By Bowale Aboyade-Cole, Lagos
The Federal Government has slammed the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for President Muhammadu Buhari to quit.
In a statement issued on Thursday, signed by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the Federal Government called the opposition party a shameless irritant which is bent on distracting the government from its rescue mission and returning the country to the biblical ”Egypt”.
”We are on a rescue mission to resuscitate Nigeria after the PDP left it in a coma, and the noise from the same PDP seems designed to sabotage the rescue efforts. But we are not deterred,” Mohammed, said.
According to the minister, if the PDP had understood the meaning of shame, it would never have dared to even make a single comment on the same economy that it did everything to kill.
”While the PDP was emasculating Nigeria on all fronts, including social, economic and political, the rapacious party was deceiving Nigerians by giving them the illusion of growth and prosperity. Instead of showing remorse and rebuilding itself to a strong opposition party, the PDP has continued to blame the successor Buhari Administration which is left to pack their mess.
“PDP undertakers have continued to engage in a blame game, when they should be hiding from the shame they brought upon themselves and the nation,” he said.
The minister said what the PDP has consistently put up as a vibrant economy under its watch was nothing but a bubble that was buoyed by massive corruption and chronic incompetence, an economy in which someone without any known means of earned livelihood would boast of $31.5 million!
”They keep saying we should stop talking of the past, yet the past will not stop rearing its head. They keep saying we should no longer refer to the past, but how can we forget so soon that our foreign exchange reserves plummeted from $62bn in 2008 to $30bn by 2015, at a time when oil prices were at a historic high, reaching a level of $114 per barrel in 2014.
“By comparison, Indonesia, another oil producing economy with a high population, increased its reserves from $60 billion in 2008 to $120 billion in 2015.
”The candid truth is that we failed under the successive PDP administrations to save for the rainy day, and we need to constantly remind ourselves of that so that we won’t repeat the mistake. Take the excess crude account which fell from about $9bn in 2007 to about $2bn in 2015.
“The argument that it was the State Governors that depleted the account does not hold water since there were Governors in place when the account was being built up.
”Worse still is the fact that up to $14bn in revenues from Nigerian LNG remains unaccounted for and indeed until the Buhari Administration came to office, State Governments never got any allocations from this source of funds which properly belongs to the Federation Account. The naked fact on the revenue front is that there was just a failure of leadership. This was compounded by the non-transparent uses of funds. We are all witnesses to the sacking of a Central Bank Governor because he raised an alarm about $20 billion that had gone missing.
”We are indeed still trying to recover huge sums looted from the national treasury under the PDP’s watch, with $15 billion stolen from the defence sector alone.
“Perhaps most painful is that because of the way funds (about $322m) returned from Switzerland were mishandled, we now have to accept conditionalities before our stolen assets are even returned to us,” he said.
Alhaji Mohammed said one of the achievements that the PDP has been touting is that it reduced the nation’s national debt.