19 August 2013, LAGOS — THE All Progressives Congress, APC, has challenged the ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and presidency’s spokesmen, Dr. Doyin Okupe, and Dr. Reuben Abati, to tell Nigerians how and and why over 400,000 barrels of crude oil gets stolen each day and to explain who the thieves are.
Interim National Publicity Secretary of the party, Alhaji Lai Mohammed who made the demand in a statement, also asked the Presidency to tell Nigerians why it allegedly defied Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC’s, rules by continuing to campaign for the 2015 elections, adding that the ruling party has failed to deliver in the 14 years it has ruled.
“Nigerians want to know why over 40 million youths cannot get jobs under a government that gleefully touts a six per cent GDP growth. Nigerians want to know how 400,000 barrels of oil are being stolen daily and who the thieves are. Nigerians want to know why the country is more divided than ever, under the watch of President Goodluck Jonathan, and why corruption has become a bigger monster in the years under the PDP.
APC called on INEC to sanction any party that violates its ban on early campaigns for the 2015 elections, in view of the First Lady’s phantom peace rally that was actually a facade for electioneering campaign, if INEC’s ban on such campaigns is to be taken seriously.
The party said: “These are what Nigerians are interested in, not continuous muck-raking about opposition leaders like General Muhammadu Buhari and Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. For example, Nigerians want to know why the country can still not feed itself after 14 years of endless promises by the PDP; Nigerians want to know why they cannot be protected by their government when the security of lives and property is the rason d’etre of any government.
“The 2015 elections will be fought on the platform of issues, not meaningless attacks on personalities and attention-diverting tales like how General Buhari wants to stage a comeback, or how Asiwaju Tinubu wants to expand his imaginary empire.”
APC said the reason its leaders have put national interests above personal considerations is to rescue Nigeria from the clutches of the PDP and a mediocre presidency, both of which have failed the citizenry and dimmed their hopes, not because of power-for-power sake, which, it said, is the mantra of the PDP.
“Our eight cardinal programmes, which we shall be articulating in the days ahead, represent a summary of how we intend to rescue the long-suffering citizens as well as our nation. These are War Against Corruption, Food security, Accelerated Power Supply, Integrated Transport Network, Free Education, Devolution of Power, Accelerated Economic Growth and Affordable Health Care.
“Our guiding philosophy will derive its impetus from these seven principles: Belief in, and the fear of God; Upholding the rule of law; Preserving national unity; Pursuit of a just and egalitarian society; Building of strong institutions; Commitment to social justice and economic progress; and Promoting representative and functional participatory democracy.
“These are the issues we will be enunciating in the days ahead as we steer the politics of our nation away from jejune matters that are at the core of the PDP misrule to serious issues of relevance that will benefit our people under an APC federal government,” the party said.
*Olasukanmi Akoni, Vanguard