PDP chieftain berates Buhari over comments on past governments

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Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain in the North, Alhaji Shuaibu Idris Mikati has condemned President Muhammadu Buhari’s pronouncement that the 16 years of its rule was a waste and failure.

He urged the All Progressives Congress (APC) government to fix the economy instead of lamenting over the past.

Mikati spoke yesterday at a press briefing in Kaduna State while listing the achievements the nation recorded under the 16 years’ rule of former President Olusegun Obasanjo and his successors.

According to him, it was not politically expedient for Buhari to have concluded that the reign of the opposition PDP in government was “a monumental failure”.

He said: “No doubt there are issues, there were issues and there are still issues even as we speak with this present government. When President Buhari came out publicly to say that 16 years of PDP was a waste, I think he is not being fair. Leaders and elders when they want to speak should be careful not to make a blanket accusation. There were periods when the then governments of PDP did extremely well for Nigeria.”

Highlighting the achievements of the PDP, Mikati said: “When Obasanjo was in power for eight years at the centre, we had over $10 billion in excess crude account. Obasanjo midwifed the birth of Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) in Nigeria whereby today, we have almost $2 billion.

“When Obasanjo left in 2007, there was over $60 billion in our foreign reserves. From foreign reserves to excess crude accounts to sovereign wealth funds, we had over $60 billion. When we had the challenges of 2008 when the economy was about to collapse what saved this country was those savings.”

Mikati gave examples of governors who performed creditably in their various states under the 16 years rule of the PDP , stressing: “In his eight years of administration, Ahmed Mohammed Makarfi in Kaduna constructed the roads that up till now are unequalled.

“Let us also look at Katsina State. Nobody can say that the late Umaru Musa Yar’adua did not revolutionalise the state where President Muhammadu Buhari came from.

“In Lagos where I stay, love Fashola or hate Fashola, he carried out monumental improvement in the lives of the citizens of Lagos. You could say that he was not a member of PDP, but it was during the time when the PDP was at the centre of affairs that he was able to perform.

“If you go to Rivers State, anybody who is familiar with the level of development in the city called Port Harcourt will know that Rotimi Amaechi did well.

“In Sokoto State, Aliyu Magata Wamakko and Bauchi, Ahmed Mu’azu, did well under PDP and the legacies are there to speak for them. If anybody thinks PDP has ruined the country, let him come out with facts and figures. How did PDP ruin the country?”

“And we are now in a position where we are no longer in an electioneering campaign. You are running government; do you run government by disparaging your past? Or do you run government by coming out with policies and programmes that would address what is on ground?

“Nigerians knew that there were challenges and that was the reason they refused to vote PDP back into power and they voted for him because Nigerians believe in him and his capacity to address the economic ills today. I think we should reduce significantly looking backward on other people’s failure and not addressing the challenges on our hands.”

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