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MAY 29 ANNIVERSARY SPEECH: PDP sets agenda for Buhari

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has advised President Muhammadu Buhari not to deliver false performance claims, or empty promises in his speech to mark May 29 Inauguration Day.

It said Buhari should rather apologise for the “tragic failures of his administration and for wrecking our once robust and cohesive nation, imposing hardship and creating acute despondency across the country in the last five years.”

A democratically elected president of the country was inaugurated on May 29 after the return of democracy to Nigeria in 1999.

Since then, Nigeria has celebrated May 29 as Democracy Day until Buhari’s government changed the country’s Democracy Day to June 12, which took effect from 2019.

He, however, retained May 29, as Inauguration Day.

In a statement on Wednesday by its national publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, PDP counseled Buhari to be sincere in dishing out his scorecard.

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It said, “President Buhari should also address the manifest manipulations, bloodletting, intimidation, coercions, abuse of power and human right violations that characterized the 2019 Presidential elections as such is the only way to achieve a healing in our national polity.

“Our party further advises President Buhari against living in denial of the ugly fact that his administration and his dysfunctional All Progressives Congress (APC) had deserted, betrayed and abandoned underprivileged Nigerians, particularly our youth, after the APC deceived them with false promises to grab power in 2015.

“The PDP further urges Mr. President not to allow his handlers to push him into sugarcoating the colossal failures of the last one year, which had been characterized by humongous corruption, worsened insecurity and economic hardship, while the President, who had promised to lead from the front, recedes deeper into the luxury and safety of Aso Presidential Villa.

“Our party calls on President Buhari not to give room for presidential advisers to further ridicule his office by making him read another windy speech that would be laced with vacuous promises, doctored performance claims and myriads of incorrect and unsupported statistics that would end up being at total variance with the harsh realities on ground.”

It added the President Buhari should know that he would use the COVID-19 pandemic as excuse for failure as “his administration had since lost grip of the security and economic situation in our country even before the outbreak of the scourge.”

According to PDP, Buhari should use the occasion to reflect that his administration had ruined the country’s productive sector with harsh policies leading to closure of businesses, dearth in foreign and domestic investments and acute unemployment, with over 40 million job losses.

“Mr President should also reflect that under his watch, our naira which was valued at N160 to a dollar under the PDP, fell to N500 and then to the current N390; that his administration increased the price of fuel from where the PDP left it at N87 per liter to N145 and only reduced it to N125 after much pressure from our party; that his government increased the Value Added Tax (VAT) from 5% to 7.5%, despite the attendant spike in costs of food and essential services.”

The PDP concluded that Buhari should align with the expectations of Nigerians by apologising for his failures and getting more competent hands to manage the affairs of the nation in the remaining three years of his administration.

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