Party: We are ready for elections Says Buhari has no development project to show
Chuks Okocha in Abujaâ€¨
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said the All Progressives Congress’s (APC) presidential candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), cannot boast of any development project in any sector of the economy during his regime as military head of state.
PDP National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, in a statement on Monday said when juxtaposed with the performance of President Goodluck Jonathan’s democratically elected government, it becomes clear that “Buhari is not and cannot be a match for President Jonathan”.
The ruling party said Buhari failed because he lacked the capacity and the capability to comprehend complex issues at the highest level of governance.
It said the APC’s presidential candidate “lacks team spirit, a principal component of public private partnership critical to national development, a character his colleagues in the military rejected and kicked him out of office.”
In a sector by sector juxtaposition of the General Buhari and Jonathan administrations, the PDP observed that “while Buhari suspended the constitution and led Nigerians by the nose, President Jonathan exhibited excellent democratic credentials by enhancing the rule of law wherein Nigerians, including Buhari, now relish all kinds of personal freedoms which he denied the citizens during his rule.”
The party recalled that while Buhari enacted the Military Decree 4 of 1984 with which he abolished the freedom of the press, President Goodluck Jonathan not only signed into law the Freedom of Information Act, he also consolidated the rule of law in the country, Whilst the Buhari administration carried out extrajudicial killing of innocent Nigerians using widely condemned retroactive law, President Jonathan has never trampled on the rights of any Nigerian, instead he has remained sincere, humble and calm despite all unwarranted provocations.
“On education, General Buhari never built a single school during his regime as head of state and never cared for the educational advancement of any part of the country including the north. On the other hand, President Jonathan revamped the education sector, established 14 new universities in two years, revitalised the Unity Schools, initiated the Back To School Programme, established the Almajiri System of Education for the progress of hitherto neglected children from the north, an innovation General Buhari never thought of, among others.
“Under Buhari, no effort was made to revitalise the railways as an instrument of mass transport in the country. Instead, General Buhari, on account of his famed parochial and sectional nature, scrapped the Lagos Metroline Project at a loss of over $78 million to the Lagos taxpayer.
On his own part, President Jonathan has revived the railways. Today, our trains are back, ferrying passengers and goods along various routes across the country. The case is the same in the road sector, which was also neglected by General Buhari as head of state but is now being transformed by President Jonathan.
“On health, while General Buhari neither initiated nor executed any project in this sector that has direct bearing on the welfare of Nigerians, President Jonathan has repositioned this sector through a meticulous implementation of his National Strategic Health Development Plan (2010-2015).
“Nigerians now have access to better and affordable health care with new technologies that have better positioned our hospitals to handle medical emergencies and disease control using international best practices and cost-effective interventions.
“Also, while Buhari did nothing to enhance the power sector, President Jonathan successfully unbundled of the power sector with polices that encouraged massive private sector investment for greater productivity.
“The speedy completion and commissioning of key power stations including the Geregu Power Project in Kogi State, Omotosho 2 Power Station in Ondo as well as huge investments in other power plants across the country.
The projects are there. The facts speak for themselves.
“In the same vein, the APC presidential candidate cannot boast of any investment in agriculture. Today, with the unique intervention by President Jonathan, Nigeria’s food import has declined by $5.3 billion between 2013 and 2014 even with our increasing population. Our nation now ranks as one of the biggest food producers in Africa with our food production expanding by an additional 21 million metric tonnes, between 2011 and 2014, a record exceeding the nation’s set target of 20 million metric tonnes set for 2015.
“Furthermore, while Buhari failed in ensuring the productivity of the manufacturing sector, the Jonathan administration has repositioned the sector, while creating an enabling environment for private businesses to thrive. Today, the neglected automobile sector has been revived and cars are now being manufactured in our country as a result of the New Automobile Policy initiated by President Jonathan.
“On security, we wish to remind General Buhari that Nigerians are still waiting for him to show them the investment he made in enhancing the military and security agencies which suffered the worst type of deprivation under him. This sector has now been re-equipped by President Jonathan to effectively confront the security challenges facing our country.
Stating that Nigerians are more prosperous under Jonathan, the PDP recalled that the nation’s economy now ranks as the largest in Africa as against the situation under General Buhari. The party insisted that “what the nation needs now is not a return to the “dark days”, but to continue with President Jonathan and his Transformation Agenda for the benefit of all.
In another development, the PDP has said it was fully prepared for the 2015 general election, observing that the support it enjoys among Nigerians from the ward to the national level is a sure guarantee of victory.
The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, in a statement on Monday described APC’s allegations of plots to postpone the elections as a tactic to divert attention from the findings of the State Security Services (SSS) that it has devised means to hack into INEC’s data base, clone the Permanent Voter’s Card (PVCs) and ultimately compromise the outcome of the elections.
The PDP said nothing can show that the APC is not preparing to face the electorates than the frivolous and unfounded allegations and use of propaganda, in an effort to hoodwink Nigerians even in the face of clear proof of culpability.
“The PDP is fully ready for the coming elections. Our leaders and members are working hard in all the nooks and crannies of the country leveraging on our existing grass roots appeal, wide-spread political structures, a track-record of performance and abiding affinity and loyalty to the people.
“We have very popular and acceptable hard working candidates who the people are anxious to vote for. Our Presidential flag bearer, President Goodluck Jonathan, with verifiable achievements and commitment to national unity remains the candidate the beat.
“We have engaged on issue-based campaigns. We have effectively shown Nigerians that we can be trusted. Our amiable leader, President Jonathan, has demonstrated strength of character and sincerity of purpose in his handling of state affairs and Nigerians are desirous to demonstrate their support for him come February 14.
“The PDP has successfully communicated its unique selling points and achievements to the electorates and a greater majority of Nigerians are now able to distinguish between facts and mere propaganda, which is the hallmark of the APC.
“Our advise to the APC is that instead of engaging in distortion of facts and propagating of lies and blackmail in an attempt to score cheap political point, they should explain to Nigerians their apparent involvement in efforts to undermine INEC records with a view to corrupt the electoral process.—ThisDay