From Tony John, Port Harcourt
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Governors’ Forum has said that the party handed over a $550 billion economy to the All Progressives Congress (APC) led Federal Government in 2015.
The Forum has described the federal ruling party as a ‘massive failure’ when compared with the records of the PDP in government.
It has requested the National Assembly to quickly conclude deliberations on the Electoral Act Amendment Bill either by overriding President Muhammadu Buhari’s veto or deleting areas of complaints.
The decisions were part of the resolutions contained in a communique issued at the end of the Forum’s meeting at the Government House, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, yesterday, and read by the chairman of the party’s Governors’ Forum and Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal.
‘The PDP handed over a $550 billion economy (the largest in Africa). But, under APC, Nigeria is the Plpoverty capital of the world. In 2015, under PDP, the exchange rate was N198 per Dollar. It is now under APC almost N500 to a Dollar; In 2015, the unemployment rate was 7.3 per cent under PDP; it is now 33 per cent, one of the highest in the world under APC.
‘The Nigerian economy has continued to deteriorate and Nigerians have become numb and accustomed to bad economic news as exemplified by the inconsistent and differential exchange rate regime, high-interest rates, unsustainable unemployment figures and borrowing spree some of which have not been applied to important projects, and other bad economic indicators.
‘In particular, it is clear that the APC Government is a massive failure when compared with the records of PDP in government. In 2015, the pump price of petroleum was N87 per litre. It is now N165 per litre and climbing under APC. Debt servicing now under APC takes over 98 per cent of the Federal budget. The tales of woe are endless.’
The meeting advised that the option of sustaining Mr President’s veto would lead to a quicker resolution and would deny him (Buhari) the opportunity to once again truncate a reformed electoral jurisprudence for Nigeria.
‘An early concluded Electoral Act is vital for credible elections,’ the Forum said.
The governors lamented the continued state of insecurity in the country, the persistent and ceaseless flow of Nigerians’ blood on a daily basis in many parts of Nigeria and the near-collapse of the security situation in Nigeria.
They noted the strategies to confront terrorists, kidnappers, bandits and other criminals in the are still a major problem of the APC administration.
The PDP governors expressed regrets that Buhari is unwilling, from his recent comments discountenancing the proposals for state policing, to participate in reviewing the structural problems of tackling insecurity in Nigeria.
It urged the president to reconsider his position and consider decentralisation and restructuring of the security architecture as the most viable solution, together with proper arming, funding and training requirements for security agencies.
The PDP governors noted that the management of oil and gas resources, the administration of Federation Account remittances have remained opaque, confusing and non=transparent.
In addition, the transition to NNPC Ltd under the Petroleum Industry Act has not been properly streamlined to ensure that the interests of all the tiers of government are protected, consistent with the 1999 Constitution,’ the Forum said.
The meeting urged eligible Nigerians of all walks of life, particularly the youths, to register en masse with Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to exercise their franchise in the 2023 general elections.
It further noted that the next election (2023) “is a very consequential election that should be used to end the dominance of very youth unfriendly APC Government.
‘A government that had the arrogance to deny Nigerian youths of the use of Twitter, a business-friendly tool for the young, for over a year. The youths should empower themselves to determine who leads them.’
The PDP governors congratulated the chief host, Governor Nyesom Wike, for the very high standards of hosting and for the great leadership performance he has entrenched in Rivers State.
They congratulated the PDP family for conducting a smooth and credible national convention that led to the emergence of the Iyorchia Ayu-led National Executive Committee.
They commended the new PDP NWC for hitting the ground running with respect to repositioning the PDP into a credible vehicle for rescuing and rebuilding Nigeria which has been battered by a bad economy, insecurity, unemployment and other social ills by the APC-led government.
Governors at the meeting were: Aminu Tambuwal, Sokoto State, chairman of Forum, Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom State), Douye Diri (Bayelsa State), Samuel Ortom (Benue State), Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta State), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu State), Nyesom Wike (Rivers State), Oluseyi Makinde (Oyo State), Ahmadu Fintiri (Adamawa State) and Bala Mohammed (Bauchi State).