Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has ridiculed President Muhammadu Buhari’s recent decision to attend a peace parley in Mali while failing to proffer solutions to the myriad of political, economic and security crises ravaging the country.
The party in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, on Sunday, said “since President Buhari has shown that he can leave the comfort and safety of the Presidential Villa, he should respond to the distress calls by Nigerians and immediately visit Katsina, Kaduna, Zamfara, Taraba, Benue, Borno, Adamawa, Sokoto, Yobe and other states of our nation being daily pillaged by bandits, insurgents, kidnappers and marauders.”
The party described the president’s “prioritization” of the situation in Mali over the worsening political and economic instability in Nigeria, as well as escalated banditry, killings and bloodletting in various parts of the country as a misplacement of governance urgency, “as well as an inexcusable dereliction of statutory responsibilities vested on the person and office of the president and commander-in-chief of our nation.”
“The PDP laments that a president and commander-in-chief who cannot live up to his statutory governance responsibility at home but is always pre-occupied with seeking photo opportunity abroad leaves much to be desired.
“While the PDP has nothing against Nigeria’s participation in seeking peace in troubled Mali, it is however depressing that, upon re-opening his doors, President Buhari had Mali as his priority destination and could not demonstrate the littlest solidarity with Nigerians, even if it is a whistle-stop at any of our military posts in the fronts or any of the distressed states.
“Our party believes that Mr. President receives a regular briefing on the worsened security and economic situation in our country and ought to take these issues as a priority.
“Indeed, Mr. President must be receiving a regular briefing on the daily ravaging of communities and mindless killings in Katsina, his home state; Kaduna, Zamfara, Taraba, Benue, Borno, Adamawa, Sokoto, Yobe States, among others in addition to the reported challenges facing our gallant soldiers in the fronts, yet upon reopening of his doors, he chose to jet away to Mali instead of addressing these critical issues at home.
“Mr. President has taken no decisive steps to address the worsening economic situation in our country, which is daily plummeting in his hands, the accumulating foreign debts, plundering of foreign reserves, frightening unemployment rate, devaluation of our naira, high cost of living and issues of reduced life expectancy in Nigeria.”
It also accused President Buhari of failing “to forcefully confront the widespread corruption that has become a hallmark of his administration in which officials and leaders of his party have been engaging in unbridled treasury looting as being exposed in the investigative hearings at the National Assembly.”
The PDP maintained that under the watch of the president, ‘‘Nigeria has experienced the worst form of division and instability in the polity due to the unchecked violation of our constitution, disregard to principles of separation of powers and federal character; manifest arrogance of government officials, abuse of human rights, nepotism, disobedience to court orders, stifling of free speech, harassment of opposition and violation of extant statutory regulations.
“Nigerians, therefore, wonder what President Buhari has to present on the table in Mali alongside other West African leaders when his administration has failed to demonstrate the required commitment to confront our domestic political, economic and security challenges, which escalated due to its incompetence and seething corruption.
“The expectation of Nigerians is for President Buhari to invite other African leaders home and attract a synergy to find solutions for our own challenges.”
It therefore urged the presidency to stop ridiculing the president with “showboating trips outside the country while governance is failing at home.”