Sunday, December 14, 2014 10:47 pm
Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo state has said that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)-led government needs to take time off running the affairs of Nigerai to enable it do a self-appraisal on how to deliver on good governance.
Oshiomhole who spoke to journalists on Saturday at Auchi shortly after attending the 22nd Convocation ceremony of Auchi Polytechnic, rubbished the ruling party for failing to fix Nigeria’s numerous challenges after 16 years in power.
“For me, even the PDP will recognise that they need time to go and rest so that they can ask themselves some soul searching questions; that how come that in 16 years we left the country weaker than we met it?
“They have not fixed power, they have not fixed education, they have not fixed the health sector, they have not fixed the roads, they have dashed the expectation of the youths and they have polluted the political atmosphere and they have weakened the foundation of our national unity, they have re-partitioned the country along religious divide, along ethnic divide.
“They have played brothers against brothers, sisters against sisters, they are buffeting us with primordial sentiments in place of issues of development and the country is weaker today than it was before. We need people who fought to keep Nigeria together to come back and re-fix what PDP has broken and it is all about all of us today,” Oshiomhole said.
He said the PDP’s mismanagement of the nation’s economy has also affected the power sector, a sector he said was vital for the growth of any country, for which he said that Nigerians should vote for change.
“They(PDP) have not fixed power, they have not fixed education, they have not fixed the health sector, they have not fixed the roads, they have dashed the expectation of the youths and they have polluted the political atmosphere and they have weakened the foundation of our national unity, they have re-partitioned the country along religious divide, along ethnic divide.
In apparent reference to disharmony in some states’ chapters of the PDP across the country, Oshiomhole said: “Even the PDP needs change. You can see the internal contradictions within the PDP is like a weak fabric; the more you patch it, the more it gets torn and after 16 years. PDP will agree that they haven’t delivered on the promises of democracy.”
Also speaking on the dwindling economic fortunes of the nation, the former labour leader blamed the ruling party for the downward sliding of industries and other private sectors that could have given employment to the teaming youths in the labour market, largely because of its failure to fix the power sector.
“Look at the newspapers, they have issues today because the cost of production is going up because of escalating cost of procuring diesel because you are still not able to print with power in spite of all the reforms and ‘deforms’ of the power sector, you no longer find products adverts in the typical newspaper today. What you find is obituary, birthdays, endless congratulatory messages for all kinds of trivial quote and unquote accomplishments.
“The private sector is dead and this is why you are not getting adverts for products and you are not going to be able to create jobs if you don’t revive the private sector and as you can see even though between 1999 till date, the oil sector has performed better than it was in the previous ten years.
Commenting on the free fall of oil price that has plunged the nation’s economy and budget into quagmire, the governor said: “Remember that during the regimes of Abacha and Abdulsalami, oil price dropped to $10 so Nigeria has never had it so good since democracy, it picked up to $140 around 2006 and even now that we are complaining, it is about $60 to $65 so relative to the past, it is still a good price.
“But like they say no nation has enough to need the greed of leaders but if we manage what have well, we have enough to meet the basic needs of our people and there is no question that our people are living in denial in the midst of plenty. But I am even more worried about the deliberate efforts to weaken unity in order to create all kinds of divide.”
On the security challenges, he said “All of a sudden, the Nigerian Army that is reputed all over the world to have fought and to be helping to secure neighbouring countries like Sierra Leone, Liberia, Mali, Sudan and others when they witnessed internal crisis, now it is our turn to look inwards and we are told that our soldiers are running, what has gone wrong? What has changed that we are no longer the giant? That we can’t even get arms to buy in official markets, we have to go underground? Are we under sanctions, by who and why? Why are we not earning respect, why are we not trusted?
While urging all Nigerians to opt for change by voting the ruling party out of power during the coming general elections, governor Oshiomhole said “the change forces which I belong to will then learn from their own (PDP)’s failure and of course with the logic of change, re-order our national priorities, evolve a more judicious application to our national resource and lay emphasis on production rather than importation and give the Nigerian young people the basis of hope and a basis to remain loyal to the Nigerian state.”