Nigeria’s ruling party crticised comments by an opposition leader, Bola Tinubu, at a London conference.
The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, said on Wednesday that it has reviewed the blueprint of the All Progressives Congress, APC, unfolded on Monday by one of its leaders, Bola Tinubu, at the British House of Commons; and described it as “a basket of empty shells.”
The ruling party also described the event as an attempt to deodorize the stench of inadequacies that have dogged the yet to be registered party and challenged it to a debate on alternative programmes to those of the current federal administration.
At the event organized by the British Africa Diaspora Conference in London, Mr. Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos State unveiled the policy direction of the APC, a merger of some opposition parties, including ACN, just as he dismissed the Goodluck Jonathan’s administration as a failure.
But in a statement in Abuja, the PDP spokesman, Olisa Metuh, said the APC agenda as enunciated by Mr. Tinubu is not only devoid of originality but also a promise filled with shells.
“It was a letdown yesterday as the leader of the ACN, Bola Tinubu, stunned an international audience with the emptiness he unveiled as the emancipation package of the APC,” Mr. Metuh said.
“It is an agenda grossly lacking in essentials, in fundamentals; deep in cosmetics, devoid of originality, laced with half truths and outright lies and grittily divorced from the substance and incidentals that ginger national growth. It is a basket of promise filled with shells.”
The party argued that nothing exposed the un-seriousness of Mr. Tinubu’s presentation than his loud silence on corruption and the alternative road map to the extant security challenges which the opposition coalition has made so much noise about.
It said, “Members of the British parliament must have giggled and waited in vain for Mr. Tinubu to unveil the much vaunted opposition agenda on anti-terrorism and corruption. Is it that the APC has no answers to these or that Tinubu deliberately skipped them?”
“Here, curious minds reflect on two things. The PDP led Federal Government has applied the master strategy that is already yielding results; thus leaving the opposition bereft of fresh, better dimension as an alternative or that the man who appeared in the British House of Commons is the least qualified to speak on corruption and terrorism before such a self respecting and well meaning assembly with an in-depth grip on happenings in Nigeria.”
“Indeed, the leader of the ACN as we speak has unsettled issues of corruption and questionable credentials while it is obvious to all Nigerians that the leaders of the opposition are the chief promoters of insurgency in the country. This voyage of ridicule turned full circle as in Tinubu’s entourage was also, the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, a man currently standing trial for acts of corruption. How then could the delegation have made a presentation on corruption?”
On the issue of National Social Security, the ruling party wondered why the states under the opposition have not been implementing it if it is such a laudable programme; knowing that under Nigeria’s federalism, the states suffer no restriction over such matters.
“Why is the opposition waiting to get to the centre before implementing this? Why did Tinubu not implement this as Lagos State Governor for eight years? Why are the six ACN states over which Tinubu is the overlord not implementing this? Promises are easily made.
“If Tinubu as Lagos Governor denied workers wage increment and denied pensioners the benefits of decades of service, how could the APC government which he canvasses take care of the aged and the vulnerable under the social security programme? Nigerians need eggs no doubt but not their empty shells!
“Similarly, the school feeding programme which the APC paraded as one of its cardinal agenda is in fact a programme under various stages of implementation since it was launched in September 2005 by former President Olusegun Obasanjo. In fact, some of the PDP states have gone beyond meal-a-day to other accompaniments that make learning easy for the Nigerian child.”
According to the PDP, “While Tinubu was in the UK unfolding the opposition agenda on education, teachers in Ogun, an opposition state locked the classrooms and chased school children home in strike over lingering issues of service. In Ekiti and Osun states also under the ACN, strikes have been the order of school curriculum for over a year now. Who then takes the opposition serious?”
PDP reminded the former Lagos governor that the same international community before which he tried to demonize Nigerian electoral process had adjudged the 2011 general elections as the most credible in the history of the country.
It recalled that Mr. Jonathan was in Edo State prior to the election won by Mr. Tinubu’s party to assure the people of credible poll and delivered same.
“Tinubu’s sermon on credible election and the state of democracy in Nigeria flies in the face of consistent knockings of the shenanigans that play out in the opposition states as local government elections.
“What then is credible election? Who listens to the hyperactive lies of the Nigerian opposition than those of their hue who already know they don’t have the structures and the unity (already seen in wide division APC leadership slots) to win the 2015 general elections and are therefore fashioning out reasons well ahead of time.”
The ruling party challenged the opposition parties to a debate on the alternative roadmap to the programmes of the current administration, saying, “We once more challenge the opposition to a debate on the alternative roadmap to what the PDP led Federal Government is doing at present.
“With an empirical comparison of the pace of development at the centre and the states under the opposition on one hand and these states against those under the PDP on the other, Nigerians are no doubt a better judge of who enjoys their mandate in 2015.”