The Presidency has told the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to go and bury its head in shame for plundering the country into the worst economic hardship with corruption, rather than making pathetic efforts to downplay President Muhammadu Buhari’s achievements in just 100 days.
It asked PDP to rest assured that once the formal trial for corruption begins, it might no longer have the moral legs to stand on, “let alone talk down to Nigerians with fake claims of economic miracles under its most incompetent and grossly purposeless and sleazy administration.”
Malam Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, gave the rebuff in response to a statement by Chief Olisa Metuh, PDP’s National Publicity Secretary, in which he claimed that the economy was going down under the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration.
The PDP had said Nigeria’s status as the largest economy in Africa had declined since the Buhari-led APC government assumed office in the last three months.
The party added that the shambolic state of the nation’s economy during the period, which represents the worst in the nation’s contemporary history, was a direct fallout of uncertainty created by the inability of the Buhari-led government to chart a clear-cut economic policy, which is worsened by abuse of regulations, and flagrant violation of constitutional provisions.
Metuh, in the statement, lamented that instead of gains, official reports showed that the last three months under the APC-led government had brought a sudden decline in the country’s GDP.
But Shehu, in a counter-statement, noted that if the PDP had performed so well, APC which contested as an opposition party wouldn’t have found it easy to defeat a popular ruling party then. Shehu said the PDP’s assumed performance “was nothing more than window dressing, and a detachment from reality.”
According to him, while the economy of Nigeria was gasping for breath under the egregiously corrupt PDP administration, the country was also witnessing an acceleration of poverty which united Nigerians for change.
He added that the excruciating hardship experienced by Nigerians under the PDP misrule was unprecedented at a time “the defeated former ruling party was artificially manipulating statistics to create the illusion of impressive economic performance records.”
The presidential spokesman observed that it was ridiculous for any sane government to artificially rebase the economy and claim to have transformed Nigeria into the largest economy in Africa as the PDP administration did.
“One falsehood built on another cannot stand. If the PDP’s claim of economic successes in terms of GDP, employment generation, poverty alleviation and others were genuine, Nigerians wouldn’t have voted the party out of power,” he stated.
Wondering why any contented electorate would have voted a performing party out of office, Shehu said no economy can grow with corruption, an area in which the PDP administration demonstrated more competence.
Observing that criticism for its own sake was not the hallmark of credible opposition, Shehu said under the Buhari administration, Nigerians no longer face exploitation at filling stations because the government is taking punitive measures against marketers that punish poor Nigerians.
The presidential spokesman said that queues have disappeared from the filling stations, and that the naira is also enjoying favourable exchange rate.
He noted that the Buhari administration has successfully blocked leakages and other avenues for corruption, practices which he said the previous PDP administration lacked the will or the desire to stop.
As a result of the measures to block leakages, he said, the Buhari administration has frustrated the efforts by corrupt elements to divert public fund .to private pockets.