YBTC NEWS—One of the major contenders for the National Chairmanship of the All Progressives Congress APC Mallam Saliu Mustapha has described the inaugural speech of the new National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Iyorchia Ayu as the continuation of a bare-faced attempt by the party to hoodwink Nigerians to return it to power in 2023.
He said in a statement he personally signed that the opposition party is largely responsible for the mess President Muhammadu Buhari and APC have been cleaning up in the last 6 years.
“Like many stakeholders in the ruling party, I find it shocking that the new PDP chairman used his inaugural speech to rehash the lies and innuendos of the previous leadership of the opposition party.
“But contrary to Ayu’s attempt to revise history, President Buhari inherited a country that was virtually on life support with no fewer than 27 states unable to pay salaries and pension inspite of a historic oil proceeds in the preceding years.
“Between 2010 and 2014, Nigeria realised $381.9bn from oil alone yet there was little or nothing to show for it so it was not too much of a surprise that PDP’s new chairman could not list a single legacy project that the former ruling party began and completed within that period.
“It was also a time that economic experts had warned that the country was heading towards a recession as a result of PDP’s profligacy but the party continued to regale Nigerians with tales of a robust economy and today its leaders are blaming APC for the mess they created.
“Under PDP, the poverty figure rose to 112m or 63% of the population in 2013 yet the party which plunged millions of Nigerians into penury at a time of an oil boom has the audacity to attack a government that is doing more with little,” the statement added.
The founding APC member also wondered why PDP could not identify tangible projects it put in place in its 16 years in power at the centre.
Mustapha said: “While the Buhari-led APC administration could easily point at a number of completed projects including the Itakpe-Warri standard gauge rail line which had been previously abandoned for 33 years and the Lagos-Ibadan rail project and several ongoing ones in 6 years, the new PDP chairman could only list the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) as achievements.
“Some of the mess left behind by PDP after 16 years in power that the administration has been cleaning include the $6bn Joint Venture (JV) cash call debt owed to the 5 major oil companies, local contractors debt running into trillions of naira as well as pension owed workers of the defunct Nigeria Airways and other government agencies.
“Another legacy of PDP mess is the Boko Haram insurgency which the military on the watch of the Buhari administration has largely decimated and pushed to the fringes of the Lake Chad.
“This is because the armed forces are better equipped now than under the former ruling party when funds meant for arms purchase
were shared by party officials and other members including Ayu who was listed in court records as receiving N345m from the Office of the National Security Adviser from
public funds set aside for arms procurement.
“As for the public debt stock that the new PDP chairman puts at $90bn after suggesting that his party left the country debt free, this is a clear attempt at misleading Nigerians. This is because APC inherited a national debt of $63bn according to statistics from the Debt Management Office (DMO)
“Unlike in the PDP era where there is little or no infrastructure to show for the indebtedness,it is glaring that loans taken by the APC-led government are tied to specific projects including the rail network,the Abuja-Kaduna-Kano express way, airport expansion and the Second Niger Bridge,amongst others which have either been delivered or taking shape.”
The former Deputy National Chairman of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) sees PDP as a party that has nothing to offer Nigerians inspite of a change in leadership.