The Peoples Democratic Party has said that Nigerians will firmly resist any candidate presented by President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress in the 2023 presidential election.
This is according to a statement signed on Thursday by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, titled ‘Just Go! Nigerians Don’t Want a Successor From You – PDP Tells Buhari.’
The PDP also berated the President for dwelling on false figures and bogus performance claims in his Channels Television interview on Wednesday, January 5, 2022.
The opposition party said the “false figures” given by the president only reinforced the fact that no one in the APC was immuned to lying.
“In his ludicrous attempt to rationalise his failures in office, President Buhari falsely claimed that under the PDP, from 1999 to 2014, crude oil sold for an average of $100 per barrel but collapsed to $37 per barrel when he and his APC assumed office.
“Such false claims fly in the face of hard fact as the records, which the president must have, clearly show that when the PDP took office on May 29, 1999, crude oil sold at $16.27 per barrel and about $80.42 and $63.28 by November and December 2014 respectively.
“Under President Buhari and the APC, the oil price has never fallen as low as $16 per barrel as recorded under the PDP but started at $37 to $39.44 per barrel in 2016 and has continued to hover between $60 to $70 per barrel to date,” the statement said.
It also claimed that despite the low oil revenue when the PDP took over, it expanded the economy, paid off Nigeria’s foreign debts, revamped her productive sectors, provided a conducive investment environment that encouraged massive foreign investments and handed over a $550bn economy—largest in Africa and 26th globally—to Buhari and the APC in 2015.
The PDP said the President had no answers when, in the Channels Television interview, he was confronted with the facts that when he took over, the debt stock was N12tn but now N32tn and counting; that inflation, which was about 9 per cent under the PDP is now over 15 per cent; that unemployment rate, which was about 8.9 per cent is now 33 per cent, that the naira which exchanged at about N197 to a dollar under the PDP is now over N500 and that the petrol price which was N87 in 2015 is now N165 per litre under the APC.
It added that “President Buhari should have seized the opportunity provided by Channels Television to show remorse, apologise to Nigerians for his monumental failure and national embarrassment that the APC government represents instead of trying to rationalise APC’s failures with falsehood and grandstanding about a successor.
“The mindset of Mr President as exhibited in the Channels TV interview confirms the fears of Nigerians that the APC does not believe in democratic practice and is determined to manipulate the 2023 election by all means.
“That explains their desperation to scuttle the Electoral Act Amendment Bill provision for electronic transmission of election results, which will effectively truncate the APC’s plans to rig the 2023 election.”
The opposition party, therefore, warned that the President and the APC should know that Nigerians were fully rallied around the PDP to face them in 2023.
2023 Guber Poll: Group Denies Rift Between Okowa, Ibori
A political pressure group, Movement for Stronger Delta (MSD) says there is no fight between former Governor James Ibori and Governor Ifeanyi Okowa over who governs the State in 2023.
The group in a statement by its National Coordinator, Dr. Festus BomoPatani, said: “The attention of the Movement for Stronger Delta, MSD, has been drawn to a recent publication by a pan-Delta online platform, titled: “DELTA 2023: Okowa, Ibori Fight Dirty Over Successor”, and posted on several social media groups and portals on Sunday, January 16, 2021.
“As a conscious and proactive Movement, determined and committed to ensuring a stronger, peaceful, and united Delta, in the run-up to the 2023 elections and beyond, it behoves us to set a few records straight, concerning this publication, as our own way of educating and informing Deltans with accurate, verifiable information on the true position of affairs and also protecting ourselves from misleading misinformation that is capable of heating up the polity and instigating unnecessary and avoidable conflicts, provocations and conflagrations in the State.
“The original story was first published with the title: “DELTA 2023: Okowa, Ibori face up on successor…•Gov takes charge but counter-attack looms”, written by Emma Amaize, Regional Editor, South-South and Published in Saturday Vanguard, January 15, 2022.
“The online publication in question, copied the story verbatim, and then proceeded, for reasons best known to the publisher, to change the headline from the original, without informing the readers or even acknowledging the source and author of the original story; and this, from every professional standpoint, is a crass and brazen display of unethical journalism, bordering on plagiarism. Journalists must be cautioned to avoid sensationalism and inaccurate reportage intended to deliberately mislead the people, especially when they copy stories from other more seasoned and recognized mainstream publications.
