The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), yesterday, urged Nigerians to urgently rescue the country from collapse on account of the “incompetent, uninspiring and lethargic leadership of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.”
It described the President’s New Year address to the nation as “empty and directionless,” insisting that the speech confirmed that Nigeria had become a country without a leader.
In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party stated that the President’s speech underscored the urgent need for Nigerians to come together and salvage the nation from heading towards a failed state.
It said it was appalling that on New Year’s day, Buhari could only offer a troubled and frustrated nation a regurgitated script full of lame excuses and empty promises that addressed nothing.
The party claimed that Buhari failed to demonstrate capacity to play his part, having failed to find solutions to the security and economic challenges that had permeated the country under what it described as “his incompetent and lethargic leadership.”
Continuing, it said: “The lame excuses in Mr. President’s address underlines our national misfortune of a weak leadership that is unable to resolutely confront and vanquish bandits, terrorists, kidnappers and vandals, who are now holding the country hostage, as well as ravaging communities, kidnapping and beheading compatriots without restrain.”
It stated that the least Nigerians expected from the President in the New Year, was a decisive will to tackle security challenges by reviewing his parade and heeding Nigerians’ demands to rejig the country’s security architecture.
The PDP said the situation required more than an armchair commander-in-chief, who only dwelled on excuses for his failures, adding: “Buhari’s New Year address only points to the fact that Nigeria is in dire need of a leadership that is willing, able and ready to engage from the fronts.”
On the economy, it bemoaned the President’s failure to articulate a specific, definite economic recovery blueprint.
“He has no clear strategies to increase the value of the naira, repay and end foreign borrowings, revamp external reserves, assure foreign investors, move promises of job creation from the perpetual drawing board and guarantee food security, health care, among others,” it lamented.
The party said Buhari had the opportunity to redeem the image of his administration by taking steps that would address high cost of food, education and housing deficit, address fuel price hike, multiple taxes and tariffs that put pressure on businesses and families, as well enhance national productivity and grow the nation’s Gross Domestic Produce (GDP).
The opposition party said it was lamentable that the President, in his reference to the #EndSARS protests, did not make any decisive pronouncement to end the persecution of protesters or order a presidential inquest into the Lekki killings.
“Moreover, the President’s failure to make direct commitment on budgetary provisions exposes his lack of will and direction and shows that the next two years under his administration will leave Nigerians with forlorn hope,” it added.
BESIDES, Kogi State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has caution the Federal Government to stop attacking Nigerians who speak truth to power over the country’s failed security situation.
Chairman of the association in the state, Bishop John Ibenu, who spoke to The Guardian yesterday on telephone, said the Federal Government should be good listener rather than resort to attacks, insisting that Bishop Hassan Kukah’s opinion about the state of the nation was not novel.
“There is nothing Kukah said that has not been said before. All we need is a listening government and action. Attacking Kukah is a waste of time and energy, because nobody wants anybody to die.
“If the Federal Government, President Buhari and those who are supporting him and MURIC believe that nobody should die, then we should all lend our voices to what Kukah said and do the needful.
“In any case he is not the first person to say what he said. Many persons have said it, the Jamaica Nasir Islam, the Sultan have said it, CAN has spoken, Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs has spoken and our senior citizens have spoken,” he stated.
He challenged Nigerian leaders to learn from past experiences and build a better nation, adding: ”We will wasting our time if after passed through all the challenges, we fail to learn from the experiences as a nation.”
Meanwhile, Deputy President of the Senate, Ovie Omo-Agege, has admonished Nigerians not to be disillusioned, urging them to renew their commitment to collective prosperity, growth and development by contributing more to nation building in the New Year.
He stated this in his New Year message through a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media, Yomi Odunuga, in Abuja yesterday, stressing the need for Nigerians to continue to demonstrate love and show compassion towards one another.
He acknowledged the resilience and perseverance of Nigerians amid the socio-economic difficulties of the Year 2020, occasioned by the Coronavirus pandemic and urged them to reignite their resilient spirit and enter the New Year with renewed vigour and hope.
His words: “COVID-19 has upended the global economy with its devastating effects, not only on health, but also on domestic economies and multilateral trade, cooperation and aid. It has caused recession in various countries, killed over a million people and wiped out millions of jobs.
“We are also confronted with security challenges in most parts of the country. As Nigerians, we stand together, confident that we shall again, overcome these challenges. Our ability to overcome our challenges collectively have never been in doubt, what we need now more than ever is to galvanise our unique qualities for the good of all .
“As a people, we must continue to imbibe the spirit of togetherness and love for one another. We must also support government at all levels by contributing our quota to wealth generation and poverty alleviation in the land.”
On the ongoing constitution review, Omo-Agege, who chairs the Senate Ad-hoc Committee on Constitution Review, assured that the Senate would be fair to all, adding that all hands are on deck to ensure that the panel’s report would be ready on time.
He said: “The Coronavirus pandemic disrupted our plans to have the constitution amendment bills voted on in December last year. Consequently, we will soon have the votes taken on each of the bills separately.
“I believe that we are on course to true greatness as a nation. Let us keep hope alive, as we renew our collective resolve to ensure that the dreams and labour of our heroes past are transformed into a better future for succeeding generations.”