President Muhammadu Buhari
According to a report by Vanguard, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has reacted to President Muhammadu Buhari’s New Year address, describing it as depressing, saying it failed to address serious economic and security challenges confronting the nation.
Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP National Publicity Secretary, in a statement on Monday, lampooned the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) for treating “Nigerians to another round of false claims and empty promises, which has become a routine in close to three years of APC-controlled Presidency.”
While noting that it had earlier advised government not to issue any message in the New Year, the party said President Buhari’s speech failed to elicit hope in Nigerians, some of whom looked up to it for inspiration.
“We already knew the pattern and we advised against it this year. We knew their New Year message would heighten Nigerians’ despondency rather than providing us hope”, the statement read in part.
The party also expressed disappointment that rather than accept its failure, the Presidency attempted to appropriate and claim credit for the achievements recorded by the PDP.
“Instead of offering solutions or providing the indices for development, the Presidency deployed over 2,000 words passing the buck, begging the question, making empty claims and attempting to appropriate achievements of the PDP administration.
“What could be more depressing than the fact that the President, who is also the Minister of Petroleum Resources, did not give a clear-cut solution to the acute fuel crisis bedeviling his nation today? “The President’s speech neither addressed how to raise the fallen value of the naira nor how to rescue the labour market from the 8 million job losses and acute unemployment being suffered by Nigerians under the APC.
“The address completely failed to respond to issues of corruption under the APC regime, including allegations of budget padding, secret oil subsidy deals, illegal lifting of crude worth trillions of naira, pillaging of Nigeria’s foreign reserve, diversion of billions of naira for insurgency related matters, all by APC interests.
“Furthermore, the speech had no assurances on the worsening economic recession ravaging families under this regime; it had nothing on the dilapidated infrastructure and attendant stress on the economy, which the APC government has caused Nigerians.
“Rather, what we heard was a boring litany of buck passing, lame declarations and barefaced attempt to appropriate and claim credit for achievements and landmark projects initiated, articulated and implemented by the PDP administration, including, the railway, electricity and agricultural projects.
“We challenge the APC Presidency to tell Nigerians which landmark project it has initiated, articulated and executed in its close to three years of governance.
“Also the citizens are eager to know what work percentage that have been added to projects that were being executed by the PDP before the APC took power by propaganda and lies in 2015,” the statement added.
Insisting the ruling party has nothing to offer, the PDP said the only option for the electorate is to kick out the APC in 2019.
“Nigerians have now seen that the APC has nothing to offer but has only succeeded in wrecking the nation and inflicting hardship on the people.
“The option before Nigerians is to kick out the APC come 2019 and return the PDP, which is now repositioned to bring the nation back to the path of national unity and prosperity we all once enjoyed.
“The PDP stands with the people to once again present a government that is serious, truthful and transparent, with an array of best hands harnessing and channeling our national resources for the good of all, as was the order before the unfortunate incursion of the APC,” it stressed.