APC aware Nigerians are facing hardship, says Odigie-Oyegun

By The Citizen

The National Chairman of All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, says the party is not oblivious to hardships facing Nigerians.

Odigie-Oyegun said this while briefing newsmen after the APC's National Executive Council (NEC), meeting in Abuja on Thursday

“Naturally, this would have been the time to roll out the drums and to celebrate loudly but I think that being a government and a party that is responsive, we are very well aware of the hardships in the land.

“For that reason, it should be a period of introspection, a period for memories and a period for reminiscences.

“The problems we have are well known, of course originating from two well known factors: our squandered patrimony of course, and the unfortunate coincidence of the collapse of the price of crude oil.

“Nevertheless, in spite of these hardships, our government has recorded strides that are worth mentioning, that are worth celebrating and that are worth noting'', he said.

He listed some of the strides as Buhari's focused, vigorous leadership against insurgency, the Treasury Single Account, and the oil market.

“The price of crude is gradually beginning to crawl persistently, slowly but upwards.

“The fight against corruption: the gains are clear; the era of impunity is beginning to disappear from our land.

“Even from reading the papers, social media – critical as they may be – virtually every Nigerian accepts that corruption was perhaps the worst affliction that this nation has ever suffered from.

“Finally, the cost of governance is down. So, even with the lean resources, it is clear that all over the nation, from the federal level to the state level, we will be able to do more with less.''

He acknowledged that these were hard times but urged that as party members they should stand together, be re-dedicated to the party and the vision to which the people voted them in.

He decried the March 19 Rivers State rerun elections, describing it as a disgrace.

He said: “O Rivers, Rivers. It is a disgrace. That is the only thing one can say.

“The assurance we can give you and the assurance Mr President has given us is that these issues will be vigorously addressed.

“People must not get away with dastardly killings. It is a most bestial act and in no circumstance must behaviour like that be allowed to spread to the rest of the country.

“Unless you address it, you are, in fact, inviting other states to set up their own military wing.''

He said NEC had, for the first time, established a budget for the party and set up a committee to streamline and downsize the party's Board of Trustees in line with all other constitution amendments.

On the party's vacant office of national publicity secretary, Odigie-Oyegun said one of the zones had nominated a candidate but that the party would await the congress to fill all vacant positions. (NAN)