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APC, PDP, LP Chieftains In Heated Debate Over Nigeria’s Economic Woes

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Tanko Yunusa, Niyi Akinsiju and Ilemona Onoja on Channels Television’s Politics Today programme on December 7, 2022

Chieftains of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Labour Party (LP) were engaged in a heated debate on Nigeria’s crippling economy and dwindling fortunes on Wednesday.

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LP’s spokesman Tanko Yunusa, Niyi Akinsiju of the APC and Ilemona Onoja of the PDP clashed on Channels Television’s Politics Today.

Akinsiju said the President Muhammadu Buhari administration in May 2015 inherited debt from the PDP government of 16 years but the APC government has been able to deliver despite fall in the price per barrel of crude oil.

READ ALSO: INEC Debunks Viral Video On Voter Identification Number

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On the other hand, Onoja said the PDP handed over an economically stable country to the APC than it inherited from the military but the APC has bastardised the Nigerian economy.

However, Yunusa concluded that the PDP’s failure gave the APC a chance in 2015, adding disappointingly that the APC has doubled the mismanagement of the country in the last seven and a half years since it has been in government.

Since Nigeria’s return to democracy in 1999 after years of military rule, the PDP has produced three Presidents (Olusegun Obasanjo, Umaru Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan) for a cumulative period of 16 years. The APC took over in May 2015 with the election of Buhari, a former military head of state.

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‘PDP Left A Hollow Economy’
Akinsiju, a member of the APC Presidential Campaign Council for Bola Tinubu and Kashim Shettima, insisted that the Buhari government has not done badly, noting that Tinubu and his running mate will consolidate on the economic gains of the present administration if they win the February 25, 2023 presidential election.

According to him, PDP left a hollow economy when Buhari came into power in May 2015 but the incumbent has managed to stabilise the economy.

“When this party (APC) came into government, the PDP left a hollow economy, a hollow government and because we have a Buhari in place, we stabilise the economy.

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“We are at 21.09% inflation and we met 9.6% but there was no COVID-19 pandemic in 2005 August when we recorded the highest possible inflation rate in this country – 28.21%…And we are talking at a time when the price of crude oil per barrel was moving up. In 1999, it was $19/barrel. By 2005, it had moved up to more than $60/barrel.

“We are managers of an economy that is impacted by global headwinds and there is little we can do than to adapt and deploy our own creativity and we have been able to do that since 2015 when we inherited $63bn debt from the PDP government. Today, we are talking about $102bn debt all put together. Please, subtract $63bn from that debt,” he said.

This combination photo shows the Presidential candidates of the Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi (L); All Progressives Congress, Mr Bola Tinubu (C); and Peoples Democratic Party, Mr Atiku Abubakar (R).

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READ ALSO: Nigerians In Diaspora Sue Buhari, INEC, Ask High Court To Stop 2023 Elections

APC, A Monumental Failure – Atiku’s Man

Onoja, a member of the Presidential Campaign Council for Atiku Abubakar and Ifeanyi Okowa, however, disagreed with Akinsiju, saying the APC has been a party of sorrow, pain and confusion marred by maladministration and bad governance.

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He also faulted the cash withdrawal limits of the APC government amid the implementation of a currency change, saying the policy is doomed to fail, lead to job loss and throw several millions of people into poverty.

“In 1999, Nigeria’s GDP growth was 0.9%. 2000 – 5%. 2002 – 15.3%. This economy grew under Alhaji Atiku Abubakar as chairman of the National Economic Council. For the APC for seven and a half years, we are talking 3% growth that your population growth outstrips. How? In their (APC’s) private moment, the failure that keeps them up at night is so monumental.

“The PDP handed over to the APC a much better country than it inherited from the military. And what has the APC done to that country? It has bastardised it, ripped it to shreds, taken food out of the mouth of our children, taken education from our youths, has taken safety and security from our parents, and has taken healthcare from all of us,” he said.

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APC, PDP Are Siamese Twins – Obi’s Ally

On his part, Yunusa, the chief spokesman for the 2023 campaign of LP’s Peter Obi and his running mate, Datti Baba-Ahmed, said both the PDP and the APC are Siamese twins when it comes to economic failure and maladministration.

If the PDP has done so well during its eight years, the APC won’t have come to defeat it. It is because of the mismanagement of resources that we have that time. The APC has come up and doubled the mismanagement.

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“The National Bureau of Statistics said 133 million Nigerians are in abject poverty, how else can you describe a failure of a government? Both of them left debt for Nigeria but in Obi’s case, he left N75bn in Anambra after leaving office,” he said.

