The Presidency on Sunday described as disgraceful the claim by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that Nigerians were fed up with President Muhammadu Buhari and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and are yearning for the return of the PDP to power in 2023.
Senior Special Assistant to the President on media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, said Nigeria wouldl not welcome the PDP which is ‘the university of lies’ to power again.
National Publicity Secretary of the PDP Kola Ologbondiyan, in an interview had said having experienced both the PDP and the APC, Nigerians had realised that only the PDP had the interest of the country at heart.
However, Shehu in his response said, “These days, so many people are saying so many things, indulging mostly in the abuses of others and as official spokespersons we make the deliberate choice of staying out for the most part.
“But it is hard to ignore the shameful and disgraceful claims made by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, which is making the false claims that Nigerians are dissatisfied with the present and wished for the return to the years of locusts.
“At the rate they are going, it is not farfetched to agree with another politician in describing the PDP as a “university of falsehood”, in which the bigger the lies their functionaries can tell, the higher in rank they are promoted to.
“It is too soon for their evil records to be washed away or forgotten. They held onto the throne of power for 16 years fighting for their own happiness, not that of the majority of Nigerians. They turned the country into a nation of scams promoting corruption to an industrial scale, exploiting the country’s oil, mineral and land resources for selfish reasons.
“PDP’s lasting legacy will be the catastrophe that was the power expansion programme in which USD 16 billion was taken from the treasury without a megawatt of electricity added to the grid system.
“The Buhari-led administration is on the other hand fighting for the happiness of the majority of Nigerians, rebuilding a battered economy, putting in place long-delayed infrastructure and managing a novel Coronavirus pandemic in a very competent and impressive manner as to earn the commendation of the World Health Organization.”
He also said in the 16-year period, a barrel of oil was sold for as high as $140 and the PDP-led FG “blew a golden opportunity to grow the economy to soaring heights. They could have used the enormous earrings to increase power generation, modernise the rail and fix roads and bridges as the present administration is currently struggling, with lesser incomes to do.”
He added, “About 800 road projects are currently ongoing in the six geopolitical zones of the country.
“The malaise of the PDP administration is manifested in the collapse of local food production, replaced by a daily average spending of USD 5 million in rice importation. Today, not a kobo from the Central Bank of Nigeria is used to fund the importation of food. In effect, we eat what we grow. PDP broke the economy by killing industrialization.”
He also said in those 16 years, textile industry, the largest employer was killed and that 38 major textile companies closed down business in Nigeria between 1999 and 2009.
“The nation’s budding industry virtually fled to neighbouring countries – Ghana, Cote D’Ivore and far away Kenya were all transforming into manufacturing hubs at our expense. In 2006, two of Nigeria’s leading tyre manufacturers, Michelin and Dunlop, relocated their factories to Ghana citing epileptic energy supply in Nigeria as the chief reason.”
“Over those 16 years, PDP told stunning tales of economic growth and peddled rates as high as the windmill without industrial growth, without agricultural growth, without investment and without jobs for the teeming youths. In sum total, they gave the nation a lost half-generation.”
Shehu said, “The main reason for the defeat of the PDP in 2015 was corruption. The present administration at the centre led by President Muhammadu Buhari has so far presented a corrupt-free image of itself. It has succeeded in abolishing grand corruption at the top. Today, you are sure that no one will call the governor of central bank and ask him to bring hard cash- naira, pounds, dollars, euro or renminbi.”
“With increased procurement of military aircraft, weapons, equipment and ammunition, the remaining task of ridding Borno State of Boko Haram is well on course.”
“Military procurements and increasing recruitment will ensure the momentum of ridding the Northwestern and North Central States are equally rid of kidnapping, cattle rustling and banditry,” he added.
Osun 2022: Tribunal Adjourns Pre-Hearing In Suit Against Adeleke
The Osun Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Osogbo, on Monday, adjourned until October 4 the pre-hearing of a petition filed by Governor Gboyega Oyetola against the declaration of Ademola Adeleke as the Governor-elect.
The Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Tertsea Kume, fixed the date and granted the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Adeleke seven days to respond to the pre-hearing form served on them by the tribunal.
Earlier, Counsel to the All Progress Congress (APC), Prof. Kayode Olatoke, SAN, had informed the court of his readiness to continue with the pre-hearing session, having filed his form TF008, where issues for determination were raised.
At the request of the tribunal for advice, Olatoke suggested that the matter should be delayed for a few hours for the respondents to also respond to the tribunal pre-hearing form.
Counsel to the INEC, Ben Ananaba, SAN, said the pre-hearing could not go on because he was just served with the pre-hearing form this morning, saying statutorily, they have seven days to respond.
