The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, on Wednesday reacted to President Muhammadu Buhari’s New Year message to Nigerians, describing it as completely uninspiring, tasteless, repetitive and vacuous.
The PDP, in a statement signed by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, said the message failed to “galvanize any form of hope for a despairing nation like ours”.
According to the statement, Mr Buhari “should stop presenting a picture as if he has the option to continue in office beyond 2023”.
The statement read: “The PDP holds, in total submission to the letter and spirit of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), that it is not an issue of ‘standing down’ or not being ‘available’ for future election, but a decided and inevitable position as contained in our constitution that he must quit office after two terms which will end in 2023. Mr. President, therefore, does not have any other choice before the law.
“Whether President Buhari likes it or not, he and his APC will exit the arena at the end of this tenure. History is replete with lessons from those who sought to stretch our nation beyond her limits.
“Moreover, President Buhari and his APC ought to have known by now that Nigerians have moved ahead and cannot wait to see them go. “The citizens are no longer swayed by empty promises and false performance indices as replete in Mr. President’s new year message.
“Our party restates that President Buhari should, therefore, end this showboating by issuing a fresh new year message to demonstrate a commitment to electoral reforms by returning the 8th Assembly Electoral Act amendment bill, which he refused to sign, to the National Assembly without any further delay.
“He should also be prepared to waste no time in signing the bill into law when retooled to meet current exigencies and passed by the current National Assembly.
“President Buhari should also order the immediate prosecution of those who perpetrated violence in the 2019 general election as well as the governorship elections in Ekiti, Osun, Bayelsa, and Kogi States where thugs and compromised security agents were used to unleashing mayhem and killed innocent compatriots who came out to perform their civic responsibility at the polls.
“Mr. President should apologise for the violation of human rights, attacks on institutions of democracy, disobedience to court orders and constitutional violations under his administration as well as order an immediate investigation and prosecution of all those who played roles in these ugly episodes.
“Furthermore, the PDP charges President Buhari to use the opportunity of a fresh New Year Message to apologise for his administration’s failure to secure the nation and for plunging our country into a biting economic recession occasioned by the incompetence, corruption and unbridled treasury looting in his government which led to the degrading of our nation from one of the world’s fastest-growing economies to world’s poverty capital with an excruciating unemployment rate, decayed infrastructure and accumulated $83 billion debt.
“Such course of humility in showing remorse, seeking help and getting competent hands to manage our economy and security system should be the legacy which Mr. President is expected to pursue without which history cannot be kind to his administration and his APC.”