- Stop playing god, replies PDP
From Ayodele Samuel Lagos and Lateef Ibrahim, Abuja
The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and former Governor of Lagos State Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu yesterday said the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) should forget coming back to power in 2019, stressing that Nigeria will never return to darkness. Just as Vice President Yemi Osinbajo added that the corruption of the previous five years of the PDP administration is what destroyed the Nigeria economy.
The duo were among speakers at the 66th birthday celebration of the former governor and the 10th annual Bola Tinubu colloquium yesterday in Lagos.
At the event, which was attended by President Muhammadu Buhari, Osinbajo said the Government will do every possible to ensure that those who plunged the resources of the country are made to pay for it.
He said the incumbent administration will continue to talk about the wrath and corrupt activities of the PDP administration to distinguish APC administration from the previous government.
“When we began this journey in 2014, our party in APC was determined to change government narrative about our country. We were determined to ensure to change the narrative of a country rich in natural resources, and even richer in human capital, being destroyed daily by grand corruption and impunity in the looting of public resources.
“Talking about our fight against corruption, we realized that if we don’t kill corruption, corruption will kill us. From all I have seen in government in the past three years, the corruption of the previous five years is what destroyed the Nigeria economy.
“Every time we talk about corruption, our opponents say, don’t talk about it; just do your own. We will talk about it. The reason why we must talk about it is that, we must let our people know that we cannot afford to go this way again.
“Never again should we allow the system where people take the resources of this country and steal the resources of this country; use the resources against the people. And at the same time, they want to continue in leadership. We, as a party and your government, must show the difference between us and the party and government that destroyed the Nigerian economy. We must show the difference.”
Vice President Oshibajo added that “There is no country in the world that will allow its resources to be plundered, the way our own resources were plundered, and expect to be economic viable. It is not possible. Nigeria is not like any other country because of the level of the level of corruption that was perpetuated.
“We must stop that corruption. And that is why we are so committed to the fight against corruption. When we fight corruption, the way we are fighting corruption, corruption will begin to fight back; the system will fight back – but we are determined to fight it.
“We are responsible to the people who voted for us; and we must ensure that we defend their rights. It is in the defence of their rights that we will ensure that we do everything possible for those who plunged the resources are made to pay for it,” Oshibajo noted.Tinubu, on his part, added that Nigerians will continue to lament the failure of the PDP because it had all the opportunity to move the nation forward, but failed to do so.
He said the PDP didn’t do what is right in its 16 years of governing the country.
“When we came in we came in with a lot of hope. As APC leaders, we were strongly determined that we could change Nigeria for good; we gave our best and we are still going to do it. Life is all about challenges; and this Government is facing its own challenges.”
Tinubu, while commending President Buhari administration, said Nigerians are feeling the impact of good governance, despite little resources available to the current administration.
“I can see what this Government is doing with the little resources. There are facts that they are doing it, they are doing what we need to get our country from the hold of corrupt leaders.
“Forget those parties. They won’t come back. We will keep talking about the PDP and their looting. They wasted our resources, lied to us, stole and falsified figures; and they don’t want us to talk about it. We have a Nation to rescue and a good leader to emulate. There’s a difference between us and them (PDP), light and darkness.”
He thanked Nigerians for their patience, saying the party will bring Nigeria back on the path of prosperity and banish poverty.
He said the collective dream of Progressive governance and positive reform in Nigeria would not fade.
Reacting to Tinibu’s comments, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has cautioned the APC National Leader to stop playing god, pointing out that Nigerians have the faculty and freedom to determine the leadership that best suits their desires, without any body’s control.
The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, in a statement on Thursday, said Asiwaju Tinubu’s speech, at his colloquium, rather than being a damage of the PDP, ended up amplifying an admittance of the failure of President Buhari and the APC administration.
The party said without listening to the prompting of any politician, Nigerians across board have taken the liberty to accept PDP’s apology which was made patriotically in the overall interest of national healing, reconciliation, unity and cohesion.
According to the statement, “The PDP watched with amusement as Asiwaju Tinubu struggled with words to appease President Buhari and give him assurances that he can win a second term election in the face of mass failure, both in governance and in their discredited, rejected and troubled platform.
“While we congratulate the Lagos Governor Emeritus on his birthday, the PDP considers it needful, to forewarn him to study the current ambience of Nigerian politics as it relates to the failures of the Buhari Presidency and the fact that the citizens have since rejected this Presidency and the APC, so that Asiwaju will not find himself swimming against the tide”, the opposition party said.