NIGERIA IN DISTRESS
It is with great pleasure and thanksgiving to God that I welcome you leaders of our great party to this very important 86th National Executive Committee, NEC meeting. I wish to also on behalf of the members of the National Working Committee ( NWC), sincerely congratulate all of you in the executive and Legislative arms for the successful swearing in and inauguration that took place on May 29, 2019 and June 11, 2019 respectively.
I need to happily report to you that our party performance at the gubernatorial level remains outstanding despite the immoral roles of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, to ensure that the will of Nigeria people are not adequately reflected.
I need to also inform you that our flag bearers and their lawyers are currently in the various election tribunals across the country trying to recover their stolen mandates. We are hopeful that by the grace of God and with God fearing judges and Justices, the will of the people will eventually prevail.
Our party also put up some showing during the inauguration of the National Assembly but the ruling APC came up with their 'green card' 'vote and snap' fraud that introduced an unprecedented dimension to the growing corruption index of this administration. My worry is the consequences this brazen corruption would have in the legislative activities of the 9th Assembly.
Meanwhile on your behalf the party congratulated the leadership of the 8th Assembly in particular the Senate President Bukola Saraki and Hon. Yakubu Dogara for the wonderful job they did especially in resisting the executive, maintaining the independence of the legislature and sustaining the doctrine of separation of power.
While the executive is having their wish in the 9th Assembly, PDP as the main opposition party is very uncomfortable that the level of corruption that preceded the emergence of the leadership is capable of undermining the desired robust legislative activities.
Having 'purchased' the leadership of the parliament, we expect the cabals to now fully take over and dictate the show at the legislature. We have even seen the first sign of what is to come when the APC group in the Senate killed a motion to debate the June 12 speech of the imperial President.
Only a conquered parliament with credibility challenge can shy away from discussing a major address of a President just sworn into office, but that is a sign of what is to come when choosing legislative leadership is heavily monetized by a regime that claims to be fighting corruption. The bazar that took place during the election of National Assembly leaders clearly gives a picture of the anti-corruption status and how the APC has become home for looters. Just last week Nigerians witnessed how some corruption charges involving APC chieftains were withdrawn from the EFCC and handed over to the Attorney General for final dropping .
Permit me at this juncture dear leaders to express the disappointment of our party on the embarrassing roles of some of our party members at the National Assembly during the election of their leaders. Party loyalty demands that you stick to your party at any given situation. When personal interest clash with party interest, personal should drown into that of the party, that's what real democrats are expected to do.
In the area of security, as you all are very much aware, the threatening security situation in the country is not abating, rather it's getting worse by the day. Infact the hopelessness in the security situation is underlined in the recent statement of the military hierarchy early this week trying to blame the soldiers for the continued Boko haram incursions. This is after they had severally declared the Boko haram sect to be technically defeated.
The killing of soldiers and civilians by Boko Haram terrorists in the North East and the bandits in the North West has continued unabated. Few weeks ago angry youths in Katsina, the home state of the President had to dump the bodies of 18 persons killed by the bandits in government house for the government to bury and taste the pain of burying. How else can a people whose government cannot provide basic things like security demonstrate their anger and frustrations.
The truth remains that under the watch of President Buhari and APC, Nigeria and her citizens have been degraded and people are no longer proud of their country. Also from the South-South region the health hazards arising from pollutions, black soot in Niger Delta area has continued to wreak havoc killing the people with no clear response from the government notwithstanding that this is region that produces the wealth of the country.
For instance, the people of Polobubo Community in Warri North local Government of Delta state after endless wait for Nigeria government have taken their pathetic case internationally to the World Health Organization WHO, for attention.
PRESIDENT’S JUNE 12 SPEECH
The President's June 12 speech failed woefully to advance any pragmatic solutions to the myriads of problems facing the country a lot of which came as a result of poor governance and insensitivity from the government.
Making a bogus promise of raising 100million people out of poverty is yet many of the wishful thinking anchored on the propaganda agenda of the administration. Nigerians cannot be excited at a speech whose content by experience would never be implemented. Why should any Nigerian be thrilled at a speech of an imperial President who has established history of impunity violation of human rights and rule of law.
When this government came in 2015 with all the goodwill of Nigerians, it was unable to keep any of its words more so now when he is clutching a stolen mandate gotten through a militarized electoral process of harassment and cowing of the electorates.
Rather than taking full responsibility for the lapses the Commander in Chief and the APC instead have been indulging in blame game, the latest being the President's fingering of faceless political and religious leaders as being behind the insecurity in the country without pinpointing anyone.
Nigerians have watched in the feeling of sadness, how this government is only effective in baseless propaganda and in questionable anti-democratic strategies aimed at muzzling up dissecting views for a full blown dictatorship to emerge. Recent closure of the African Independent Television, AIT, and the enormous corruption that preceded the election of leaders of the National Assembly clearly opened a new page in the corruption rating of this administration. Nigerians have also watched in utter disgust how the nation’s heroes who made enormous sacrifice for the unity of this country like former President Olusegun Obasanjo and Gen. T. Y. Danjuma among others are being maligned and insulted by this administration.
In the area of national cohesion, since the 30 months civil war the nation's unity has never been so tested and stretched the way it has been in the last four years in the country. This government through their parochial approach to governance has divided rather than unite the country. This unfortunate development is a consequence of the narrow and nepotic approach of the President to governance which has done grave damage to the harmonious living of Nigerians.
All the gains of the deep rooted electoral process introduced by the PDP administration that elevated the status of this country internationally have been destroyed by a regime that has no respect for the rule of law and other tenets of democracy. Rather what you get is a democratic government that is threatening her voters, tagging them evil for not voting for them.
Beloved party leaders, I cannot finish this address without drawing your attention to the report just released last week by some international bodies that observed our last general elections. In particular, the European Union election observation group, the American based National Democratic Institute, NDI, and International Republican Institute, IRI. The reports of the three highly respected international bodies merely confirmed the feeling of Nigerians that the election that produced President Muhammadu Buhari was marred by rampant irregularities and therefore fell below credibility standard. The report also lampooned the roles of security agencies during the election and noted that the performance of security operatives during the election fell far below the acceptable international best practice.
From these reports therefore it's now obvious even globally that the will of Nigerian voters freely expressed on 23 February 2019 when they came out in their numbers and voted for our candidate Atiku Abubakar was massively rigged and thwarted. This clearly is the verdict of the World who are also watching us as we proceed at the election tribunal.
In conclusion dear leaders of our great party, the fact of all the points I have just enumerated above which is not hidden to all eyes who have been resident in Nigeria since 2015, this government in all sincerity cannot take this country to their so called next level? Maybe as witnessed in the last four years, they will take us to the next level of insecurity, hunger and hopelessness.
The situation is precarious and it entails that all hands must be on deck to retrieve our stolen mandate and save this country. To do that, we must return to God to ask that the will of Nigerian people freely expressed on February 23, 2019 prevails.
Thanks for listening and God bless.
Prince Uche Secondus
National Chairman, PDP