The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described the 2021 New Year address by President Muhammadu Buhari as empty and directionless, saying that it confirms the party’s belief that the nation has indeed has become leaderless.
In a statement issued in Abuja in reaction to the broadcast on Friday, the main opposition party observed that the president’s speech underscores the urgent need for compatriots to come together and salvage the nation that, it said, is fast heading to a failed state.
Signed by Kola Ologbondiyan,
National Publicity Secretary, the statement lamented as appalling that on New Year Day, all that President Buhari could offer a troubled and frustrated nation was “a regurgitated script full of lame excuses and empty promises that address nothing.”
The party added: “As a President, President Buhari has not demonstrated the capacity to play his own part, as he claimed, having failed to find solution for the security and economic challenges that pervade our nation under his incompetent and lethargic watch.
“The myriads of lame excuses in Mr. President’s address again underlines our national misfortune of a weak leadership that is unable to resolutely confront and vanquish bandits, terrorists, kidnappers and vandals who are now holding our nation hostage, ravaging our communities, kidnapping and beheading our compatriots without restrain.
“The least Nigerians expected from Mr. President, in the New Year, was a decisive will to tackle our security challenges by reviewing his parade and heeding the demands by Nigerians to rejig our nation’s security architecture.
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“The situation at hand requires more than an armchair commander in chief who only dwells on excuses for manifest failures. President Buhari’s New Year address only points to the fact that our nation is in dire need of a leadership that is willing, able and ready to engage from the fronts.
“On the economy, Mr. President failed to articulate a definite economic recovery blueprint. He had no clear strategies to shore up the value of our naira, repay and end our foreign borrowings, revamp our external reserves, give hope to foreign investors, move promises of job creation from the perpetual drawing board and guarantee food security, health care among others.
“Mr. President had the opportunity to redeem his administration by taking steps that will address high costs of food, education and housing deficit; address the high price of fuel, multiple taxes and tariffs that bear pressure on businesses and families as well as how to enhance national productivity and grow our Gross Domestic Produce (GDP).
“In the same vein, our party finds it lamentable that President Buhari, in his reference to the demonstration by our youths, did not make any decisive pronouncement to end the on-going persecution of EndSARS protesters or order a Presidential inquest into the reported Lekki killing.
“Moreover, the failure by Mr. President to make direct commitment on budgetary provisions exposes a lack of will and direction, and shows that the next two years under the Buhari-led APC administration would leave our nation with forlorn hope.”
The PDP, nevertheless, urged Nigerians not to despair but use the New Year to reinforce their bond of unity and continue to work together in their collective resolve to use opportunities offered by democracy to rescue the nation from misrule.
The party prayed that “God will give compatriots the perseverance to outlive the pains of APC and President Buhari’s misrule as we work collectively for a new dawn.”