Four years not enough to deliver promises, says APC
• Fayose demands probe report on SGF, NIA boss
• ‘Why anti-graft war lacks public support’
The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) said yesterday it would be unfair to expect the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to fulfil its campaign promises within four years in office.
But this contradicts the party’s position while seeking power that the fulfillment of some of its promises would take only a short time.
Among others, APC promised to create 720, 000 jobs yearly; generate, transmit and distribute at least 20,000 MW of electricity in four years; ban government officials from seeking medical care abroad; and make Nigeria economy one of the fastest-growing emerging economies in the world with a real GDP growth averaging 10 per cent in one year.
The party also promised to initiate action to amend the Nigerian Constitution with a view to devolving powers, duties, and responsibilities to states in order to entrench true federalism and the federal spirit ; create additional middle-class of at least two million new homeowners in the first year in government ; create an additional middle class of at least four million new home owners in four years; build up to 4,800km of modern railway lines – one third to be completed in four years; increase the quality of all federal government-owned hospitals to world class standard; amend the constitution to remove immunity from prosecution for elected officers in criminal case; and revive the Ajaokuta Steel Company.
In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi entitled “Re: ‘PDP Unveils Plans To Sack APC”, the ruling party condemned what it termed the People’s Democratic Party (PDP)’s brand of opposition politics characterised mainly by allegations and open incitement of separatist agitations across the country.
Expressing delight that the PDP is beginning to talk about holding the APC accountable, the party urged leaders of the opposition PDP to heed the counsel of the former Akwa Ibom State governor, Obong Victor Attah for an urgent change of name on the basis that the PDP brand was already damaged beyond repair.
“We want Nigerians, not just the PDP, to hold us accountable for every promise contained in our manifesto. We only urge them to be fair. A manifesto is not a four-year programme. If PDP had fully implemented its manifesto in the 16 years that it was in power, Nigerians would not have been attracted to the APC promise of change in 2015, because there would have been little left to promise,” the statement said.
According to APC, there is no basis of comparing the President Buhari- led administration with that of the 16 years of the PDP at the helm of affairs of the country.
The party flayed Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State and his ilk for allegedly playing politics with the health challenge of President Buhari who is being treated for an unknown ailment in the United Kingdom (UK).
The statement urged Nigerians to remain resolute in support of the APC and Buhari, expressing confidence that whatever difficulty Nigerians are going through would soon be a thing of the past.
“We need to point out however that APC is the new wife that is busy working at the kitchen that has been looted empty by the former wife who had made away with the entire foodstuffs and even the kitchen utensils. Nigerians know this. If the food is a little late in coming, they understand the circumstance. But if that other thieving wife now begins to argue that she was a better cook and should be brought back into the kitchen because the new wife is a slow cook, then that should pass for hypocrisy.
“No matter the temporary hardship that we may be experiencing, Nigerians know better than to bring PDP back to power so soon for fear that this time, they might disappear with the kitchen itself.
“We also note with regret, PDP’s penchant for mocking Buhari with his health situation. We admit that the health of a president is every citizen’s business, however, it is un-African, if not ungodly, to continue to taunt a man and even challenge him to a fight at his moment of weakness.
“We have seen in the last few days, some members of the PDP who have boasted to defeat President Buhari in 2019. We urge Nigerians to Google the names of these individuals and see what comes up. It is, however, understandable, even if not acceptable, that when the lion is enfeebled, even a rabbit would grow the temerity to tweak its tail,” APC said.
Meanwhile, Fayose has written to the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, demanding the immediate release of the report of the investigative panel on corruption allegations against the suspended Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), David Babachir Lawal, and the Director-General, National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Mr. Ayo Oke.
In the letter dated July 11, 2017, the governor also demanded that Osinbajo must act expeditiously on the report, threatening to approach a court to compel him to release and act on the report.
The Special Assistant to the governor on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka said in a statement issued yesterday that Fayose told the acting president “never to habour the view that the matter can be swept under the carpet.”
“I dare to say that this is one of the reasons the so-called war against corruption has not attracted public support. It lacks credibility and has thus floundered. It is also the reason your administration has lost case after case in the court of law, even though administration officials have tried to cover government’s Achilles heel as well as their own howling incompetence under the pretence of corruption fighting back.”
The letter further reads: “I appreciate Your Excellency’s yeoman efforts directed at quelling fires all over the country and stabilising the polity. Daunting as this task might seem, especially as agent provocateurs for selfish and diabolical interests continue to stoke the fire and fan the embers of discord and disunity rather than queue behind you, assist your noble efforts, and let all hands be on the deck to salvage our beloved country, take solace and receive renewed strength, vigour and vitality in the fact that your efforts have begun to yield positive fruits and that the vast majority of the citizens appreciate and applaud your efforts and stand resolutely with you.
“As I have often said, the power of the people is greater than the power of those of us in power. In our own little corner, we, too, stand with you. And this being so, you can only succeed, and not fail!”
He said that Nigerians would continue to give Osinbajo all the support and advice he needs to succeed partisan politics notwithstanding.
“In this wise, permit me to prod your memory about a presidential committee constituted months ago by President Buhari to investigate allegations of high corruption against Babachir and Oke.
“The presidential committee, headed by your good self, was given two weeks to submit its report. That was many months ago. The two top officials concerned were placed on suspension but nothing has been heard on the matter ever since. It would appear the matter has been swept under the carpet or, in the Nigerian popular parlance, has been treated as the ‘family affair’ of the ruling APC government.
“It will be most unfortunate indeed if this, truly, is the case. For one, the appropriate response to the very serious issue of corruption against the suspended SGF and the NIA boss should not have been the setting up of a committee to investigate; rather, both men should have been handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for investigation and arraignment in a court of competent jurisdiction.
“You will agree with me that this has always been this government’s recourse when alleged corruption cases involve members of the opposition PDP; estranged members of the ruling party.
“In fact, PDP members and non-members of the ruling APC alleged to be corrupt, such as judges, are first harassed, haunted, hounded, arrested and locked up, tried and convicted in the media and visited with public lynching while the Department of State Services (DSS) and the EFCC take their time to search for or conjure evidence against them.
“The preferential treatment given to the two top-notch members of your government is bad enough – and they are the only members of the ruling party that have got this slap-on-the-wrist treatment. So reckless and audacious had your government become in this regard that a serving senator who is a member of your party said on the floor of the Senate that your government uses insecticides when dealing with alleged cases of corruption involving members of the opposition but applies deodorant when members of the ruling party are involved.”
“Were President Buhari to be around, this issue would not have been any of your bother. All that would have been required of you would be to turn in your report within the stipulated time and the ball would then have been squarely in the president’s court.
“Nigerians demand two actions from you: First is that you release the report of the corruption investigation, which you presided over. Secondly is that you act expeditiously on the report. May I advise that you should never habour the view that this matter can be swept under the carpet for two reasons. One is that Nigerians are not unmindful of the outcome of your investigation even if it has not been officially released. Two is that should you fail to release the report and act on it, I shall approach the law court to compel you to do so.
“As a law professor and senior advocate of Nigeria, you must not be associated with illegalities and cover-ups; not to talk of your highly exalted position as a man of God who must speak truth at all times and uphold the Biblical admonition to let justice flow like the mighty river.
“I have refused to agree with those who, on account of your egregious stance on the EFCC boss, Ibrahim Magu’s continued but illegal stay in office, posit that the hood does not make the monk and a chain of titles and degrees does not translate to sound judgment. Kindly take up the challenge to prove those doubting Thomases wrong.”