The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has declared that Nigeria ‘will never fail’ as a nation despite the various challenges it is battling.
It made the assertion on Thursday in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, to commemorate the nation’s 61st Independence anniversary.
“The PDP congratulates Nigerians on the nation’s 61st independence anniversary and urges them to use this year’s occasion to further consolidate on our unity and resilience for the task ahead,” it said.
Although the party is optimistic about Nigeria’s future and unity, it slammed the Muhammadu Buhari administration and his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), for the security challenges in the country among other things.
According to it, Nigeria is celebrating independence in the face of subverted elections, the crackdown on the opposition and dissenting voices, as well as other suppressive acts.
It added, “Is it not also an irony that as we celebrate independence, thousands of our compatriots are falling victims to extra-judicial killings, arbitrary arrests, and illegal detention in dehumanising cells, which underscore the horrible situation under President Buhari and the APC, as even profiled by reputable international organisations, including Amnesty International (AI) and US Department of State?”.
While the PDP praised and defended its 16-year rule of the country (1999-2015), it ranked the current administration poorly in terms of governance in Nigeria.
“The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has reviewed the 61 years of our nationhood and surmised that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led All Progressives Congress (APC) administration has gone down in history as the worst in the annals of our national life,” the statement said.
“The PDP holds that the push by this administration to sink our nation to the precipices is evident in our daily lives; the lies, injustices, violations, state-backed violence, impunity, nepotism, treasury looting, harsh economic policies, and accommodation of terrorism, but our nation has continued to survive by the resilient spirit of Nigerians.
“It is painful that all the gains made by our nation since independence in 1960 and, especially during the 16 years of the PDP in office, including the entrenchment of national unity and cohesiveness, freedom and personal liberty of citizens, rule of law, credible elections, justice, equity, fairness, and economic progress – the very elements of an independent state, have all been reversed by the APC and the Buhari Presidency.”
On the economy, it accused the present administration of turning Nigeria into the poverty capital of the world, claiming that over 82.9 million Nigerians could no longer afford daily meals.
According to the party, the APC has plunged the nation into economic slavery with over N33.1 trillion accumulated debt, a 33 per cent unemployment rate, a collapse of productive sectors, and a weakened naira from N167 per dollar in 2015 to N576 per dollar as of Thursday.
Based on its verdict on the current administration and the APC, the PDP called on Nigerians to resolve to vote it back into power.
It said, “Indeed, this is not the way to go. The incontrovertible truth is that there is no hope in sight under the APC and that is why there are no drums on the streets to celebrate Nigeria at 61.
“If anything, Nigerians are using the occasion of the 61st independence anniversary to further strengthen their resolve to take back their country from the stranglehold of the APC, come 2023.”