PDP Is Biggest Disaster To Befall Nigeria - ACN

Source: SAINT MUGAGA - thewillnigeria.com

ABUJA, Sept 05, (THEWILL) - The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) has described the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as one of the biggest disasters to have ever befallen Nigeria, saying the 12th anniversary of the ruling party is a sad reminder of Nigeria's arrested development since 1999 when the ‘clueless party came into power.’

In a statement issued in Lagos today by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said it agrees with PDP's National Chairman Okwesilieze Nwodo that the Nigerian economy had witnessed a 'quantum leap' under the PDP in the past 11 years, except that the economy has only leapt backwards.

It therefore called on the PDP to apologize to all Nigerians for bringing them nothing but suffering of biblical proportion since 1999, and to make a solemn pledge not to have anything to do with governance, especially with the 2011 elections fast approaching.

It said that unless those in charge of the PDP are, as usual, suffering from some form of self-delusion, it just does not make any sense for them to say that the ''PDP-led federal government had brought succour to the ordinary Nigerian''.

According to the UN Human Development Index (HDI), which uses such indices as life expectancy, education and per capita GDP to assess a country's development, Nigeria has not fared well, falling from a ranking of 151st in 1999 to 158th in 2009. This cannot bring succour to anyone.

''Today, millions of Nigerians, most of them youths, are unemployed, forcing them to become 'okada' riders. This is because failed infrastructure and inconsistent policies of the PDP-led federal government have forced many factories to close shop. For example, the textile industry that used to boast of over 250,000 workers now has less than 50,000 workers, while the number of manufacturing concerns in that sector has dropped from 180 to about 42! Of course, it is no longer news that over 100 factories have shut down for these same reasons.

''Talking of infrastructure, despite an 'investment' of over $500 billion by the Obasanjo administration, Nigeria's power generation has actually dipped from 3,500 mega watts in 1999 to less than 3,000 mega watts in 2010! Roads that were bad in 1999 have now become impassable!

''Despite the unprecedented oil windfall that accrued to Nigeria since 1999, when the price of crude oil leapfrogged from as low as US$10 per barrel to a high of $126 in June 2008 and about $75 currently, Nigeria's per capita GDP ($1,451) puts the resource-rich country in the same league as Zimbabwe and Djibouti, whereas Equatorial Guinea's per capita GDP stands at $15,000, Namibia's at $4,135 and Sudan, with all its troubles, at $1,519.

''The exchange rate of the Naira to the US dollar when the PDP assumed office in 1999 was about 22 (official rate) to the dollar. Today it is 150 to the dollar. What more evidence do we need to know that the PDP has been a curse rather than a blessing to our country?'' ACN queried.

The party said the PDP's claim that it has become a ''beautiful bride of Nigeria politics'' is the most delusionary statement ever made, saying only rapacious politicians are flocking to a party once described by Nobel Laureate Wole Soyinke as a ''nest of killers''.

''It is a cruel irony that while the PDP can afford to celebrate its 12th anniversary, more than 70 per cent of the people it is governing are living below the poverty line. It is no surprise though, since the PDP is a sharp distinction of what a political party should never be!'' ACN said, calling on Nigerians to send a strong message to the PDP with their votes in 2011.