Faced with a string of criticisms and condemnations for providing inept and ineffective leadership for the country, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) on Sunday put forward a list of successes it claimed its three administrations attained in 12 years of holding power, a day after an opposition leader urged a revolution in 2015.
Former military head of state and the Congress for Progressive Change candidate in 2011 presidential election, General Muhammadu Buhari, said Nigerian should defend their votes at the next elections.
He accused the ruling party of lacking transparency and social justice, and said only a social revolution will bring change if the PDP refuses to leave power in 2015.
The comments drew a livid response from the party on Saturday in a statement that described Mr. Buhari as a “frustrated despot.”
The exchange came barely weeks after a member of the governing party, and another former military ruler, General Ibrahim Babangida, criticized its conduct of the election that produced incumbent chairman, Bamanga Tukur, President Goodluck Jonathan’s hand-picked candidate. Mr. Babangida said the process lacked transparency.
In a statement on Sunday, the PDP said it was responding to “lies and half truths churned out” by opposition parties and their leaders.
The party credited itself with building a better economy for Nigeria, tackling corruption, maintaining the rule of law and improvinginfrastructures in its 12 years in power.
“The greatest achievement of the PDP is the provision of strong national leadership whose centripetal pull has succeeded in relegating the barriers of race, religion and ideological persuasions, issues that have kept Nigeria down for long. It could be argued rightlytherefore, that the PDP has been the major catalyst for the unity of the nation,” the statement, signed by National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, said.
The party says Nigeria has witnessed tremendous progress including providing, through a revamped private sector “millions of jobs” that stands Nigeria’s overall Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at over $500 Billion from $170 Billion in 2005.
“The PDP has also embarked on a massive infrastructure revamp drive which has witnessed improvement in various sectors. The railways have seen massive investments across the country. Thousands of kilometres of roads, which were hitherto death-traps are witnessing massive rehabilitation. The Benin-Lagos road, Onitsha-Owerri Road, the East-West road, Kano-Maiduguri Road etc. are examples of previously abandoned projects which have received life under the PDP led Federal Government.
Other achievements of the party, Mr. Metuh says, include the passage of the Freedom of Information Act, and the promotion of the rule of law as a cardinal principle of government.
The party also claims that under its leadership, Nigeria has been fast-tracked into the digital world of information technology.
Mr. Metuh says, “The mobile telecoms market in Nigeria which was kick started by the PDP in 2001 is rated as the fastest growing in the world.
“The strength of the PDP as big and truly national political party has been such a catalyst on the unity and oneness of Nigeria. It has provided leadership that saw the nation through several challenges in the last twelve years.
Take for example the ill health and subsequent demise of President Yar’ Adua and the ability of the PDP to weather the succession dispute that shook the nation. Remember again, the predictions of some foreign powers that Nigeria would not survive the 2011 general elections.
“The PDP has instilled a culture of accountability and probity in public life. This is evident in the various trials and convictions undertaken by our anti-graft agencies where even high ranking members of the PDP have not been spared when found wanting.”