▪︎Laments inability to pay salaries in 428 agencies
▪︎Urges NASS to reject anti-social media bill
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Thursday charged the Federal Government to explain the management of the N31trillion loan from China, particularly in the face of reports that government was unable to pay salaries of workers in 428 agencies.
The party, at its 90th National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting in Abuja, alleged that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration had mismanaged the economy to a state of total collapse.
PDP National Chairman, Uche Secondus, drew the attention of party leaders to what he described as indications that “the country is in a very bad shape to the extent that the populace is groaning in pains.”
“This country is sliding into bankruptcy but the government is instead embarking on endless borrowing with no accountability on the already borrowed money.
“Federal Government themselves just reported last week that 428 agencies would not be able to pay salaries this November because of underfunding,” he added.
The PDP chair further said: “At the last count, Nigeria’s debt profile is showing over N31 trillion. A lot of it has been misappropriated.
“While borrowing in economics is not bad, it depends on what the borrowed resources are being used for. With the unprecedented corruption in the system under APC watch, it would be difficult to see the borrowed funds properly deployed.”
The PDP condemned what it described as the government’s failure to improve the lives of the people, noting that youth unemployment is growing at an alarming rate.
“We had also expressed deep concern at the growing human rights abuses in the system, all due to the glaring indifference of the APC administration.
“The consequences of all these failures were brought to the fore when the youths, last month, poured out their anger on the country through a nationwide protest.
“Even though the protest was triggered off by accumulated police brutality, particularly by the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), it developed into a wider rebellion against injustice and poor leadership in the country,” Secondus said.
The meeting dramatised its protest against what it called bad governance by displaying placards with different inscriptions, including #Stop borrowing, #Stop mortgaging our future, #Account for borrowed funds, #Stop the persecution of #EndSARS youth protesters, #Respect Nigeria youths, #Give Nigeria youths a voice and #No to the censoring of social media.
PDP charged the National Assembly to reject the pressure to pass a law that would be used to censor social media.
At the meeting, the Senate Minority Leader, Eyinnaya Abaribe, noted that because “the voice of the opposition is actually in the parliament, we shall try to do the needful by ensuring that the attempt to gag each and every one of us by the government, talking about the media, will fail. We shall fight to ensure that the attempted legislation does not see the light of the day.
‘The caucus would also ensure that in the Electoral Act that we are tampering with now, we put all the safeguards to ensure that our votes always count.”
The NEC meeting urged the Federal Government to address the fundamental issues raised by the youths, rather than the counterproductive strategy of seeking to hound and intimidate perceived leaders of the peaceful protest by seizing their travel documents, freezing their accounts, and arresting them.
On the defection of Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State, the PDP described the governors’ reasons for his action as pure blackmail.
“We cannot be blackmailed. We have refused to join issues with him in any way but we cannot bow to any blackmail. What I can report to NEC is that the strength of our party in Ebonyi State and South East is intact and the NWC has taken necessary steps to protect and guard it. The real season that informed this decision will soon be exposed.” (The Guardian)