Peoples Democratic Party Says Inability Of President Muhammadu Buhari To Constitute A Cabinet One Month After Inauguration Has Led To A Loss Of N238bn In Stocks

Patrick Osadebamwen, Abuja

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said that the inability of President Muhammadu Buhari to appoint key officials of his cabinet may rub off on his posture of anti-corruption.

The party said with one month gone already, out of the 48-month-tenure President Buhari has to govern, it was expedient for Nigerians to troop to prayer houses and seek divine intervention for the president to locate his bearing and run the country as he had promised during the campaigns.

As he spoke, Special Adviser, Media and Publicity to the President, Femi Adesina, explained that the rot caused by PDP’s 16-year rule, was taking time to clear, but assured that Buhari will eventually clear the “Aegean stable” and put Nigeria on the right track.

National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Olisa Metuh, said this in a statement yesterday in Abuja while calling on Nigerians to seek divine intervention as the uncertain trajectory of governance by the President might create opening for unscrupulous officials to corruptly help themselves with public funds. “This is more so as the delay has brought government business in ministries, departments and agencies to a dangerous standstill with coordination of important policies vested on ministers and the SGF now in tatters while the system drifts.

This situation also creates loopholes through which overzealous persons around the President can connive with unscrupulous elements in the bureaucracy to siphon public resources in addition to possibly misleading the President to violate due process by spending beyond and outside his statutory limits,” the PDP stated. The party said the development was already affecting the economy of the nation: “The situation is taking its toll on the economy sector, which has in the 30 days witnessed unprecedented decline with a terrifying crippling of foreign and domestic investments including activities in the money and capital market sectors.

Under President Buhari, the stock market has lost over N238 billion while the All-Share Index fell by 849.87 basis points as at June 19.” According to Metuh: “We urge Nigerians to join hands in prayers and offer useful suggestions to President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC because with what we have seen in the last 30 days, the present administration is finding it very difficult to get its bearings right while showing no inclination towards implementing its numerous campaign promises for which they were voted into office at the centre.

“We are deeply worried that the President, who promised to unveil his cabinet two weeks after his inauguration, has not been able to decide on key appointments such as ministers, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), a Chief of Staff and advisers in key sectors of the economy. “In security, apart from the directive to relocate the counter terrorism command center to Borno State and seeking assistance from foreigners, no other concrete step has been taken in the fight against insurgency which the President in his April 22, 2015 CNN interview promised to end within his two months in office. “Instead, the anti-terrorism effort has completely lost steam in the last 30 days, with insurgents, who had already been pushed to the verge of surrender in the Sambisa forest by the Goodluck Jonathan administration, now surging back and spreading into the country.

“In this regard, we urge the President to confront insurgency and issues of national security with all the vigour they deserve while calling for restraint from actions capable of destroying the fabrics of security intelligence. We also urge for adequate respect for all organs of internal security such as the Directorate of State Security (DSS), which is answerable to the Nigerian state and as such should not be publicly ridiculed by an aide of the President.

“In the same vein, we are disturbed by the ominous signals emanating from the atrocious attempt by the APC to undermine and appropriate the federal legislature resulting in the disruption of lawful proceedings and forced closure of the National Assembly, the symbol of our collective national identity as a democratic state. In this direction, we urge the Presidency and the APC to imbibe democratic tenets and respect the independence of that arm of government.”

The PDP further added, “While we remind the President and the APC that their campaign promises are bonds which must be fulfilled, we urge him to use the next ten days to set up his government by naming his ministers, the SGF and advisers in critical sectors as Nigerians did not vote for a sole administrator but for a democratic government.”

Metuh noted that this had become expedient following the careful evaluation of the first 30 days of President Muhammadu Buhari and All Progressives Congress (APC)’s administration, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) notes that it has become obvious that Nigerians need to join hands in prayers to save the government from further inaction and dithering. But disagreeing with PDP, President Buhari’s Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina said rather, the rot caused by PDP’s 16 year-rule, was taking time to clear.

Speaking also in a statement yesterday, Adesina said it was amusing that PDP would accuse Buhari and APC of not being serious. “The Buhari administration is naturally contemplative because there was absolutely no rhyme or reason to the way PDP ran the country, particularly in the immediate past dispensation. That is why the Augean Stable is being cleaned now, and it requires scrupulous and painstaking planning. Across all sectors, our national life was devalued, and it takes meticulousness and sure-footedness to repair all the breaches.

This, the Buhari administration will deliver. “Metuh talks of people round the President conniving with bureaucrats to siphon money from the treasury. This must be deja vu, as it was the pastime of the immediate past administration, and the enormity of the sleaze will be evident when stolen money, to the tune of billions of dollars, is recovered, and returned to the national treasury soon. “In the process of time, after all that is being planned by the current administration has matured, and bearing fruits, Nigerians will be able to determine who is serving them acceptably, and who has taken them for a ride. It is just a matter of time”.

Adesina also said “what he (Metuh) does not know is that Nigerians had long formed such coalition. They are hands in hands, and that was what gave victory to President Buhari in the March 28, 2015 poll. They had teamed up to uproot an administration that had brought the country to her knees, and was about to tip her off the precipice. And Nigerians have resolved that never would they allow any government to divide them along regional, religious and ethnic fault lines again”.

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