READ ALSO: Floods: Group Drags Buhari To Court Over ‘Missing Ecological Funds’

Atiku, a former Vice-President; Obi, a former Anambra State governor; and Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos State are frontline candidates for the 2023 presidential election which has been described by analysts as a three-horse race.

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Elections: Cultists Masking As Party Support Groups In Rivers, Says Wike

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The Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, on Monday said some party support groups in the state are a vehicle for thuggery and cult activities sponsored by disgruntled politicians ahead of the forthcoming elections.

Wike’s remarks follow reports that about 30 members of the Atiku Support Organisation were arrested by armed policemen during a meeting in the state capital.

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The governor, in a state broadcast, called on leaders of political parties to obey the laws regulating election campaigns in the state, which he said are made to instil sanity and safeguard the public interest.

We also denounce the rising cases of cultism in the State during this electioneering period, which are sponsored by politicians to settle political scores,” he said.

“Apart from committing heinous crimes, cultists masking as party support groups and thugs are used by rival party leaders to assault opponents and disrupt party meetings, especially in those political parties with protracted internal crises arising from their flawed primaries.”

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The governor also called attention to the presence of “desperate politicians” whom he said are recruiting and arming cultists and other miscreants to be used to attack and intimidate voters during the polls.

“I wish to warn that no responsible government will close its eyes to the threat posed by these cultists, fanatical party support groups, and their sponsors to free and fair elections in the State.

“Consequently, I have directed the security agencies to raid any suspected area or premises and clamp down on cultists, militant support groups and other miscreants being used by politicians to disturb the peace, safety and security of the State,” Wike added.

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READ ALSO: JUST IN: Gunmen Attack APC Campaign Venue In Rivers

See the full transcript below:

STATE BROADCAST BY
HIS EXCELLENCY NYESOM EZENWO WIKE, CON, GSSRS, POS
ON THE RISING CULTISM AND RELATED
ACTIVITIES ACROSS RIVERS STATE

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My dear people of Rivers State

The 2023 general elections are less than three weeks away. Political activities are in top gear, with political parties and candidates intensifying campaigns across the State.

2. We are happy with the generally peaceful campaigns except for the few isolated reported incidents of violence by sponsored rival cults, gangs and support groups in one or two political rallies.

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3. We commend the security agencies for providing adequate security cover for all the political parties to carry on with their electioneering activities, including crowded rallies and meetings.

4. The State Government will continue to support the security agencies to sustain the prevailing atmosphere of peace and security for voters to exercise their voting rights without fear or intimidation before, during and after the elections.

5. I assure you that there is nothing to fear as the State government and the security agencies will spare no effort to keep Rivers State peaceful, safe and secure for citizens to go about their normal daily activities.

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6. However, we, again, call on leaders of political parties to obey the laws regulating election campaigns in the State, which are made to instil sanity and safeguard the public interest.

7. We also denounce the rising cases of cultism in the State during this electioneering period, which are sponsored by politicians to settle political scores.

READ ALSO: Atiku: Rivers PDP Takes Swipe On Wike

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8. Apart from committing heinous crimes, cultists masking as party support groups and thugs are used by rival party leaders to assault opponents and disrupt party meetings, especially in those political parties with protracted internal crises arising from their flawed primaries.

9. We are also aware that desperate politicians are recruiting and arming cultists and other miscreants to be used to attack and intimidate voters during the polls.

10. I wish to warn that no responsible government will close its eyes to the threat posed by these cultists, fanatical party support groups, and their sponsors to free and fair elections in the State.

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11. Consequently, I have directed the security agencies to raid any suspected area or premises and clamp down on cultists, militant support groups and other miscreants being used by politicians to disturb the peace, safety and security of the State.

12. Anyone with useful information about the camps, gatherings, plans and activities of these criminal elements and their sponsors should forward it to the security agencies for action.

13. I wish to restate that no amount of syndicated misinformation, campaigns of calumny, and diatribes by a section of the media and the political elites will deter the State Government from enforcing the laws of the State against those who vainly claim to be above them.

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14. Unlike other States, we have refrained from using the State’s Neighbourhood Corps to enforce law and order by allowing the regular security agencies to do their constitutional work.

READ ALSO: I’ll Hit PDP National Leadership Tuesday – Wike

15. We pray we may not be forced to reconsider this position if the security agencies continue to encourage and offer protection to some politicians and party leaders to wantonly breach our laws.

