…Wants Buhari to strengthen pension scheme to stimulate economy
…PDP reacts, urges APC national leader to stop playing God
…Minister: 7.9m Nigerians empowered through social investment policies
National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and former Lagos State Governor Bola Tinubu, has said that despite the recent apology rendered to Nigerians by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), it does not have the chance of coming back to power anytime soon, as the party cannot be trusted again with job of managing the country after the havoc it caused during its 16 years rule.
Advising the PDP to perish any thought of possibly coming back to power in 2019, Tinubu said Nigerians were still bleeding from the injury the party inflicted on it through massive corruption and looting of the commonwealth of the nation.
The former Lagos governor, who was speaking at a colloquium organised to mark his 66th birthday, noted that the atrocities the PDP committed in its governance will take a long time to clear, assuring that the ruling APC was working hard to change the narrative.
Tinubu, who also used the opportunity to appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari who was the chairman of the occasion, to strengthen the pension scheme to stimulate the economy, assured that he was going to support the government to rejig the pension scheme for better result, adding that “I promise to come up with a paper on that very soon.”
Speaking further on the challenge of turning around the nation after many years of ruin, Tinubu said, “several Nigerians put heads together to come up with what we have today, we believed in ourselves, we believed in our nation and we are still going to do it, life is not interesting without challenge, we didn’t come as political party promising you honey and sugar, our logo is broom, come together, united Nigeria focusing against corruption and promoting economic revival of the country, you could see new life, investing in people.
“I can see what the government is doing with so little, but the fact that they are doing it, the fact that this is being demonstrated in practical terms is what we need to get our country from the throes of corruption and they said we shouldn’t talk about it, what should we talk about?
“You want us to say ok, we see your thieving, we should join you, no, because we are against you, we won’t encourage you, if we are not talking about it then what is the lesson to all Nigerians; forget those parties, they won’t come back.
“There is no country without challenges, even America is facing challenges, but we have to report to millions of Nigerians who voted for us that this is what we found and we are not going to take it lowly, no matter how the mind of PDP and their supporters maybe.
“Be patient with us, there is a clear understanding here, there is difference between us and them. I am happy the President can change the course of the ship of this state that was headed in the wrong direction, to steer the ship back to anchor before it finally crash.
Now, we have started sailing, the voyage is on, the voyage that we are repairing Nigeria, we are retooling Nigeria, we are reinventing Nigeria, we are redirecting Nigeria.
“It is not an easy course, dear Nigerians, don’t think they are honest, they lie, they falsify, they change figures, for 16 years they made fake promises, gave us fake figures and they said don’t talk about it. It is like saying after you caught a thief, he says don’t look at me, go and steal your own.
“We will not relent, we are struggling on, we have a nation to rescue, we have a good leader to lead, we have hope, we have belief and we have people to invest in, that is what we must do, credit is available, as we give out credit live will be better, once credit is available that is anti- corruption, if credits are open and people needs a car, they don’t have to pay N4 million cash at the same time. We need small loans that will stimulate this economy,” he said.
In his speech at the occasion , President Buhari vowed to turn around the fortunes of the people and lead the people to life changing opportunities, assuring that his government “has the strong will to lead this country for the betterment of the people, we will soon replace corruption with correctness, insecurity with safety and poverty with prosperity,”
He assured that his eyes are fixed on growing the wealth of the people and giving them better life through human capital development and eradication of poverty by ensuring easy access to loans.
Speaking earlier, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo dismissed the last PDP government rebuttal of his claim that that they frittered away over N100 billion of the nation resources few days to election, insisting that the evidence of their profligacy is very glaring.
But the PDP has cautioned Tinubu to stop playing god in determining the leadership of the country.
The party said that Nigerians have the faculty and freedom to determine the leadership that best suit their desires without anybody’s control.
The PDP in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, on Thursday, advised the former governor of Lagos State not to be deluded that the choice of the best leader for Nigeria is at his whims and caprices.
As the 2019 elections draw closer, he was advised not to arrogate to himself the de facto role of deciding where the voting option of a particular section of the country will be tilted.
Ologbondiyan said, ” The PDP also advised Tinubu not to allow himself to be used a second time as he still bears a gross part of the blame for the enthronement of this incompetent, divisive, nepotic and inherently corrupt administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, which has brought the nation to its knees in three years.”
Dissecting Asiwaju Tinubu’s speech at his colloquium in Lagos, the PDP spokesperson said the speech, rather than being a damage of the PDP, ended up amplifying an admittance of the failure of President Buhari and the APC administration.
“The PDP watched with amusement as Asiwaju Tinubu struggled with words to appease President Buhari and give him assurances that he can win a second term election in the face of mass failure both in governance and in their discredited, rejected and troubled platform.
“It was a direct admittance of failure and indictment on President Buhari’s administration, when Asiwaju pointedly told the President that the ship of the nation, under his (Buhari’s) watch, still needs to be rescued, almost three years down the line.
“It is tragic that Asiwaju had to tutor his visitor, who had no policy direction since his election in 2015, by engaging in a revision of the programmes and policies of the PDP, such as the leasing system, the mortgage and pension schemes which boosted the economy and directly impacted on the lives of Nigerians.
“More pathetic is the fact that the APC leader presented the PDP programmes as if he was introducing novel ideas in the economy. This clearly stood with our position that the APC government is incompetent and lacking in ideas of how to move the nation forward”.
However, the party congratulated Tinubu on his birthday while it considers it needful, to forewarn him to study the current ambience of Nigerian politics as it relates to the failures of the Buhari Presidency and the fact that the citizens have since rejected this Presidency and the APC.
The PDP advised Tinubu not to find himself swimming against the tide.
Also speaking at the colloquium to mark Tinubu’s 66th birthday, the Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, said over seven million Nigerians of the targeted 10 million are currently benefitting from the government social investment policies.
Speaking on the topic, Social Investment and Governance – the example of National Social investment Policy (NIPS), Mrs. Ahmed said 2500 vulnerable Nigerians are currently receiving the N5,000 monthly stipends promised by the Buhari’s administration during its campaign.
She said the NIPS is focused on addressing the worrisome trend in the various sectors including environment, education and unemployment.
Her words: “We are established to tackle poverty, unemployment and helping the vulnerable, currently 7.9 million Nigerians are benefitting from the government social investment policies. The office has recorded about 70 percent of its 10 million target.”
She added that another 1.5 million Nigerians are also benefitting from the process indirectly such as drivers, cooks, stewards among others.
The event was attended by frontline traditional rulers, top industry players and political bigwigs including the Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi, Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, Progressive Governor’s Forum Chairman and Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha, governors of Oyo, Abiola Ajimobi;
Kano, Abdullahi Umar Ganduje; Sokoto, Aminu Tambuwal, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Jim Ovia, Oba Otudeko, members of the National and Lagos State Assemblies, members of the Federal Executive Council members led by the SGF Boss Mustapha, former EFCC Chairman, Malam Nuhu Ribadu, and former SGF Babachair Lawal, among several others.