By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has asked ex President Olusegun Obasanjo, to account for the $16billion he spent during his administration to provide adequate power for industrial and domestic use, without any tangible result to show for the huge sum.
In a statement issued yesterday by the Deputy National Publicity Secretary of APC, Yekini Nabena, in response to remarks by Obasanjo that Nigeria has become a ‘basket case’, APC also accused his ex Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, of selling critical national assets to his families and friends, under the guise of privatisation exercise.
“It is baffling that the same political actors that midwifed and institutionalised the national rot, corruption, impunity and eroding of our value systems are the same characters posing as voices on the way forward in our national life. How ironic!
“Former President Olusegun Obasanjo could start with telling us where the electricity is despite $16billion he spent on the power sector. Obasanjo’s deputy, Alh. Atiku Abubakar should account for the privatisation exercise under his watch which saw national assets sold off to friends and cronies with no benefit to the country. Successive Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) administrations can also start by accounting for the trillions stolen from our national coffers in the guise of a fraudulent fuel subsidy regime”, APC said in the statement.
The party, while acknowledging the fact that it is within the rights of the ex political actors to “write skewed letters, spew empty, hypocritical, tongue-in-cheek and two-faced economic magic models in line with their Dubai meeting strategies”, said President Muhammadu Buhari is walking the talk with verifiable projects and people-centred interventions that is uplifting Nigerians.
It however expressed appreciation that these political leaders only listen to their own voices, saying Nigerians have long stopped taking them seriously as they lack the antecedents and moral credentials to guide Nigeria and Nigerians to the path of prosperity and progress.
“Instead of the “do or die” lingo Obasanjo and the PDP introduced to our electioneering, votes are beginning to count as our elections improve steadily. Their abandoned projects which constituted drainpipes on national resources are being completed by this administration.
“The brazen culture of impunity and corruption which they institutionalised is being replaced by strong and accountable systems. The culture of roundtripping and the rested subsidy regime in the petroleum sector has been replaced by a deregulated and accountable petroleum pricing template.
“Instead of plotting how to sell of national assets, particularly the NNPC to friends, this administration is reforming public sector operations to ensure optimised service delivery”, the statement said.
APC also said “We are gradually eating what we grow. Our national emergency health response has earned global accolades and recognition as displayed by our COVID-19 response. Our defence capacity to respond and contain emerging security challenges is now tested and proven.
“How did Nigeria achieve this? A strong, people-centred and focussed leadership which the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC administration provides. Genuine patriots, reputable groups and organizations who are making honest contributions on the deregulation of electricity and petrol prices already see the decision as inevitable and the way to go.”
Clarifying the benefit of removing subsidy on power, the party said as it stands, Nigeria will save as much as one trillion naira ($2.6 billion) following the deregulation of the petroleum sector, as explained by the Petroleum Minister of State, Timipre Sylva.
He said Nigerians trust that the freed up cash will be accounted for and be judiciously invested to develop other critical areas such as infrastructure, health care, education among others.