Opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP,
and the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC on Monday came down hard on the former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega, for comparing and putting the two parties in same boat.
During an interview with the BBC Prof Jega had called on Nigerians not to vote again for the APC and PDP, stressing that the two parties are different sides of same coin.
In his reaction, the PDP Spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan said the comparison is a provocative disservice to Nigerians.
The opposition party called on Prof Jega, who has now joined the People’s Redemption Party, PRP, not to further infuriate Nigerians by trying to dry-clean the rudderless, inept and debauched All Progressives Congress (APC)
, despite the unbearable devastation the APC has brought to our nation in a space of six years.
The PDP asserted that trying to compare the incompetent and decadent APC to the highly productive and development-oriented PDP is an unpardonable disservice to our nation and calls to question the sense of judgment of Profession Jega.
The PDP further held as worrisome that Prof. Jega, who only recently and rightly so, described the APC and the Buhari administration as a failure, is now attempting an image laundering with such a warped comparison, just a few weeks after he was offered a juicy appointment as Chairman of Governing Council of University of Jos by President Buhari.
“It is indeed unfortunate that Prof. Jega, as a professor of political science, could portray an ignorance of the manifest contrasts between the robust fortunes of our nation under the PDP and the wasteland she has become under the APC.
“Perhaps the Professor needs to be reminded of how the PDP worked hard to revamp our nation’s economy, paid off our huge foreign debts and went ahead to grow the economy to become the largest investment hub in Africa as well as one of the fastest growing economies in the world, with Fitch B+ rating; only for the APC to wreck the economy and turned our nation into the world poverty capital and a debtor country in a space of six years.
“Prof. Jega must also be reminded how the PDP reinvigorated the private sector with new businesses and employments springing up in critical sectors of telecoms, aviation, agriculture, manufacturing, oil and gas, education, retailing, hospitality, healthcare and banking among others.
“Today, under the APC and Buhari, these gains have been wrecked with massive closure of businesses, which saw over 60 million Nigerians losing their means of livelihood, with alarming 33.3 percent unemployment rate and over 82.9 million more and about 25 million families not being able to afford their daily meals as our country ranks 98th out of 107 in Global Hunger Index, due to the obnoxious policies of the APC and President Buhari.
“Perhaps the former INEC chairman has forgotten how the PDP stabilized our fiscal economy and handed over our naira to the APC at N160 to a dollar only for the APC to wreck our currency to a dismal N510 to a dollar.
“He may have also forgotten how the PDP handed over the cost of fuel at N87 per liter and how the APC has hiked it to N165 per liter with attendant pressure on our economy.
“We invite Professor Jega to note how the PDP ran an all-inclusive and transparent administration that guaranteed freedom of speech, equity, fairness as well as free and fair elections, which he attested to; and how the APC, had been running a massively corrupt, insensitive, divisive and exclusionist administration that has destroyed our national cohesion and turned our nation into a battle field.
“As professor of political science, Prof. Jega ought to know that while the PDP is an ideologically based political party, the APC is just a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) operated on the basis of deception and that is why it has failed in all ramification and now fizzled in the eyes of the law.
“Nigerians are already confronting the fact of the failures of the APC as well as President Buhari and would therefore not require a manipulative tendency of any individual seeking political relevance ahead of 2023.
“After all, the roles which Prof Jega played in bringing this failed party and administration into office are still fresh in the hearts of Nigerians.”
In its own reaction the APC described Prof Jega’s outburst as wrong sbd untenable.
In a statement by Senator John James Akpanudoedehe,
National Secretary of APC
Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC), the party said Prof Jega got his facts wrong.
According to the APC, “while the PDP failed to meet the expectations of Nigerians as a government and opposition party, the APC is thriving, healthy and assiduously cleaning the massive mess left behind by the PDP which failed to deliver democratic dividends to the people of Nigeria after being in charge of the country for 16 years.
“While Professor Jega is right about the PDP, a party under which he served as the Chairman of the nation’s election management body, we reject his comparison of the APC with the PDP.
“Professor Jega got his facts wrong and mixed up in his baseless comparison of the PDP with the APC.
“While we do not intend to join issues with Professor Jega, we encourage him to engage in genuine scholarly research and come up with evidence-based conclusions on the progessive orientation of the APC.
“It is however instructive to note that having recently abandoned his academic pursuit and blindly plunged into the arena of PDP’s brand of politics, the erstwhile electoral umpire as a politician can make such political statements occasionally while trying to launch his political career in a mushroom political party.
“The APC is a strong, united, popular and focused political unit. Hence, the Professor should note the political lesson that maligning the APC would not provide him a springboard to achieve his desires. Nigerians are wiser and remain the ultimate judges.”