“There is a fundamental headline difference between: “Face up” in the original story and “Fight Dirty” in the copied online version, which every journalist worth his salt, especially those knowledgeable enough in the basic use of the English language, which is the major tool and instrument of the profession, should know and apply in their proper contexts.
“For the avoidance of doubt and for the purposes of educating the Journalist against future ignorances: “face up: means ‘To confront or deal directly with someone or something previously avoided”, while “fight dirty means, ‘To use every possible way and especially the most treacherous way, to beat someone in a fight’
PGF-DG Tenders Resignation Letter
The in-fighting between the Progressives Governors’ Forum (PGF) and All Progressives Congress (APC) Caretaker and Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee over the conduct of its national convention took a fresh twist on Monday following the resignation of the PGF Director-General, Salihu Lukman.
Lukman tendered his resignation letter to the Chairman of the Forum, Abubakar Bagudu, on Monday.
In the letter, he slammed the committee over its shoddy handling of matters relating to the national convention.
He had earlier accused the Mala-Buni committee of frustrating the party’s plan to hold the convention in February.
The APC leadership and the governors had agreed last year to conduct the convention next month in a bid to strengthen the party ahead of the 2023 general election.
The committee had been under tremendous pressure to step aside following the crises that trailed last year’s congresses where several factions conducted parallel congresses in defiance of the party’s directive.
The latest development has further confirmed that all may not be well with the ruling party with just 13 months to the next national election.
Lukman said: “Progressive Governors, like all party members, will not associate themselves with any act of disrespect to decisions validly taken in consultations with President Buhari.
“They will not take the responsibility for actions or inactions of the CECPC. Every responsibility of organising the convention is vested with the CECPC.”
Jega Tasks Buhari, NASS On New Electoral Law
Former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, has called on the National Assembly and President Muhammadu Buhari to pass the Electoral Bill so that INEC can hit the ground running towards the 2023 elections.
Jega stated this during a panel discussion at a town hall meeting organised by Yiaga Africa on the passage of the Electoral Amendment Bill on Monday.
Jega, who said it is difficult to conduct elections in Nigeria, added that since 2010, there has not been a significant improvement in the electoral framework.
He said while there could be some grey areas in the Electoral Bill that President MuhammaduBuhari declined assent to, there are other good things in the bill, arguing that the baby should not be thrown away with the bath water.
“I believe Nigeria should go into the next elections with a new law as there are many good things in the bill that will improve the integrity and conduct of elections.
“As I have said earlier, since 2010, we have not had significant improvement in the electoral framework.
“Speaking on direct and indirect primaries, some people believe that governors do influence the outcome of indirect primaries and some feel direct primaries is a way out of this, but the question is, how many parties have credible register of members?
“Give INEC the law to begin preparations for the 2023 elections. Any governor that manipulates direct primaries under this present condition will also have the capacity to manipulate indirect primaries.
“What we are saying is that you cannot throw the baby away with the bath water. Let’s think more carefully. The good things in the bill should be signed into law immediately so that INEC can start serious work for the 2023 elections.”
He lamented that the commission has a short period to put a lot of its mechanisms together for the conduct of the elections.
He called on the National Assembly to resolve all issues and give INEC the law within 10 days of resumption to enable it operate it seamlessly for the 2023 elections.
According to him, INEC made 31 recommendations to the amended 2010 Electoral Act to conduct credible elections, but NASS only approved 25 of the recommendations.
“Give INEC the law to begin preparation for 2021. Drop issue of direct and indirect primaries and let’s move forward,” he said.
Also speaking, the governor of Nasarawa State, AbdullahiSule, said the 36 governors are not afraid of direct primaries as being alleged by some Nigerians.
Earlier in his welcome address, Yiaga Africa Executive Director, Samson Itodo, explained that the town hall meeting would specifically discuss key provisions of the Electoral Bill and their implications for election management, election security, electoral integrity and voter participation as well as legislative and executive action required to conclude the amendment process.
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