NIGERIANS, in and outside the country, know that Nigeria has been on a tortuous road, in the past six years of President Buhari’s administration. But Buhari and the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, often rationalize the challenges the government is facing with past leadership. Last Wednesday’s aired interview, which Buhari had with Channels Television, threw up some issues the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba responded.
Buhari stated, during the interview, that he had a preferred candidate to succeed him, but refused to name the person. The PDP asked Buhari to perish the thought of a successor, but quit in 2023, having failed woefully. Pushing forward a successor, PDP said, Nigerians would firmly reject anyone from him and his All Progressives Congress, APC, in 2023 presidential election.
Buhari touted figures to rationalize the performance of his government. The PDP described the figures spun out by the president as bogus. PDP said, Buhari embarrassed his office, made joke of himself and appeared confused when he dwelt on false figures. That the president should have used the opportunity of the interview to show remorse and apologize to Nigerians for his serial misgovernance.
Blame game is characteristic of Buhari and the ruling party, APC, government; often passing the bulk on past leadership, and padding the performance of his government. Buhari stated during the interview, that the governance of the country by the PDP – 1999 to 2014; crude oil sold for an average of $100 per barrel, but collapsed to $37 per barrel, when he assumed office in 2015, on the platform of APC.
PDP statement, by the National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, described Buhari’s claim as falsehood. “Such false claim flies in the face of hard facts as the records, which the president must have, clearly show that when the PDP took office on May 29, 1999, crude oil sold at $16.27 per barrel and about $80.42 and $63.28 by November and December 2014, respectively”,
Under Buhari’s presidency and the APC governance, PDP said, “oil price has never fallen as low as $16 per barrel, as recorded under the PDP”. Crude oil price, under the APC, “started at $37 to $39.44 per barrel in 2016, and had continued to hover between $60 to $70 per barrel to date”.
Despite low oil revenue when the PDP took over governance, Ologunagba said, PDP expanded the economy, paid off foreign debts, revamped the productive sectors, provided conducive investment environment, which encouraged massive foreign investments, and left behind for President Buhari and APC, in 2015, over $550 billion economy – the largest in Africa and 26th globally.
BUHARI’S INTERVIW, threw up other critical issues, which the PDP responded. PDP said, when Buhari took over, debt stock was N12 trillion, but now N32 trillion and counting. Inflation was about nine percent under the PDP, but now over 15 per cent under APC.
Unemployment rate was about 8.9 per cent, it is now 33 per cent under APC. The Naira exchanged at N197 to a dollar under the PDP, but now over N500 to a dollar under the APC. Petrol pump price was N87 per litre under PDP, but now N167 per litre under APC.
The PDP berated Buhari, that he should have seized the opportunity provided by the Channels Television interview, to “show remorse, apologise to Nigerians for his monumental failure and national embarrassment that the APC government represents instead of trying to rationalise APC’s failure with falsehood. And grandstanding about a successor”.
“While we understand that lying is the standard gauge of performance of the APC, it is rather unfortunate that the president is also in that frame. It only reinforces the fact that nobody is immune to lying in the APC. Of course, he cannot extricate himself because lying is the official policy of his party, the APC”, PDP further stated.
Ahead of 2023 election, PDP said the party is ready to “rescue Nigeria from insecurity and economic horror placed on Nigerians by the APC”.