The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) has accused the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of rolling out a cocktail of lies and unhelpful rhetorics at its press conference on the state of the nation.
In a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke, BMO said that all the PDP Chairman Uche Secondus did in his speech was to turn facts on their head in order to paint a rosy picture of the party’s 16-year misrule.
“We have gone through the lengthy and largely incoherent speech titled ‘Nigeria must not fail’, delivered by PDP Chairman Uche Secondus, hoping to see something different from the usual diatribe by the opposition party, but we were highly disappointed.
“Rather than provide concrete suggestions in line with what he claimed he set out to do, Secondus chose to present falsehood as facts in order to extricate the former ruling party from blame on the security situation in the country.
“Here is a party that left the military in the worst possible state, with little or no new platforms after 16 years in office and more than seven years of battling an insurgency, now pontificating and demanding what it called ‘adequate provisions of kinetic instruments of war and law enforcement’
“Is it not hypocritical for a former ruling party, whose leaders had no qualms about wasting billions of dollars set aside for arms purchase, to preach to an administration that has solid government-to-government arrangements on purchase of military hardware?
“In the PDP years, there was a resort to arms purchase arrangement not different from what common criminals do, at a time the country was treated as a pariah state. Today, the integrity brought into arms procurement has seen the Nigerian military rated 35th in the world in terms of strength, even before the arrival of a large chunk of its latest state-of-the-art acquisition.
“Even the Police are having a new lease of life with the Police Trust Fund put in place by the Buhari administration to meet the aspiration of a well-funded and highly professional Police Force which PDP largely left unequipped and underfunded.
“We are not unmindful of the security situation, especially the emergent threat of mass abductions and attacks on security facilities, but we are convinced that the government is not sleeping on the job, contrary to the impression the opposition party is giving”, it added.
BMO also picked holes in PDP’s claims on the economy and the debt profile.
“Any discerning Nigerian would know that President Muhammadu Buhari stabilized an economy that was in a free fall, losing 4% of GDP in the last three quarters of 2014.
“It was not until Q3 of 2015, which coincided with the first quarter of the Buhari administration, that the economy rebounded after three consecutive GDP decline.
“We acknowledge the fact that PDP negotiated debt forgiveness in the Obasanjo years, but it is also a fact that the then ruling party piled up a $63bn national debt in five years before the 2015 handover date with absolutely nothing to show for it.
“We however invite Nigerians to note that contrary to the PDP falsehood that this administration took loans ‘for recurrent expenditure as well as for consumption”, the $24bn incurred as debt are tied to massive infrastructure projects that were not seen in the wasteful years when oil prices were at an average of $100pb and 2.2 million barrels per day production volume.
“We also need to add that at the time, no fewer than 27 States had problems paying civil servants’ wages, but on President Buhari’s watch, the States have had bailouts running into N614bn, the first one within his first few months in office, as well as the N1.1trn Paris Club refund dating back to the Obasanjo era.
“We make bold to say that a party that presided over a cash flooded economy yet borrowed so much, including money for salaries of workers would have sunk the country if it was in charge at this time of a global covid 19-induced recession.
“But, thankfully, we have a President who totally surprised the world by successfully navigating Nigeria out of recession faster than countries with more resilient economies”.
BMO also urged Nigerians to disregard the opposition party’s claim of a successful 2014 National Conference and see it exactly as how Secondus described it-something that was contrived to ‘deescalate tension’, and not meant for implementation especially as the then PDP-led National Assembly had termed it a jamboree.