By Chioma Onuegbu, Uyo
A Chieftain of the People’s Democratic Party , PDP, in Akwa Ibom State, Senator Emmanuel Ibok Essien has said that Nigeria would have fared better after 23years of democracy if PDP had remained in power.
Essien who is also the National Chairman of the Pan Niger Delta Forum, (PANDEF) made assertion during an interview in Uyo on Sunday.
He expressed concern that since the All Progressives Congress (APC) came on board in 2015, the economic and security challenges have deteriorated.
His words: “We started well in 1999 and gradually we were progressing until 2015. When the present government came in 2015 that was when Nigeria started deteriorating in terms of security, economy, in terms of everything.
“People can no longer afford anything. Diesel that was sold at 140 naira is now N800 per liter, foreign exchange that was N170 naira to a dollar is now N580 naira to a dollar. The security challenge in the country is becoming too much. Just last Sunday so many people were killed in the Church, and many other challenges.
“Things are really getting bad. It was not like this seven years ago. And if we can survive the next one year, we pray for a smooth change of government that would ensure that the economic prosperity of the country comes back.
“We have all that it takes for this country to be great but poor leadership, especially in the last seven years has been our problem. Our country would have fared better if the PDP had remained in power in the sense that at the time the change government came in our economy was the largest in Africa.
“If we (PDP) had continued Nigeria would have been a better place today because the PDP was able to manage the economy, and the security challenges. So I am praying that this 2023 election we will correct all those bad situations by bringing in people who would be able to provide leadership.
The PDP chieftain regretted that the APC that took over power from his party never kept all promises of positive change that made Nigerians to vote them into power.
“The change government had promised N5,000 to all unemployed citizens, talked about a boom in our economy and at the end of the day everybody is crying in the country.
” I pray that by 2023 people’s eyes would be opened so that they know who to elect that would be beneficial to the country and who would be able to improve the economic circumstances of this country. If PDP returns to power all the rot will be corrected”, Essien stressed.