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PDP to Buhari: Beware of ‘cosmetic governance’

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to be wary of what it termed ‘cosmetic

Olisah Metuh
Olisah Metuh
governance,’ just as the party described as ‘imaginary’ some of the achievements credited to the President.
In an open letter to President Buhari signed by the it’s National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, and made available to Global Patriot Newspapers, Tuesday, the party reminded the President of PDP’s promise not to ‘get involved in distracting or detracting him from delivering good governance to the Nigerian people’ but has had to comment so as to ‘put the records straight’ on the achievements credited to President Buhari by his aides.“Because of the overzealousness of your spokespersons and some members of your party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in dramatizing some imaginary achievements of your administration in a space of one month, there is need to put the records straight.
“We believe that one month is such a short time to assess any government, however when this administration and your party started rolling out premature scorecards of imaginary achievements, it became necessary for us and indeed most Nigerians to X-ray them.
“We need to bring to your notice certain indices that if not properly corrected are capable of derailing the smooth running of your administration. It is incontrovertible that instead of focusing on the promises you made to Nigerians and on policy thrusts that will move our economy forward, the ruling party has been made to be very high on propaganda, deceitful engagement and cosmetic governance,” the party stated.
Urging President Buhari to extricate himself ‘from these agents of propaganda who continue to believe that Nigerians would be swayed by these cosmetic interventions instead of real business of government’, the PDP said: “We believe you should not allow your Presidency to be pushed into the gimmicks of playing to the gallery and attempting to use the dramatization of promissory notes and pledges by foreign interests, false premature claims of victory against insurgency, dramatization of salary cut and rejection of official cars, all to gain cheap popularity and create an impression that the government is on course when in the actual fact, the new administration has not been able to locate a bearing since its inauguration in May.
“While we appreciate the symbolic gesture by Mr. President in ‘cutting’ his N14 million annual basic salary by 50 percent, it should be noted that Nigerians would not be wavered by the N7million annual donation and rejection of official cars, and forget their expectations for the implementation of his long list of campaign promises for which he was elected into office.
“The Presidency should know that these orchestration, no matter how populist it may seem does not in any way address the burning issues of employment, worsening security situation, decline in the economy, avoidable inactivity in government businesses, and continued apparent slide of the naira which has dipped from under N200 to the dollar in May to an all time low of N238 under the APC administration among others.”
Continuing, the party noted that Nigerians cannot be deluded by impressions ‘aimed to make government appear to be on course when it has only been a case of all motion, no movement, spiced with unnecessary excuses.’
Metuh in the statement stressed that ‘instead of allowing his government to be taken over by needless showmanship, Mr. President must realize that the people would not judge him by such measures but on the extent to which he addressed critical issues of governance for which he was voted into power.’
The party posited therefore that the issue at hand remains ‘about the President facing the challenges of governance and assembling his team of experts and capable hands to manage the economy, which has been on the decline since he assumed office. It is also about allowing the different arms of government, especially the National Assembly to work smoothly and encourage conducive democratic environment where the rule of law, personal freedom and security of lives and property are guaranteed.’
Drawing President Buhari’s attention to the growing concern that under his watch ‘democratic institutions are no longer free, while activities of the National Assembly have been disrupted,’ the party stated that the nation’s electoral body has ’lost its independence due to the appointment of an Acting Chairman that is publicly known to have very strong relationship with your good self and key members of your party’ as well as the flagrant disregard of court orders.’
“We also wish to bring to your notice, Mr. President that Nigerians are now agitated that this government has failed to hit the ground running as it promised. They are worried that the President who promised to unveil his cabinet two weeks after his inauguration in May, has, two months after, not been able to decide on key appointments such as ministers, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), a Chief of Staff and advisers in key sectors of the economy.
“They are worried by the drifting of government business in ministries, departments and agencies due to the absence of political heads vested with coordinating of important policies, which are now in tatters and taking its toll on the economy as indicated in the terrifying crippling of foreign and domestic investments and harrowing retrogression in the capital market which has continued to lose billions of naira since May 29th.
“Instead of engaging in pointless propaganda, the APC and the Presidency should be more concerned about the decline in the economy with the continued fall in the value of the naira which has descended from under N200 to the dollar they inherited in May to all time low of N238 even in the face of the President’s promise to bring it to same value with the US Dollar,” Metuh stressed.
The PDP also cautioned that ‘the needless celebration of your party over Monday’s change of Service Chiefs is totally premature considering the corresponding urgency of previous administrationsin this regard.’
“Also, as a quick reminder, we wish to notify you that in line with your promises, Nigerians are still eager for information regarding the five million new jobs, monthly N5, 000 each to 25 million poor citizens, monthly allowance to discharged but unemployed Youth Corps members, free meals to school children and bringing the naira to the same value with the dollar; among other promises upon which you and your party gained access to power,” the open letter read.
Concluding, Metuh restated that ‘the PDP’s commitment to constructive opposition is due to our conviction as major stakeholders in the Nigerian project that whatever success achieved by you is not for your individual benefit or that of the APC, but for our collective and common good as a country.’
The PDP, therefore, told President Buhari that the purpose of the letter was to ‘inform you and indeed all Nigerians about potential areas of derailment, not with the intention of embarrassing you and your administration, but to bring good governance for the benefit of all Nigerians.’

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