Below is a statement from the Peoples Democratic party, PDP house caucus;
Instead of diverting public attention with its usual deceit and propaganda, the APC government should gear up and deliver on its hundreds of unfulfilled campaign promises, the PDP Caucus in the House of Representatives has said.
In a statement issued by the House Minority Leader, Honourable Leo Ogor, the PDP House caucus warned that the APC’s uncharitable use of the Chibok’s girls’ abduction during the 2015 political campaigns along with its current propaganda efforts cannot help APC win re-election in 2019.
“Over and over, it has been proven that hands down, the current APC government in Nigeria beats all preceding administration, including the colonial ones, in the sinister art of deceitful lies and propaganda.
“With fiendish mercilessness, APC’s 2015 campaign milked the unfortunate abduction of Chibok girls for every available ounce of propaganda and disinformation against the preceding administration; its campaign rhetoric and official hoopla from the lying minister had included freeing of the Chibok girl and achieving total defeat of Boko Haram insurgents.
“Today, the APC government nurses palpable fear over any scrutiny of its errors in Dapchi or its unusual generosity towards Boko Haram which it promised to defeat but now almost sees as a partner with which to share deep and befuddling confidence,” the House caucus stated.
Emphasizing the need for government to seriously heed American billionaire, Bill Gates’ advice by making life more meaningful for citizens who have waited endlessly to see the actualization of APC’s campaign promises, the caucus asserted that life has become more unbearable for even millions of those who voted for APC.
“Although the APC government is known not to be a listening one, last Thursday, the Co-Chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Mr. Bill Gates emphatically stated that the Federal Government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan was not reflective of the people’s needs.
“It is an open secret that under APC, Nigerians have fared worse on the misery index; those who were rich before are no longer investing, the poor are becoming poorer while almost thirty million Nigerians are either unemployed or underemployed.
“According to Bill Gates, the APC government’s concentration on physical infrastructure (and fat contracts) to the detriment of human capital development exposes the undesirable inadequacies in the health and education sectors.
“Noting the unmatched economic potentials of the Nigerian people who have suffered immensely under the merciless pummeling of APC government’s irresponsive policies that has hampered investment and people’s well-being, Gates had more to say about the negative changes under APC:
“Nigeria is one of the most dangerous places in the world to give birth, with the fourth worst maternal mortality rate in the world ahead of only Sierra Leone, Central African Republic and Chad; one in three Nigerian children is chronically malnourished.
“In upper middle-income countries, the average life expectancy is 75 years, in lower middle-income countries, it’s 68; in low-income countries, it’s 62. In Nigeria, it is lower still, just 53 years.
“The Nigerian government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan identifies investing in the people as one of three strategic objectives. But the execution priorities don’t fully reflect people’s needs, prioritizing physical capital over human capital.
“People without roads, ports and factories can’t flourish. And roads, ports and factories without skilled workers to build and manage them can’t sustain an economy,” Gates had said.
Expressing concern that the current administration has not been able to adequately build on some of the laudable health, educational and other PDP initiatives, the PDP House caucus urged government to take its advice in good faith instead of taking it as another chance for its propaganda machinery to get busy once again.
“Deceitful lies under a minister who is the grand guru of lying methodologies and ceaseless propaganda along with endless blame shifting cannot and will not help the APC government and Nigeria; it is time for this government to have a sober reflection on Bill Gates’ non-partisan observations and change its ways.
“Under APC, all available statistics indicate poor level of investment and job creation while countless negative attributes of underdevelopment including dilapidated classrooms, poorly-equipped laboratories, uninspired manpower, inappropriately funded tertiary institutions, infant and maternal mortality, crime and insecurity have all ballooned.
“In the interest of coming generations, we plead with this government to desist from the endless futile promises of “We will, we will, we will” which has foisted three years of economic pain and existential anguish on the people.
“It is only by building on the National Health Insurance Scheme which it inherited from the PDP and by making sound judgments in the education and other sectors that impact directly on the people’s well-being that Nigerians can believe that this government is changing for the better,” the PDP House caucus stated.
APC IN CAHOOTS WITH BOTH HERDSMEN AND BOKO HARAM?
As we all jubilate with the families of the freed students of Government Girls Science and Technical College, Dapchi, Yobe State, we grieve with all families who lost innocent family members in Dapchi, Chibok and many other places where government’s much-touted ‘achievement’ in degrading terrorists and providing security now seem to be another world away.
