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Politics

Hardship: FG Tackles PDP Govs, Others

Tinubu

The Federal Government disagreed with governors elected on the platform of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and Board of Trustees, BoT, yesterday, who blamed the Federal Government over economic hardship in the country, which they said is causing a lot of hunger and anger in the land.

The PDP governors’ views were echoed by their forum chairman and governor of Bauchi State, Senator Bala Mohammed, who at a meeting of the party’s Board of Trustees, BoT, said Nigeria is bleeding, there is a lot of hunger and anger, and there appears to be no good governance in the country. He assured that the PDP would give a vibrant opposition to the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.

Also, the PDP BoT said that biting economic hardship, high cost of essential life-enhancing commodities and alarming food scarcity in the country “occasioned by the ill-implemented policies of the APC administration are already causing restiveness and agitations in various parts of the country.”

In a quick counter, the Federal Government, in a statement by the Minister of Information & National Orientation, Mr. Mohammed Idris, accused the PDP governors of playing to the gallery, claiming that most of them have not properly utilised increased federal allocations to improve the welfare of their people.

According to the minister, many PDP states are owing salaries, and pensions, and have done little or nothing to boost agriculture, only to turn round to blame the Federal Government.

However, the Labour Party, LP, agreed with the submissions of the PDP, saying that the APC has ruined Nigeria’s economy.

These happened as the PDP confirmed Senator Adolphus Wabara as chairman of its BoT and appointed former Kaduna State Governor, Senator Ahmed Makarfi as secretary. The PDP leaders promised to address lingering crises in their fold to offer strong opposition and stop APC’s alleged move to foist a one-party state, claiming that the death of PDP would kill democracy in Nigeria.

Survival of Nigeria’s democracy tied to PDP

Acting National Chairman of the PDP Board, Senator Adolphus Wagbara, who said the survival of Nigeria’s democracy was tied to the survival of the opposition PDP, said that the party was fully aware of moves being made by the ruling APC-led government to foist a one-party system on Nigerians.

Wabara expressed PDP’s preparedness to lead Nigerians to frustrate the APC plot.

The PDP BoT Chairman said this in his opening remarks at the BoT meeting of the party held at the PDP National Secretariat.

Wabara charged party leaders and members to brace up for the challenges ahead because the party is in the process of repositioning itself for optimum performance.

He said: “A lot has happened, a lot is happening, the state of the party we all know and this is the time to hit the ground running since all the judgments have all come and gone.

“Our role as members of the Board of Trustees, the main organ of this party, is to ensure that this party does not die. If PDP goes under, definitely democracy will go under in Nigeria. We know that there are plans to turn this country into a one-party state but that will be only when we allow it.

“So, we must fight for democracy in Nigeria and it is only the PDP that can do that. Nobody owns this party but other parties are owned.

“Here, we follow due process democratically. I want to beg all of you, especially the NWC to do everything to bring this party back on track.

“There are so many issues and it is time now for us to address those issues, where necessary, forgive and forget, and where necessary take necessary actions.”

Task of rebuilding PDP

In his remarks, National Chairman of the PDP, Amb. Umar Damagum, said:”Now that all 2023 election petitions are resolved, there is no better time to begin rebuilding the party than now.

“You are all aware of the forthcoming Edo State Governorship election. We have initiated the process of selecting a candidate for that election. Despite challenges, we remain focused, and with the grace of God, we will retain Edo. We also urge all members to pay attention to Edo and individually promote the PDP. It is crucial to ensure that we have a united party in Edo to retain the governorship seat. Therefore, all hands must be on deck.

“I also want to remind our BoT members that the task of rebuilding this party extends beyond the NWC. We are all stakeholders, and wherever you find yourself, you don’t have to wait for the NWC to speak up to protect the party; it is a collective responsibility.”

Nigeria bleeding – PDP governors

Speaking at the meeting, Chairman of the PDP Governors Forum, Senator Bala Mohammed, assured the BoT of the support of governors elected on the party’s platform.

His words: “The governors of the PDP are with you. They are also concerned.

“Some of the strategies had been laid out by the BoT chairman himself. We need to be strategic so that this country does not become a one-party state and we need to make sure that all of us come out victorious.

“The governors have also asked me to tell you that we are hoping to make sure that we reposition the party, reduce and minimize rancour and division which had characterized us in the past because of our size and our divergent interests. Certainly, we don’t have the luxury of doing that.

“The country is bleeding. There is a lot of hunger and anger. For the third time the country is looking up to us, we cannot continue to be the weeping boys or girls or women.

“We must close rank, give benefit of doubt to each other, give benefit of doubt to the party and that’s why we gave them the vote of confidence in spite of anything.

“We don’t have the luxury of division and that’s why some of the offices that are creating perception problems, we decided to rest them, so that the various organs of the party from the caucus, the BoT and NEC will be able to take decisive decisions on them for the time being.

“Even that of the secretary that is causing disaffection we looked at the legal implications and we have rested it.
Hardship pushing Nigeria to the brink, PDP BoT tells Tinubu

Rising from its 76th meeting, the PDP BoT expressed deep concerns over what it described as biting economic hardship, high cost of essential life-enhancing commodities and alarming food scarcity in the country “occasioned by the ill-implemented policies of the APC administration which are already causing restiveness and agitations in various parts of the country.”

In a communique read by its Chairman, Adolphus Wabara, the trustees said: “The BoT is alarmed by the worsening insecurity in the country as evident in the rising cases of mass killings, banditry, kidnap for ransom and acts of terrorism by assailants who are emboldened by the manifest laid back attitude of the APC administration to issues of security, especially in the last nine months.

