By Lanre Issa-Onilu
The Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and some leaders of their travelling theatre group took their troupe to Lokoja, the capital of Kogi State yesterday. In their usual way, they spent hours in the sun, made a lot of noise, and left without making any statement worthy of note.
Like millions of Nigerians who are wondering how PDP got to this level of shamelessness, our party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), is equally bemused by the manner the once boisterous political party degenerated into this current pitiful state.
It is shocking to see the few leaders of PDP who are still showing up in the public for campaign alongside the discredited Alhaji Atiku, standing before the paltry crowd in the Lokoja stadium, blowing hot air, stomping the platform, and making empty promises.
What did the PDP promise the people of Kogi State? Nothing. It is that bad. Understandably, it must have been a very difficult situation for the PDP leaders to face the people of Kogi State to ask for support to return to power. Perhaps, many of them must have travelled on the Abuja – Lokoja express road that was awarded in 2001 when Atiku was the Vice President. What explanation did they have for the Kogi people on why the less than 200 kilometres road was not completed for 15 years while the party was still in power? Did it worry their conscience when they sighted the Sukuk billboard on the road, showing how President Buhari is completing the project? Lest we forget, the Abuja – Lokoja road is one of the most important highways in this country. The road connects the South South, the South East, the South West and part of the North Central to the federal capital territory, Abuja. It has huge implications for the socio-economic wellbeing of the people of this country. This road became a conduit pipe for the PDP government to fleece this country of billions of naira every year, for one and half decade.
The Obajana – Kabba road was impassable for over a decade. It is although less than 60 kilometres, but it links the Kogi west zone to the rest of the country. Many PDP leaders who rode on the road to the rally in Lokoja must have been ashamed of themselves to see the road nearing completion under the APC administration. We hope Atiku and his other jokers found time to see the Itakpe – Warri railway project that was awarded over three decades ago, which the APC administration has just completed. Did they also see the Lokoja – Okene highway under construction?
The PDP needs to be reminded that while it has no antecedents of completing projects it inherited or initiated from 1999 to 2015 due to the rapacious disposition of its leaders, the APC administration led by President Muhammadu Buhari, has made it a cardinal policy to complete abandoned projects it inherited and to start new ones that have high impact for the economy recovery of our country.
We know the PDP leaders didn’t have the time to visit the market women. They are not in the class of the people they would like to meet. For 16 years of their ignoble rule, they had nothing for these market women. Neither did they have for the farmers. We hope they will find time to visit these very important Nigerians when next their theatre group stage a drama anywhere in the country. We encourage them to learn from the APC government and take a few lessons from how the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has been relating with the common people to feel their pulse. They should visit these people to see the impact the APC administration’s social investment programmes are making on the common people.
All the PDP leaders have been shouting is hunger everywhere they go. Nigerians understand clearly what this means. The APC administration has denied the pillagers who have found a home in PDP access to the resources of this country. In the past, during the unfortunate reign of PDP, it was the common Nigerians who were crying of hunger. As President Muhammadu Buhari noted, yesterday, during the inauguration of the APC Presidential Campaign Council, the leaders of PDP had become used to taking for themselves the resources that belonged to all of us. Each time these political marauders cry of hunger, this administration is reassured that we are doing the right thing. The era when people who are privileged to find themselves in public office abuse their positions with reckless abandon has come to an end. Public office shall never be a licence to our commonwealth.
Meanwhile, we join the people of this country as they wait for the next fallacious allegation the sinking PDP would make against our President, his family members, the Vice President, the national chairman of our party, and other notable members of our party.
*Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu is the National Publicity Secretary
of the All Progressives Congress (APC)