Niyi Odebode, John Alechenu, Olusola Fabiyi, Olaleye Aluko, Ted Odogwu, Enyioha Opara, Olaleye Aluko and Godwin Isenyo
The All Progressives Congress has rejected what it described as doomsday prophecies by two British-based institutions about Nigeria’s economy and the 2019 presidential election.
The APC position was contained in a statement by its acting National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena, in Abuja on Wednesday.
The statement was the APC’s response to reports by The Economist Intelligence Unit, the research unit of The Economist, and a multinational banking and financial services company, HSBC.
The Economist had in a report by its EIU predicted that the Peoples Democratic Party would win the 2019 presidential election.
The HSBC also said the second term of President Muhammadu Buhari would stunt the economy of the country.
But Nabena said the reports were nothing but the usual doomsday prophesies about Nigeria, which had serially proved false, deceptive and unreliable.
The statement read in part, “The All Progressives Congress urges Nigerians to regard these ‘expert analyses and prophecies’ for what they are and dismiss them accordingly.
“We should remember similar prophesies and analyses about the political situation in Nigeria made some years back by similar Western institutions.
“It was prophesied that Nigeria would collapse in 2015, resulting in some ethnic nationalities going their separate ways.
“Here we are, nearly four years after the doomsday prophecy; the Nigerian federation rather than collapse is waxing stronger with President Buhari administration striving to unite the country and consolidate positively on the strength of our diversity.”
The party wondered why it was only negative reports that The Economist, HSBC and similar institutions had about Nigeria.
It added that the two institutions did not see all the positive impacts that the APC administration was making in relation to ongoing economic reforms, fight against corruption, infrastructure drive and counter-insurgency.
The APC listed some of the recoveries made from officials of the immediate past administration by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission as well as increases in remittances by public institutions such as the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board and the Federal Inland Revenue Service as evidence of the Buhari-led administration’s success in transparency.
In a veiled reference to the ex-minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, the statement read, “A former minister in the immediate-past administration who is resident in the United Kingdom is alleged to control enough corruptly-obtained assets whose value if put to productive use could have employed thousands of Nigerians.
“How much of this loot has the United Kingdom, the base of these experts, returned to Nigeria? Of course, these experts are conveniently oblivious of these and many similar cases.
“Rather than consider the plight of Nigerians and campaign for the return of the stolen funds, these institutions have chosen to dissipate energy spewing doomsday prophecies on Nigeria.
“We advise these economic experts to focus on their pressing domestic issues and ponder, for example, on the important question of the role Britain will play in the world, post Brexit.”
Nigeria is doomed if Buhari is elected –SDP, ADC
The Social Democratic Party and the African Democratic Congress have lambasted the APC for defending Buhari.
The SDP National Publicity Secretary, Alfa Mohammed, said, “The APC is only denying what is obvious. The reports are genuine and we know these things already. Of course, we all know that Nigeria will be doomed if a President, who is not in charge, returns for another four years.”
In his reaction, the ADC National Chairman, Chief Okey Nwosu, said, “I wish I could rewind to four years back when the APC was condemning Nigeria’s economy based on the same foreign reports.
“Are these reports true? Yes. The poverty and unemployment index in the country is obvious. Even in agriculture and healthcare, we are not catching up. Our President still goes to same Britain periodically for medical attention.
“The APC has closed its eyes to the truth and has tried to suppress the opposition by all means. It has now extended this condemnation to the international community.
PDP hails reports
The PDP said the reports confirmed its position that Nigerians had rejected Buhari ahead of the 2019 presidential election.
The PDP said Buhari’s rejection was predicated on his alleged failure and the deception of the APC in the last three years.
The National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan, in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday said the findings by the two organisations that President Buhari stood no chance in the general elections and that his winning portended grave danger for Nigeria was in tandem with the stance of majority of Nigerians.
He noted that Nigerians were fed up with Buhari due to his alleged incompetence and unprecedented corruption under his watch.
This, he said, had resulted in the ruining of the nation’s once robust economy, “with attendant mass job loss, ravaging hunger, starvation and disease, as well as escalated insecurity.”
“The world knows the reason the Buhari-led APC administration has resorted to harassment and vicious attacks on the opposition, assaults on the judiciary and the National Assembly, as well as unrelenting machination to compromise the Independent National Electoral Commission to rig the elections.
“This is also the reason President Buhari rejected the amendment to the Electoral Act passed by the National Assembly, which practically checks all APC’s rigging strategies ahead of the 2019 general elections,” Ologbondiyan added.
He said the fear of imminent defeat was the reason Buhari was allegedly against the amendment that checked the use of underage voters, provided for online publication of voter register in addition to instant transmission of results from the polling to collation centres, thus eliminating interferences and planned alteration of results by the APC.
“Nigerians are aware that this APC and INEC have been conniving to secretly create 30,000 illegal polling units in remote areas, as well as registration of compromised observers to validate their machinations.
“Now that Mr President is aware that his approval rating among Nigerians and across the world has hit the rocks despite the many choreographed endorsement stunts by his handlers, the PDP urges him to rein in his lackeys, bury the idea of rigging the elections and get ready to accept an inevitable defeat.”
The National Chairman of the Labour Party, Abdulkadir Abdulsalam, also said the APC would lose the 2019 election as predicted.
He spoke to one of our correspondents on the telephone on Wednesday.
Abdulsalam said, “The British groups merely stated what some of us already know, Nigerians are tired of this government and will vote it out in 2019 if we have a free and fair election.”
APC’s change brought hunger – Kwankwaso
In a related development, a PDP presidential aspirant and a former Governor of Kano State, Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso, on Wednesday said he and others who supported Buhari in 2015 made the “greatest mistake.”
Addressing the Niger State PDP supporters at the party’s secretariat in Minna, the former governor said the much talked about change only brought hunger, killings and unemployment.
He said, “I will not support or remain in that type of change. That is why I am back to the PDP to change the change that has brought untold hardship on Nigerians.”
In Kano State, a former Vice-President and PDP presidential aspirant, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, promised a turnaround in the “current misfortune of Nigerians.”
He spoke while addressing the PDP chieftains and supporters at the residence the party’s state Chairman in Kano, Ma’sud El-Doguwa. (Punch)