Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media & Publicity, Garba Shehu
The Presidency on Wednesday lashed out at state governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party over their positions in a communique they issued at the end of their recent meeting in Uyo.
It described the communique as a “spectacular demonstration to the people of Nigeria as to why this party and its representatives should not be entrusted with national leadership any time soon.”
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, disclosed this in a statement titled ‘PDP Governors’ Forum Communiqué ignores real solutions.’
The statement read, “The PDP Governors’ Forum Communiqué was a spectacular demonstration to the people of Nigeria as to why this party and its representatives should not be entrusted with national leadership of our country any time soon.
“In bemoaning the decision by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation not to make contributions to the Federation Account, the governors appear to believe NNPC can spend the same money twice: once on the petroleum subsidy – which they all support – and then on their States via the Federation Account.
“NNPC is a trustee for the nation – and this means it must manage its finances with prudence and for the long-term to safeguard the financial support it bestows on our country. What the governors are asking of NNPC is to “break the bank” for their own profligate political ends.
“Similar profligacy and contradiction are in full view with their call to the Central Bank to appreciate the value of the Naira. This would damage exports – including oil revenues on which NNPC depends – as well as damage small businesses and employment. But an appreciated currency would benefit those spending on luxuries from abroad – this, no doubt, being the leading desire of a typical PDP governor.”
Shehu said when the governors claimed lack of federal institutions’ money pouring into their states’ coffers is an affront to democracy, constitutionalism, and federalism, they failed to mention the ugliest trend against the integrity of Nigeria comes by own hands with their refusal to support the Federal Government’s desire to reinstate the local government as the third tier and finding a lasting solution to farmer-herder conflicts costing the nation lives and livestock.
This initiative, he said, brings rights and support for generations of all ages to bring solutions to challenges that different communities have faced but the PDP governors rejected it.
By their action, he said the governors denied all Nigerians their constitutional right to live and work in any state of the federation – preferring to appeal to ethnic division and hatred rather than support the first practical solution offered since independence.
He added, “Similarly, the governors appeal to each other for more involvement of States in mining and geophysical activities within their states. The question must be asked: ‘Why has this taken you so long?
“Such opportunities and states’ powers have been fully available since independence – yet only now the PDP realises it?
“And, of course, the PDP grieve over the Federal Government’s action over Twitter – for it represents the curtailment of their ability to use the platform to spread fake news and invented stories to the detriment of community and good-neighborliness between the peoples of Nigeria.”
The Presidency further accused the PDP governors of proposing no solutions to any of Nigeria’s challenges in the heat of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic downturn, rather, they lobbied for more money and mourned their lack of access to social media to “spread falsehoods and hate”.
It added that the communiqué explains why the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), and the APC stalled the PDP’s one-party rule in 2015.
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