BReturn of our stolen resources and sincere apologies for the havoc wrecked on the country during the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) 16-year rule should be the preoccupation of PDP.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) offers this as a new year counseling to Alhaji Atiku Abubakar following his own tongue-in-cheek advice to his party, the PDP, urging them to concentrate on strengthening and rebuilding the PDP for now, rather that dissipating energy on the 2023 elections. Clearly, the former PDP presidential candidate was anything but sincere in his advice.
Atiku and the PDP represent the wasted past which Nigerians have chosen to discard and correct. The era when national assets were a bazaar for cronies and friends; an era when funds were approved and released for projects that were never executed; an era of waste and impunity; an era of voodoo economy; an era when corruption was a state policy.
Nigerians now enjoy a new dispensation which has ensured massive infrastructural development covering the rail, road, agriculture, aviation, ports, education and health sectors. The resolute and pro-people intervention by the President Muhammadu Buhari government has ensured the plugging of revenue leakages, oil sector reforms, anti-corruption policies, economic diversification, rapid infrastructure development, intensification of fight againt violent extremism among others.
Particularly in the fight against public sector corruption, the recently-launched Open Treasury Portal (OTP) complements previous initiatives such as the administration’s full implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) which has increased the level of accountability and transparency in the financial resources of the government; stoppage of budget padding, contrary to what we witnessed throughout the 16 years of the PDP and pruning out thousands of ghost workers through stricter implementation of Integrated Personnel Payroll System (IPPIS).
While ongoing diversification efforts have recorded great successes particularly in the agricultural sector, oil sector reforms have been landmark. Fuel queues have vanished, cross border smuggling of petroleum products, the subsidy racket and roundtripping by oil marketers which were all perfected under successive PDP administrations have been checked.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) recently reported a massive drop of 570 million litres from the 1.76 billion litres at 55.74 million litres per day distributed in July 2019, a direct result of government’s effort to check cross border smuggling activities.
Post-election, Atiku has been afforded an opportunity to defend himself on the several corruption and criminal indictments that have troubled him in his serial presidential election contests, particularly during the 2019 presidential election. Atiku has rather continued to play the ostrich.
Instead of Atiku focussing on how to corner the 2023 presidential ticket of the PDP or any of the other political parties where he may choose to purchase his ticket, we call on Atiku, along with other PDP leaders to find the courage to return our resources and seek forgiveness from Nigerians.
Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu
National Publicity Secretary
All Progressives Congress (APC)