Over and over, it has been proven that hands down, the current APC government in Nigeria beats all preceding administration, including the colonial ones, in the sinister art of deceitful lies and propaganda.
With fiendish mercilessness, APC’s 2015 campaign milked the unfortunate abduction of Chibok girls for every available ounce of propaganda and disinformation against the preceding administration; its campaign rhetoric and official hoopla from the lying minister had included freeing of the Chibok girl and achieving total defeat of Boko Haram insurgents.
Today, the APC government nurses palpable fear over any scrutiny of its errors in Dapchi or its unusual generosity towards Boko Haram which it promised to defeat but now almost sees as a partner with which to share deep and befuddling confidence.
While we salute the passionate commitment and sacrifice being made by our gallant military and other security agents, we urge the APC Federal Government to reassure worried Nigerian citizens and clear the air over the suspicious benevolence of Boko Haram terrorists in Dapchi, the APC government’s hush-hush ‘negotiations’.
The APC government must ensure that not one more abductions ever takes place; in spite of obviously fake and deceitful propaganda claims that they had defeated Boko Haram, accusations of emboldening the terrorists with huge financial chest and release of its dangerous personnel continue to prevail.
For instance, the London Guardian of October 14, 2016 spoke of how government paid the terrorists a “‘handsome ransom’ worth millions of dollars”. Also, the Wall Street Journal of December 4, 2017 spoke of a swap that “included the release of five captured militants and a total of three million euros, delivered in two drop-offs.”
On January 15, this year alone, the APC government freed 244 Boko Haram members it gave a casual blanket description as being “repentant” even though it is considered global best practice not to ever free anyone suspected of killing even just one uniformed soldier.
Nonetheless, the same pattern of suspicions about likely payment of millions of Euros and release of Boko Haram terrorists pervade the air over the Dapchi incident.
Indeed, the strange manner in which all checkpoints were cleared before the abduction of Dapchi girls on February 19, 2018 and the bizarre manner in which Boko Haram terrorists who returned survivors of Dapchi kidnapping on Wednesday, March 21.were allowed easy passage to their base without a single shot or a monitoring by the much-touted Tsaigumi military drones leaves many Nigerians very baffled.
It is the opinion of popular writer and columnist that “Boko Haram is clearly now being unwittingly lionized, deodorized, decriminalized and mainstreamed by the government”. Former Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili who is also a leader of the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) movement recalls the President’s promise “To ensure• that Boko Haram meets its waterloo” and calls on government to ensure the release of 112 remaining Chibok girls. Tired of rampant killings by herdsmen, former Minister for Defence, Lt. General TY Danjuma has made the heaviest and most damaging allegations against the armed forces under the APC government.
Yet, in addition to allegations about the payment of millions of Euros and the freeing of hundreds of Boko Haram members who were captured during the Goodluck Jonathan era, many more, including those suspected of playing roles in the grisly killing of our uniformed men, are now being said to be considered for ‘amnesty’.
According to Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), a human rights advocacy group which wrote a letter to the Presidency, urging it to drop plans for amnesty to members of the fundamentalist Boko Haram sect, it is more reasonable to pursue justice for the killed, maimed and displaced victims of the terrorist group.
“We believe that granting amnesty to Boko Haram would be an open violation of the Nigerian Constitution of 1999 (as amended) and international law and would entail a virtual denial of justice for victims .
“The international community is pushing for accountability for those who commit the worst of human crimes, and no longer tolerating amnesty for war crimes, crimes against humanity or other gross violations of human rights,” stated SERAP while noting that such misplaced amnesty would prevent the government from addressing some fundamental issues, including the alleged complicity of the armed forces and security services in the atrocities committed by the group.
Poverty, lack, hunger, suicide, depression, armed banditry, kidnapping and other violent crimes daily manifest in towns, cities, villages and even on Nigerian roads but this government’s overriding priority is the pursuit of amnesty for Boko Haram!
It is deeply regrettable that the APC government is not a listening government; OBJ wrote letter, IBB sent correspondence, nobel laureate, professor wole soyinka cautioned, GEJ counseled, Archbishop Okogie warned, former supporter Mbaka advised, global entrepreneur Bill Gates counseled, former Defence Minister, Theophilus Danjuma spoke but the handwriting is getting bolder on the wall!
As citizens, we only plead that the APC government should have a rethink and give al Nigerians a measure of relief from mounting anxiety being caused by those whom only the APC government knows.