10 February 2014

Nigeria: PDP Faults Atiku Over State of the Nation

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday took on former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar over his criticism of President Goodluck Jonathan's administration.

The party, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, said contrary to the position of Atiku, who recently defected from PDP to All Progressives Congress (APC), that the ruling party is responsible for the economic woes and problems facing Nigeria, it had stabilised the country.

The party said it was shocked and surprised that such a claim could come from a person like Atiku who benefitted from the system.

"Whilst the PDP recognises the inalienable right of citizens to hold opinions and identify with political platforms of their choice, we indeed find it very difficult to understand this type of bitterness towards the party even from persons such as the former vice-president who hugely benefitted from the PDP.

"It is instructive to note that amidst all these monumental achievements, in the last two years, we have witnessed very serious security challenges in the country, especially the insurgency in the North. It is our incontrovertible statement that no other political party in this country would have maintained democracy in the face of such stiff detractions and sabotage," PDP stated.

The party further said it would continue to maintain the high moral ground of decency and would not cheapen its sacred mandate by joining in political mudslinging.

It added: "We wish to draw the attention of the former vice-president and the APC warlords to the achievements of the PDP-led administration. It is common knowledge that the private sector has been immensely successful in the last two years under the PDP-led administration owing to the continued implementation of our manifesto and policies, including the continuation of the PDP ideology of transfer of wealth from public institutions to the private sector.

"This is the hallmark of the PDP-led federal government wherein hardworking private individuals are now thriving in manufacturing, trade, commerce and other critical sectors of the economy with business names such as the Dangotes, the Innosons, the AITs, the Channels as well as several others in the banking, telecoms, food processing, hospitality, transport, construction, oil and gas, estate businesses recording huge successes.

"It is on record that under this administration, more small and medium businesses have sprung up across the country in the last two years. More print and electronic media houses have been opened, more companies are now involved in various transport businesses, more reputable international eateries and restaurants in the world have opened in Nigeria, more hotels, schools, hospitals, farms and business services companies have been opened; more Nigerians have bought vehicles and built houses, our roads are better, the railway is back in operation, and there is better access to medical care, all to the credit of the economic policies of the transformation agenda of the Jonathan-led PDP government.

"The new automobile industry policy ushered in an economic revolution in the manufacturing sector with direct foreign investments from leading vehicle manufacturers, including Nissan and Stallion Group, which have started establishing auto plants in Nigeria in addition to the revitalisation of Peugeot Nigeria and commencement of vehicle production by Innoson Group.

"The revolution in the manufacturing sector will not only generate massive employment for our people but guarantees technology transfer, reduction in costs, increase in ancillary investment opportunities and a boost in medium and small scale enterprises." According to PDP, the leap in the nation's economy has been acknowledged by the global community.

"The latest being the Fitch Ratings which affirmed Nigeria's long-term foreign and local currency IDRs as well as senior unsecured bond and short-term foreign currency IDR ratings respectively at 'BB"s.

"In the anti-corruption fight, the PDP-led federal government has overtime established and has continued to support various anti-graft agencies, including the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offenses Commission (ICPC). While the continued success of these agencies lies on the law enforcement officers and all Nigerians, it is on record that the PDP has never shielded any of its leaders or relations of its leaders from investigation," the party said.

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