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Slow governance: Buhari’s excuse of clearing the Augean Stable was lame, diversionary – PDP

By The Citizen
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The Peoples Democratic Party has said that that the Presidency’s excuse of clearing the Augean Stable as a reason for its slow governance pace was lame and diversionary.

The new opposition leader insisted that no amount of intimidation, blackmail and propaganda by the Presidency would stop it from standing shoulder to shoulder with Nigerians in demanding that President Muhammadu Buhari kick-starts government and commence implementation of his campaign promises for which he was voted into office.

It said that the non-appointment of ministers and aides to the President was creating loopholes through which it alleged that some persons claiming closeness to the President have infiltrated executive bodies, arm-twisting and conniving with unscrupulous elements in the bureaucracy to syphon the nation's resources in the last 30 days.

PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, stated this in a statement he signed in Abuja on Monday.

He was reacting to the claim by the Presidency on Sunday that President Buhari was busy clearing the mess created by the party in the last 16 years, adding that this was the reason for the delay in making some critical appointments.

The Presidency also said it was true, as stated by the PDP, that Nigerians should join hands in praying for the President, adding that the effectiveness of the prayers led to the woeful performance of the former ruling party during the March 28, 2015 Presidential poll.

President Buhari, who spoke through his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, said the present government was 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,' Adesina added.

The Presidential aide also said stealing of public funds was the pastime of the immediate past administration, and that the enormity of the sleaze would be evident when stolen money, to the tune of billions of dollars, is recovered, and returned to the national treasury soon.

However, Metuh said in his statement that his party would not in any way be cowed by threats and wild allegations by the Presidency into abdicating its responsibility of speaking out as an opposition party where the system is derailing.

'The PDP and indeed all well-meaning Nigerians were appalled by the response from the Presidency regarding our call for prayers to enable President Muhammadu Buhari-led All Progressives Congress administration locate its bearing, compose a government and halt the prevailing stagnation with its huge negative impact on the system.

'Instead of addressing the issues raised, the Presidency descended to insults, abuses and innuendos, a stance which not only bears out the case made by the PDP but also raises questions about the capacity of this administration to shoulder the enormous responsibility of governance,” he stated.

Metuh said the PDP expected the governing party to be serious about the fight against corruption by probing and persecuting anyone found to have corruptly enriched themselves.

He said such fight must be wholistic without considering the political such individual belongs to.

Metuh said in the statement, 'While we expect the present administration to be serious about the fight against corruption, probe and persecute each and everyone involved in such, irrespective of their party leaning, we restate that these must be done within the ambit of the law and must not be used as a witch-hunt ostensibly to discredit and undermine the opposition.

'We therefore caution against the current drama of politicising the issue of corruption in the country.

'Furthermore, the analogy of the Augean Stable is completely baffling to us at this level as it goes to a great length to question the capacity and the sincerity of those around the president.

'In Greek mythology, Hercules in his ingenuity took the task and efficiently cleared the Augean Stable in a day for which he demanded a reward of a tenth of fine cattle belonging to the king.'

He said that Nigerians would not want to believe that in clearing of the Augean Stable, although not delivering in one day, President Buhari wants to play Hercules in his demand, this time, by wanting to run the government alone without the statutory components of the executive as enshrined in the constitution.

Metuh wondered whether the so-called clearing of mess was responsible for President Buhari's inability after 90 days of winning an election to make up his mind on rudimentary appointments such as Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief of Staff and his demand for 15 Special Advisers as approved by the PDP controlled Seventh Assembly since June 5, 2015.

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