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Counsel to Adeleke, Bamidele Abolarin and counsel representing PDP, Nathaniel Oke, SAN, also requested the tribunal to give them the required seven days to respond.
Addressing newsmen after the sitting, Olagoke said the adjournment was not out of place, but the tribunal has the power to abridge the days required for any of the parties to respond.
He said that PDP is ready to defend its victory in the last governorship election in the state.
Following the outcome of the July 16 governorship election in Osun, Oyetola and the APC filed a petition before the Election Petition Tribunal sitting at the State High Court, Osogbo.
The petitioners who were seeking justice challenged the results of the election in some of the Local Government Areas and prayed the Tribunal to return their mandate to them.
Ayu in fresh trouble over whereabouts of N10bn nomination fees
The embattled National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr Iyorchia Ayu, is in fresh trouble over the whereabouts of N10 billion realized by the party from nomination fees paid by aspirants.
The fresh controversy is coming barely 48 hours to the kickoff of the 2023 election campaigns scheduled for September 28, 2022.
The PDP had fixed its presidential nomination form and expression of interest forms for N40 million, governorship N21 million, Senate N3.5 million, House of Representatives N2.5 million, and House of Assembly N600, 000.
It was learnt that a bloc in the party is trying to offer each National Working Committee (NWC) member N28millon to gloss over the huge cash in order to curtail any further crisis in the party but some members of the NWC, who rejected the bribe, are insisting on accountability and on getting answers about the depletion of the cash from over N10billion to N1billion.
According to The Nation, the aggrieved camp of Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State was pushing for accountability to increase the pressure on Ayu to resign.
It was gathered that members of the PDP NWC were surprised to learn that former Vice President Atiku Abubakar allegedly made N1billion available to the party before the presidential primaries.
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Recall that Governor Wike, during a media chat on Friday, claimed that the opposition party chairman took N1 billion from a presidential aspirant before the PDP primary and did not remit the said sum to the party.
A top source, who spoke in confidence, said: “Ahead of our campaign, all is still not well in the party because some NWC members have raised issues over what had become of the N10 billion nomination fees.
“They are demanding immediate accountability from the party. I think their anger followed a leakage that the amount collected has reduced from about N10 billion to N1billion.
“Governor Wike’s disclosure of a N1 billion gift to the party before the PDP Presidential primaries has compounded the challenge in the party because some NWC members and stakeholders were just hearing for the first time.
“The anger is mounting and Wike’s camp is already capitalizing on the situation to push for accountability and plot Ayu’s exit.
“I can tell you that the party is in a tinderbox. Some forces wanted to use accountability as an excuse to cause confusion. We know that Ayu has repeatedly assured party leaders of being accountable and transparent.”
The source added, “These NWC members have been adamant on accountability. They are demanding the whereabouts of the huge cash.”
Pastors are to lead people to salvation not politics, Keyamo tells PFN
Spokesperson for the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential campaign council, Festus Keyamo, has fired back at the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria for the body’s criticism of the MUslim-Muslim ticket of the party’s presidential candidate and running mate, saying says pastors should lead the people to salvation and not politics.
David Bakare, deputy national secretary of the PFN, in an interview, said the group has no affiliation with members of the Pentecostal Bishops Forum of Northern Nigeria who met with Bola Tinubu, APC presidential candidate, on Friday.
The PFN also said its opposition to the Muslim-Muslim ticket of the APC remained unchanged.
Speaking during an interview with Channels Television on Sunday, Keyamo said the PFN has no right to criticise the decisions of the ruling party.
He said, “The PFN are not members of our party. They should go and vote that day. They should not be coming to question the decision of our party publicly. The purpose of pastors or their duty is to lead people to heaven not to lead people to [presidential] villa.
“If I go to church every Sunday, I want to hear the sermon of God and I don’t want to hear the sermon of politics or who should rule me.
“I want to hear the sermon of God and what will lead me to salvation and not what to lead me to the villa.”
Asides from the PFN, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has also condemned the selection of Kashim Shettima, a Muslim, as the running mate to Tinubu.
Commenting on the APC’s campaign strategy for the 2023 elections, Keyamo said the party will present to Nigerians the performance of Tinubu during his time as governor of Lagos.
The minister added that Nigerians are too hungry to be bothered about issues bordering on religion.
“Nigerians are hungry, they want to see how that hunger will be addressed, not how their Christian or Muslim faiths will be addressed,” he said.
“They want to see our policies on agriculture and what Asiwaju has done before as governor of Lagos state, how he improved Lagos and how he will bring that kind of posterity to Nigeria as a whole.”
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