Press statement from the PDP…
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as a responsible political party made a promise to President Muhammadu Buhari that it would not get involved in distracting or detracting him from delivering good governance to the Nigerian people. This has informed our restrained position on a number of issues that ordinarily we would have made comments on.
However, because of the overzealousness of your spokespersons and some members of your party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in dramatizing some imaginary achievements of your administration in a space of one month, there is need to put the records straight.
We believe that one month is such a short time to assess any government, however when this administration and your party started rolling out premature scorecards of imaginary achievements, it became necessary for us and indeed most Nigerians to X-ray them.
We need to bring to your notice certain indices that if not properly corrected are capable of derailing the smooth running of your administration. It is incontrovertible that instead of focusing on the promises you made to Nigerians and on policy thrusts that will move our economy forward, the ruling party has been made to be very high on propaganda, deceitful engagement and cosmetic governance.
We believe you should extricate yourself from these agents of propaganda who continue to believe that Nigerians would be swayed by these cosmetic interventions instead of real business of government.
As the leader of the most populous black nation in the world, we believe you should not allow your Presidency to be pushed into the gimmicks of playing to the gallery and attempting to use the dramatization of promissory notes and pledges by foreign interests, false premature claims of victory against insurgency, dramatization of salary cut and rejection of official cars, all to gain cheap popularity and create an impression that the government is on course when in the actual fact, the new administration has not been able to locate a bearing since its inauguration in May.
While we appreciate the symbolic gesture by Mr. President in ‘cutting’ his N14 million annual basic salary by 50 percent, it should be noted that Nigerians would not be wavered by the N7million annual donation and rejection of official cars, and forget their expectations for the implementation of his long list of campaign promises for which he was elected into office.
The Presidency should know that these orchestration, no matter how populist it may seem does not in any way address the burning issues of employment, worsening security situation, decline in the economy, avoidable inactivity in government businesses, and continued apparent slide of the naira which has dipped from under N200 to the dollar in May to an all time low of N238 under the APC administration among others.
Moreover, Nigerians cannot be overwhelmed by the gestures especially given that they are pretty aware that the salary is a mere drop in the ocean of personal allowances and privileges that come to the president. They cannot therefore be deluded by impressions aimed to make government appear to be on course when it has only been a case of all motion, no movement, spiced with unnecessary excuses.
Nigerians, going by feelers have not been thrilled by such orchestrations as other leaders who at one time or the other adopted similar stance did not dither or become laidback, but hit the ground running with governance. What the citizens want is a government that is urgent in living up to its billings and campaign promises.
Instead of allowing his government to be taken over by needless showmanship, Mr. President must realize that the people would not judge him by such measures but on the extent to which he addressed critical issues of governance for which he was voted into power.
The issue is about the President facing the challenges of governance and assembling his team of experts and capable hands to manage the economy, which has been on the decline since he assumed office. It is also about allowing the different arms of government, especially the National Assembly to work smoothly and encourage conducive democratic environment where the rule of law, personal freedom and security of lives and property are guaranteed.
Perhaps, we may need to draw Mr. President’s attention to the growing concern that under his watch democratic institutions are no longer free. While activities of the National Assembly have been disrupted, the nation’s electoral body has lost its independence due to the appointment of an Acting Chairman that is publicly known to have very strong relationship with your good self and key members of your party. We have also seen flagrant disregard of court orders.
We also wish to bring to your notice, Mr. President that Nigerians are now agitated that this government has failed to hit the ground running as it promised. They are worried that the President who promised to unveil his cabinet two weeks after his inauguration in May, has, two months after, not been able to decide on key appointments such as ministers, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), a Chief of Staff and advisers in key sectors of the economy.
They are worried by the drifting of government business in ministries, departments and agencies due to the absence of political heads vested with coordinating of important policies, which are now in tatters and taking its toll on the economy as indicated in the terrifying crippling of foreign and domestic investments and harrowing retrogression in the capital market which has continued to lose billions of naira since May 29th.
Instead of engaging in pointless propaganda, the APC and the Presidency should be more concerned about the decline in the economy with the continued fall in the value of the naira which has descended from under N200 to the dollar they inherited in May to all time low of N238 even in the face of the President’s promise to bring it to same value with the US Dollar.
We need to caution that the needless celebration of your party over Monday’s change of Service Chiefs is totally premature considering the corresponding urgency of previous administration in this regard.
Also, as a quick reminder, we wish to notify you that in line with your promises, Nigerians are still eager for information regarding the five million new jobs, monthly N5, 000 each to 25 million poor citizens, monthly allowance to discharged but unemployed Youth Corps members, free meals to school children and bringing the naira to the same value with the dollar; among other promises upon which you and your party gained access to power.
Finally, Mr. President may we restate that our commitment to constructive opposition is due to our conviction as major stakeholders in the Nigerian project that whatever success achieved by you is not for your individual benefit or that of the APC, but for our collective and common good as a country. We will therefore continue to inform you and indeed all Nigerians about potential areas of derailment, not with the intention of embarrassing you and your administration, but to bring good governance for the benefit of all Nigerians.
Chief Olisa Metuh
National Publicity Secretary