- Category: Politics
- Published on Monday, 29 November 2010 07:58
- Written by The Sun
- Hits: 1464
The former Vice-President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, had while responding to his selection as the North’s consensus presidential aspirant of the PDP decried perceived poor implementation of the budget and also alleged that the nation’s foreign reserve had been depleted.
In his defence, President Jonathan described the former vice president as ignorant of the workings of the economy and cautioned him against playing politics with the nation’s economy as a way of gaining cheap political sympathy in the coming 2011 general elections.
But the former head of state said both Atiku and President Jonathan were two sides of a coin in a party that had no wherewithal to revamp the nation’s economy, rather it would further push it into abyss.
He said it was the planned programme of action on how to redirect the economy to make it buoyant that stood the CPC out of the cluster of parties of which the PDP was one.
The presidential hopeful stated that the claims by Alhaji Atiku and the counter claims by the Presidency only deepened the conviction that PDP was a dilemma to the country and her people and could only have visited hardship on the people through economic mismanagement that had spanned about 12 years.
Speaking through his spokesman, Dennis Aghanya, Gen. Buhari in his reaction to the disagreement between the two personalities lamented that the greatest misfortune that could befall Nigeria was to allow PDP win any of the 36 states of the federation let alone the Presidency in 2011.
General Buhari said investigations by the CPC revealed that the nation’s external reserves “which stood at about $64billion, when Yaradua/Jonathan were sworn in now stands at about $30billion; our foreign debt which was reduced by the OBJ’s regime from $37.5billion to $3.5billion is now back to over $30billion; and our excess crude which stood at about $20billion is now less than $1billion. Also our domestic debt is over N3.5trillion with our local contractors’ at the receiving end.
The implication of the development, he argued, was that so much money had been wasted with virtually no physical development to show for it, except for the continued impoverishment of innocent Nigerians. “The present administration is busy packing all the money meant for development, which ordinarily would have brought positive transformation to the society; an opportunity the President would have capitalized on to request for votes in 2011 general elections, rather than cutting corners and using the nation’s wealth to rig the 2011 general elections.
“The argument for and against, going on between the former vice president, Atiku Abaubakar, and President Goodluck Jonathan, is all a PDP affair and in confirmation of the looting of our national treasury going on by the PDP led federal government.” It is an understatement to say that the PDP government has mismanaged our economy, but most appropriate to say that it stinks with corruption.
“Quite acceptable that the government’s economic reform programmes were on course, according to the Finance Minister, Segun Aganga, and that the recurrent expenditure of the budget has been implemented 100 per cent with over N750 billion capital expenditure so far released, hoping to hit N900 billion by the 2010 financial year. To what extent has this impacted in the physical transformation of the society?
“No job for our teeming job seekers. Our national highways are death traps while most industries are either closing down or relocating the neighbouring countries. The finance minister also posited that the three tiers of government jointly invested $5.5 billion different on NIPPs projects across the country, the money drawn from the excess crude account, without any meaningful improvement in the power sector. This sector has remained a conduit pipe for successive PDP governments to siphon our huge oil revenue since the country’s return to democracy in 1999.
“The agenda of our former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, to balkanize Nigeria after his reign, seem to still be on course. If not, why is this regime currently depending on the nation’s emergence oil reserve stored in the northern part of the country, an effort designed to artificially stabilize the problem of fuel scarcity in the country.
“This is to gain cheap popularity against the forthcoming 2011 general elections. What shall we fall back on incase of any serious natural disaster that may befall the nation; a disaster that may affect both the production of natural crude and the importation of finished petroleum products? Is building of more refineries, as a matter of priority, not a better solution?