Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Presidency has reacted to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) description of President Muhammadu Buhari’s lockdown extension speech as “disappointing.”
Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, in a statement lamented that the opposition party had opposed every single decision taken in the interest of national security by the current administration.
He reiterated that PDP’s corruption and ineptitude allowed Boko Haram to occupy 18 local governments to be captured and millions to relocate, declaring that Nigerians have not forgotten and are waiting for them in 2023.
The statement read: “Something must definitely be wrong with People’s Democratic Party ( PDP) if they would – as they did yesterday – dismiss the important national broadcast by President Muhammadu Buhari as “disappointing,” a speech for which the European Union, through their Ambassador to Nigeria, congratulated the president, describing it as ‘‘a very powerful address to the nation last night.”
But by no means is this the first shocker for Nigerians from a party that sees itself as the alternative government.
“The PDP has opposed every single decision taken in the interest of national security by the Buhari administration.
“The week before, they celebrated a foreign leader who they invited to come and tutor President Muhammadu Buhari, an army general and a successful war commander, on how to fight Boko Haram terrorists.
“This is a leader who has transformed the armed forces in the last five years and brought them to a respectable standing among nations.
“They questioned the bravery of our soldiers and spread false rumours that their preferred foreign leader had routed out insurgents on the Nigerian soil “and freed Nigerian territories and soldiers held captive by terrorists in the northern part of Borno State.
“PDP’s corruption and ineptitude allowed Boko Haram to occupy 18 local governments to be captured and millions to relocate. Nigerians have not forgotten and are waiting for them in 2023.
“For a political party that led Nigeria for 16 years pursuing wrong policies and strategies that destroyed not only the armed forces but have destroyed the nation and its economy, there won’t be much from them to shock the citizens when they say that they see nothing good in the enormously successful war that the Buhari administration has waged against the COVID-19 global pandemic.
”The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres have at different times praised Nigeria and commended its anti-COVID war as worthy of emulation.
“This is on account of the fact that from the moment of its importation into the country, the government has done a lot of work to strengthen the health sector to stem the spread and defeat the virus.
“Government has succeeded in uniting the whole country – its religious and community leaders, business leaders and employee unions, students and civil society and a large number of political parties – with perhaps only the PDP yet to decide to join a massive and an unprecedented coalition of Nigerians – saying we are all in this together – fighting to defeat the coronavirus.
“Of significant interest in this circumstance is the leadership that the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) has shown through an ongoing public enlightenment campaign on the rules of hygiene beaming from radio and TV station in many parts of the country.
“The PDP won’t do any of these. No, to do this will be disruptive of their campaign of disorganization. They would rather attack the president as he attacks the terrorists and coronavirus. They don’t realize that the times have changed and the country has changed. Their leaders continue to show an abysmal lack of understanding of the sentiments of the people.
“When they voted in his government in 2015, some said it was because Nigerians wanted to see the back of the PDP.
“In voting massively for his second and final term, Nigerian people backed his return for the work that he is doing on all parameters, promoting the welfare of the people and providing modern infrastructure.
“The decisions so far announced by the president in dealing with coronavirus will benefit the whole country – leaders and followers, farmers and consumers, manufacturers, producers and traders, youngsters and the elderly, Muslim, Christian and non-believers – all sections of society. The PDP should make the choice of reconnecting with the people by joining this coalition and stopping the unnecessary distractions, recognizing the efforts of the people led by the government or simply shut their mouth if they have nothing important to say.
“The nation is more important than politics.”