•Party hinges nation’s rising debt profile on alleged incompetence
Former military president, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (rtd) has advised the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to conduct a free, fair and transparent presidential primary.He urged the party to learn from its past mistakes that led to its defeat at the 2015 general elections, urging that aspirants should not see the contest as a do-or-die affair.
Babangida made the call yesterday when former governor of Sokoto State and a presidential hopeful on the platform, Alhaji Attahiru Dalhatu, Bafarawa visited him in Minna, Niger State.Though the duo had held a closed-door meeting lasting for an hour, the outcome was, however, kept secret. But it was gathered that they may have discussed the forthcoming primary.
It was learnt that Bafarawa might have sought the support of the erstwhile leader on his political ambition. Babangida, however, told the delegation that PDP could not afford to go through another round of crisis, thus the need for fairness and transparency in all of its dealings, including the upcoming primary.He noted all the aspirants seeking the party’s nod were capable of leading the country out of its current predicament.
The retired military leader described Bafarawa as an upright and honest man with intimidating political credentials to pilot the affairs of the nation.“Your recent triumph at the court over corruption allegations is a clear indication that you are a honest and transparent person, and Nigerians need someone like you,” Babangida stated.
Bafarawa had intimated his host that he entered the race to rescue the country from the prevailing insecurity, hunger, injustice and impunity.However, the PDP said President Muhammadu Buhari’s alleged poor understanding of current global economic dynamics and protection of humongous corruption were responsible for the accumulated N22 trillion national debt burden.
In a statement by its national publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, the party noted: “Had President Buhari heeded wise counsel to allow competent hands to manage the nation’s economy and had he not continued to provide official cover for corruption in his presidency, the nation would not have been in this current embarrassing economic situation.”
The PDP alleged that that “since President Buhari assumed office and took control of our once robust economy, his administration has not been able to articulate any germane policy to sustain, let alone, grow the economy, but had instead, resorted to borrowing, while allowing his cronies and APC leaders to fritter away trillions of naira earned by the nation in the last three years.
“Why would the Buhari administration not accumulate debts when it has continued to cover up corrupt practices under its watch, including the alleged stealing of N9 trillion, through underhand oil contracts in the NNPC and Ministry of Petroleum Resources as well as the alleged illegal lifting of crude oil worth N1.1 trillion by 18 unregistered companies to service APC interests, among others.”