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16. Thank you, and may God bless Rivers State.

 

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Tinubu’s Men Attack PDP Over N22.5bn Vote-buying Claim

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The ruling All Progressives Congress has challenged the Peoples Democratic Party to provide Nigerians with evidence of the N22.5 billion stashed old notes that it alleged the APC presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, is desperately seeking to convert into new ones in Kano State.

This is even as the Tinubu-Shettima presidential campaign council wrote off the claim as a silly figment of the imagination of the opposition party.

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The PDP had claimed in a statement issued in Abuja on Monday that it received intelligence that Tinubu and some party leaders are striving to swap the alleged money to facilitate its vote-buying plans ahead of the 2023 general elections.

The statement signed by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, further disclosed that the PDP was convinced about the earlier notion that the APC in conjunction with some APC governors is responsible for the biting cash scarcity currently rocking the country.

READ ALSO: Tinubu: APC Announces Indefinite Postponement Of Campaign Rally In Oyo

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Ologunagba said, “The party is aware that the N22.5 billion in old N1000 notes was allegedly kept in a Kano State Government facility before being moved to a particular old generation and a certain new generation bank where the regional heads were contacted by the APC presidential campaign to swap the old notes with new ones.

“Further information revealed that the cash is being warehoused by the Tinubu campaign for alleged vote buying in Kano, Kaduna, Bauchi, Jigawa, and Sokoto States. A particular APC state governor is reported to have taken delivery of N500 million new Naira notes to actualize the vote buying plot.”

When contacted, the Chief Spokesman of the Tinubu-Shettima Presidential Campaign Council, Festus Keyamo, stated that it would be a waste of time to reply to the allegation.

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“I have only one sentence for that. It is an irresponsible statement that does not deserve a response,” he said.

The PCC Director of Media and Communication, Bayo Onanuga, debunked the report, saying the PDP is living up to its fame of coming up with frivolous claims.

He challenged the leadership of the opposition party to cut to the chase by providing concrete evidence to back up its claim.

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He stated, “Let them provide the evidence if they uncovered such. It is not enough to dish out cock and bull stories in the name of press Releases. Making senseless allegations every passing day which has become the hallmark of the PDP campaign is not how to win the election.

“Nigerians can’t forget a party of people that looted over $ 2 billion dollars meant for arms procurement when Boko Haram was killing our citizens and almost took over three states in the northeast.

“We challenge PDP to bring out any evidence of their latest allegation otherwise the party of looters should hide its ugly face in perpetual shame.”

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READ ALSO: Who Told El-Rufai North Behind Tinubu, Bafarawa Asks

Meanwhile, the Publicity Director of APC, Bala Ibrahim, urged the PDP to head to the court, security agencies and regulatory bodies like the Independent National Electoral Commission instead of its usual media trial.

Why issue a statement when you can prove your case in a competent court of law or a regulatory agent like INEC? There are statutory ways of dealing with it.

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“I don’t know why people avoid using the court or investigative agencies to make their point. If they have proof, let them tender it. That’s why the courts, security agencies, and national financial units like EFCC and ICPC are there.

“It is obvious the PDP is seeing the sign of defeat and merely trying to rock the boat by coming up with all sorts of allegations to get public sympathy,” he stated.

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Tinubu: APC Announces Indefinite Postponement Of Campaign Rally In Oyo

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The All Progressives Congress (APC) has postponed its presidential rally in Oyo State following the protests rocking the state.

The party made this announcement on Monday.

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DAILY POST reports that the presidential candidate of the APC, Bola Ahmed Tinubu had been billed to visit Ibadan on Tuesday in continuation of his presidential campaign.

The party, however, said it will no longer be holding the campaign rally as earlier planned.

The Publicity Secretary of the APC in Oyo State, Wasiu Olawale Sadare, confirmed the postponement.

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Sadare in a short statement made available to journalists on Monday noted that the postponement became necessary in view of the crisis caused by the scarcity of new naira notes and petroleum.

READ ALSO: JUST IN: Gunmen Attack APC Campaign Venue In Rivers

Sadare in the statement sent to DAILY POST in Ibadan said, “We regret to announce the indefinite postponement of our presidential rally earlier slated for tomorrow (Tuesday).

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“The decision was taken, apparently, in consideration to the prevailing challenges facing the people and the need to allow President Muhammadu Buhari work around the situation and ensure that normalcy return particularly as it concerns fuel and currency notes crisis”.

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