Agene AKHERE, Benin
Edo State governor, Adams Oshiomhole has said that after 16 years in government, the PDP-led federal government has shown crass incompetence to “fix Nigeria’s problems” and urged Nigerians to vote for “change”.
Speaking to journalists in Auchi shortly after attending the 22nd convocation ceremony and the 50th anniversary of the Auchi Polytechnic, Oshiomhole said the PDP should leave the stage and do soul searching to know why after 16 years in power: “They have not fixed power, they have not fixed education, they have not fixed the health sector, they have not fixed the roads, they have dashed the expectation of the youths and they have polluted the political atmosphere and they have weakened the foundation of our national unity, they have re-partitioned the country along religious divide, along ethnic divide, they have played brothers against brothers, sisters against sisters, they are buffeting us with primordial sentiments in place of issues of development and the country is weaker today than it was before.
“We need people who fought to keep Nigeria together to come back and re-fix what PDP has broken and it is all about all of us today.”
Oshiomhole said the PDP’s mismanagement of the country has also affected the prove sector, a sector he said was vital for the growth of any country.
“Nigerians should vote for change, even PDP needs change, you can see; the internal contradictions within the PDP is like a weak fabric; the more you patch it, the more it gets torn and after 16 years, even PDP will agree that they haven’t delivered on the promises of democracy.
“Look at the newspapers, they have issues today because the cost of production is going up because of escalating cost of procuring diesel because you are still not able to print with power in spite of all the reforms and deforms of the power sector. Look at the typical newspaper today, you don’t find products adverts what you find is obituaries, birthdays, endless congratulatory messages for all kinds of trivial quote and unquote accomplishments. The private sector is dead and this is why you are not getting adverts for products and you are not going to be able to create jobs if you don’t revive the private sector and as you can see even though between 1999 till date, the oil sector has performed better than it was in the previous 10 years.”
Continuing, the governor said: “Remember that during the regimes of Abacha and Abdulsalami, oil price dropped to $10 so Nigeria has never had it so good since democracy, it picked up to $140 around 2006 and even now that we are complaining, it is about $60 to $65 so relative to the past, it is still a god price but like they say no nation has enough to need the greed of leaders but if we manage what have well, we have enough to meet the basic needs of our people and there is no question that our people are living in denial, in the midst of plenty but I am even more worried about the deliberate efforts to weaken unity in order to create all kinds of divide.”
On the security challenges, he said: “All of a sudden, the Nigerian Army that is reputed all over the world to have fought and to be helping to secure neighbouring countries like Sierra Leone, Liberia, Mali, Sudan and others when they witnessed internal crisis, now it is our turn to look inwards and we are told that our soldiers are running, what has gone wrong? What has changed that we are no longer the giant? That we can’t even get arms to buy in official markets, we have to go underground? Are we under sanctions by who and why? Why are we not earning respect, why are we not trusted so for me, even the PDP will recognise that they need time to go and rest so that they can ask themselves some soul searching; that how come that in 16 years we left the country weaker than we met it and then the change forces which I belong to will then lean from their own failure and of course with the logic of change, re-order our national priorities, evolve a more judicious application t our national resource and lay emphasis on production rather than importation and give the Nigerian young people the basis of hope and a basis to remain loyal to the Nigerian state”.