IT IS quite interesting that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is fighting, note not for, but over Nigeria. PDP? Wonders shall never end! Since losing out in the power game in the last elections, the ruling party, as it then was, has been trying to endear itself to the people in order to improve its chances at the poll in 2019. It has been criticising the President Muhammadu Buhari-led All Progressives Congress (APC) government for, according to it, running the economy aground and demarketing Nigeria.
Is Buhari killing the economy? Is he demarketing Nigeria? As a stakeholder in the Nigerian project, PDP is entitled to talk when it sees things going wrong, but as the party, which held power for 16 years, it should back whatever it says with facts and figures. The party should provide proof that Buhari has done what it is accusing him of doing, if it wants to be taken as a serious opposition. Being in opposition does not mean that the party should engage in cheap talks. No, the hallmark of a virile and vibrant opposition, is the quality of its interventions on national and international issues.
PDP believes that its 16 years in power were years of plenty for Nigerians. So, in its assessment of the first 90 days of the Buhari administration on August 29, it descended on the APC government for ruining the economy in three months. ‘’The last three months under the APC-led government have brought a sudden decline in the gross domestic product (GDP), with attendant losses and hardship to the citizens. Our nation’s economy, which before now, held the record as the largest in Africa and one of the fastest growing in the world, suddenly plummeted as officially evidenced in the lull in the capital and money market sectors…’’, the party claimed.
PDP was saying in essence that things were better under it than they are now. Is that true? No, says the Presidency, which fired back thus: ‘’The excruciating hardship experienced by Nigerians under the PDP misrule was unprecedented. It is ridiculous for any sane government to artificially rebase the economy and claim to transform Nigeria into the largest economy in Africa as the PDP administration did. The economy was gasping for breath under the egregiously corrupt PDP administration and the country was witnessing an acceleration of poverty which united Nigerians for change’’.
A nation will rise and fall on the strength of its economy. So, it is understandable why APC and PDP are trading tackles over the economy. Because Nigerians believe that PDP’s economic record is poor, the Buhari administration has been crowing about its achievements in that regard since it came to power last May.
Can a president demarket his country? Why will he do such a thing knowing full well its implication for his country in the international arena? Does saying the truth about your country amount. Which is worse, talking about the rot in your country or to be responsible for the rot? Should PDP have taken offence over Buhari’s statement in India?
‘’Nigeria cannot pay salaries. The country was materially vandalised and morally so. Of course, Nigeria is broke. Where is the money? You must have known that the Federal Government had to help 27 of the 36 states to pay salaries. The stumbling blocks are big, corrupt Nigerians that have the capacity to compromise the integrity of a lot of people… to make sure that they discourage the government from pursuing and recovering public funds from them’’, the President said. To PDP, that statement was too much and it tagged it ‘’demarketing’’ Nigeria. Coming from a former head of state that statement should not be taken lightly.
Did what he say demarket Nigeria in anyway as claimed by PDP? You do not demarket yourself by bringing your problem before others; you are letting them know what you are worth so that they will not expect too much from you. What we need is help and we cannot get it if we continue to pretend as if all is well. Things are tough for our country and the earlier we let the world know the better.
To me, PDP demarketed Nigeria by allowing corruption to thrive under its government, thereby killing foreign direct investment. So, it should not distract Buhari, who is trying to correct the wrongs of the past 16 years.