The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has asked Audu Ogbeh, minister of agriculture, to immediately toe the path of honour and resign for “portraying Nigeria as a lying nation” and bringing the country to “international opprobrium by deliberately falsifying claims relating to Nigeria’s relationship with Thailand”.
The party said the whole world was shocked when Wattana Kuwongse, ambassador of Thailand to Nigeria, publicly denied ever informing Ogbeh that major rice mills were shutting down in Thailand as a result of drop in importation of rice by Nigeria as claimed by the minister.
In a statement, Kola Ologbondiyan, spokesman of the party, said the development has dragged down the image of the nation which the APC administration has “wrecked in the last three years”.
The party said the minister had neither clarified his claims nor offered any explanation for the heavy embarrassment he has caused the nation adding that such has placed a heavy moral burden on him and the federal government.
The PDP also wondered why President Muhammadu Buhari, as Africa Union Anti-Corruption Champion, has not taken any action to redeem the image of the nation, after the ugly development.
“It is clear that the intention of the APC-led federal government was to use the minister of agriculture to mislead Nigerians into believing that the Buhari-led administration has achieved national self-sufficiency in food production; a stunt which fell flat on its face and brought the nation into international ridicule,” the statement read.
“Nigerians will recall that the same minister, last year, programmed the exporting of rotten yams and brought the country into international disrepute, all in the desperate bid of APC interests to score cheap political points and push their ill-lucked 2019 re-election bid.
“Earlier this week, President Buhari’s handlers made the nation a laughing stock in the international arena when they railroaded the President into offering to help Ghana in the fight against corruption when back at home, the APC controlled federal government is an ocean of corruption and false claims.
“This is a government where officials deliberately issue false security assurances, particularly in the northeast region, making the people vulnerable to attacks. Nigerians have not forgotten how this government lied that it had recovered the abducted Dapchi girls only the report to turn false and frustrated prompt effort that would have led to the recovery of our daughters.”
PDP said Ogbeh’s false claim has made Nigerians to realise the importance of its warning that they should always cross-check information given by APC.
“Nigerians have seen that the hallmark of the APC-led Federal Government is falsehood, deception and lies but they are shocked that government officials could invent and peddle bare-faced lies in the international arena,” it said.
“Nigerians can now see the weight of our earlier caution to always cross-check any information or performance indices issued to them by the presidency or officials of the APC government no matter how highly placed.
“The fact remains that our nation cannot continue to run on a government where officials function as peddlers of falsehood and lies.”