoral bill which should assure Nigerians of their stake in the democracy is on ground. I call on Nigerians to defy partisanship in such issue of national interest.
“Though the Electoral Bill may not be a single solution to all of Nigeria’s problem, it is a major step forward. Nigeria has tried democracy over the years as a borrowed system and with the level of success so far, it has become expedient to streamline the system”, Emmanuel said.
Speaking earlier, the National Vice Chairman of PDP South-South, Chief Dan Obih lauded the developmental strides of governor Emmanuel, describing him as an asset to the party and the nation as a whole.
Obih decried the inability of the present federal government to proffer solution to the economic recession and insecurity crisis bedeviling the country, stressing that the country needs the PD to progress and move the country forward.
“These are certainly not very good times. We notice that on a daily basis the naira is on a free fall. This country needs the PDP than ever before because of the problems that this government has not been able to solve. Nigerians need PDP; Nigerians need you and others to save our country”, Obih asserted.