“The BoT is appalled by the monumental corruption and unbridled treasury-looting in the APC administration especially the looting of billions of Naira meant for palliatives for poor and vulnerable Nigerians.

“The BoT is seriously worried over the fall of the Naira to an abysmal N1,500 to the Dollar, incessant increase in the pump price of fuel, which now sells for over N700 per litre with long queues in various parts of the country.

“These have attendant negative consequences as evident in the nearly 30% inflation rate, 41% unemployment rate and alarming 46% poverty rate where up to 130 million citizens have sunk deeper into multi-dimensional poverty in the last nine months.

“The BoT is disturbed that the catastrophic economic and security situation in the country have left Nigerians hopeless, despondent, angry and constitute a present and immediate threat to the survival of the country as hardworking young Nigerians, professionals in critical fields as well as major multinational companies are now leaving our nation in droves.

PDP stating the obvious, APC has ruined the economy -LP

Agreeing with the PDP, the Labour Party said It was no longer news that the President Tinubu-led administration had built on the ruinous economic legacy left behind by former President Muhammadu Buhari.

National Publicity Secretary of the party, Obiora Ifoh, said this in a telephone interview with Vanguard, yesterday, in response to PDP governors’ lamentation that Nigerians are hungry and angry.

Ifoh said: “The simple question to ask is, are Nigerians better off today than they were 10 years ago? What is the cost of living today? How much is the exchange rate of the Naira to major currencies, especially the United States Dollars today?

“After so much talk, has corruption reduced? What about the security situation nationwide?

“Today, it is an incontestable fact that more and more Nigerians are falling into the poverty trap more than ever before in our nation’s history. Amid all these problems appointees of this government are helping themselves to our common patrimony.

“Nigerians are being treated to one financial scandal after another. It is unfortunate. Instead of confronting these problems, the ruling party is dissipating energy fueling a contrived crisis in opposition political parties. No true democracy can survive without credible opposition the type the Labour Party is prepared to continue to provide until we retrieve the people’s mandate in 2027. “

PDP govs owe Nigerians account of increased allocations – FG

Reacting to the PDP governor’s claim, the Minister of Information & National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, in a statement said: “Governors elected on the PDP platform met yesterday in Bauchi State and addressed a press conference, where their Chairman, Governor Bala Mohammed, read out their position on the country’s economic and security situation. We welcome their call for a bipartisan approach to solving our nation’s economic and security problems.

“As critical stakeholders and leaders at the sub-national level, the PDP governors certainly have the right to state their position on national concerns as is expected.

“However, as leaders in the country who are members of two important constitutional organs of government – the National Economic Council, which is the highest economic management organ of the country, and the National Council of States, we believe the PDP governors did not conduct themselves in a manner befitting their roles as leaders.

“It is far-fetched when PDP governors, who are supposed to be major players in driving economic growth and prosperity for our citizens in their respective states, mischievously and falsely compare our current economic challenges to Venezuela.

“We want to state categorically that though our country is going through some rough patches, which are being addressed by the administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, our situation is nowhere near what is happening in Venezuela.

“The Nigerian economy is still very strong and is expected to record a 3% GDP growth this year. The economy is meeting financial obligations to lenders at home and abroad.

“The Nigerian government is running effectively, and our government can pay all its bills while maintaining a healthy trade balance with trading partners worldwide.

“While opposition politicians are expected to play politics, it should be done within the bounds of truth and fidelity to facts. It is unconscionable of PDP Governors to manipulate facts and misinform Nigerians about our country’s true state of affairs.

“Since President Tinubu assumed office, the revenue available to the three tiers of government has more than doubled. All 36 States, including the 774 Local Governments, have been receiving significantly larger allocations on the back of the reforms being pursued by President Tinubu to reposition our national economy.

“Nigerians should ask PDP Governors how far and how well they have utilised the increased revenue to better the lives of Nigerians in their respective states.

“It is on record that most states controlled by PDP owe workers and pensioners months of unpaid salary and pension arrears. The PDP Governors have defaulted in paying gratuities to their retired workers. It is also a fact that many of the PDP Governors have not paid N30,000 minimum wage to their workers since it took effect more than 4 years ago. All of these anomalies in their states contribute significantly to the economic pressure their citizens face.

“If PDP governors are genuinely interested in the living conditions of Nigerians and are not just stirring up disaffection and ill-will towards the Federal Government, we urge them to meet their obligations to workers, pensioners, and local contractors and see the multiplier effect.

“It is disappointing that PDP Governors talk about rising costs of living and food when they have not done much to increase food production in their states. The land in Nigeria belongs to the states, not the Federal Government.

“PDP Governors, in their communique yesterday, did not tell Nigerians how they are supporting farmers in their states to boost food production – a responsibility that is strictly within their purview. Instead, they shift all the blame to the Federal Government, while shirking their own responsibilities to the people they govern.

“The APC-led administration of President Tinubu is working assiduously to address the current challenges. The President is working with his security chiefs to eliminate all security threats wherever they exist within our borders, and we are getting results in the number of terrorists, bandits, and kidnappers that have either been killed or arrested in the past few weeks. The success of the efforts is also reflected in the over 700 abducted Nigerians who have been rescued from captivity.

“The Central Bank is addressing the problem of volatility in the exchange rate, and we are beginning to see stability that will eventually lead to the naira gaining its actual value against the dollar and other convertible currencies.

“We urge the PDP Governors to join their colleagues in the Nigerian Governors Forum, who are collaborating with President Tinubu and Vice President Kashim Shettima to revamp our economy for Nigerians’ collective well-being.” 

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