A chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and Director General of the Progressive Governors Forum (PGF) has challenged the new leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) under Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, to investigate the mismanagement of N30 billions mobilised for the construction of its national secretariat.
The APC chieftain also commended the opposition party for organising a successful national convention, saying the party, however, “lost a golden opportunity to demonstrate to Nigerians that they are indeed a reformed party capable of resolving the problems of the country, which they have either created or were unable to effectively address during their 16 years rule between 1999 and 2015.”
In a statement released to newsmen Monday in Abuja, the PGF boss said the ruling APC must therefore use its forthcoming national convention to demonstrate its commitment to change Nigeria.
“It may be necessary to also request the newly elected leadership of PDP under Dr. Iyorchia Ayu to perhaps investigate the management of funds mobilised for the construction of the 12-storey PDP National Secretariat located on Muhammadu Buhari Way, Central Business District, Abuja, which is now abandoned as a demonstration of commitment to rescue Nigeria.
“Having mobilised close to N30 billion and expended over N16 billion, a born-again PDP leadership committed to rescuing Nigeria should be able to fix its internal problems first. Like it is often said, charity begins at home. A party that is committed to rescuing Nigeria should first and foremost rescue itself from its internal adversaries.
According to Lukman, PDP leaders must always remember the saying in law, he who comes to equity must come with clean hands.
“Having presided over the affairs of Nigeria for sixteen years between 1999 and 2015, what were the specific achievements of the PDP? How many times for instance was the contract for Second Niger Bridge awarded before 2015? How much was disbursed? And what was the level of work done before 2015? These questions can also be asked in respect of Lagos – Ibadan Road project and many other abandoned projects, which were inherited by the APC government of President Buhari. Today, the Second Niger Bridge is more than 50% completed with guaranteed funding and scheduled to be commissioned in 2022.
“So far, progress has been made by APC led government of President Buhari on abandoned or stalled projects that were inherited, like the Loko-Oweto Bridge, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Sagamu-Benin Expressway, the Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway, Onitsha-Enugu Expressway, Kano-Maiduguri Expressway, Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano Expressway, Obajana-Kabba Road, Ilorin-Jebba Road, Apapa-Oshodi-Oworonshoki Road, and several others are in progress, with some already close to completion.
“There are over 900 active road contracts, covering the construction, reconstruction or rehabilitation of more than 13,000km of Federal roads and highways across the country. In addition, the Federal Executive Council meeting of Wednesday, October 27, 2021, approved another set of road projects covering 1,804.6 kilometres across the country, estimated to cost N621.2 billion to be executed by the NNPC. Outside road projects, the railways have returned.”
On the forthcoming APC national convention, Lukman said issues of the unity of the country and responses to national security challenges should be priorities.
“As APC prepare for its National Convention, issues of the unity of the country and responses to national security challenges should be priorities. Just like election of leaders, how APC want to continue with the task of responding to challenges of insecurity should be part of the agenda of the APC National Convention based on which a decision is taken at the Convention by way of adopting an amendment to the party’s manifesto through majority votes by delegates.
“Once that is done, it will assist the APC, its leaders and especially candidates for 2023 elections to mobilise Nigerians to vote the party. At the same time, it will potentially prepare the party to be capable of neutralising PDP’s toxic politics of promoting hatred with the high probability that it can produce ultra-right-wing candidates for 2023 elections.
“APC must therefore use its National Convention to demonstrate its commitment to change Nigeria. Apart from electing leaders, the manifesto of the party should be subjected to amendment debate. As part of the commitment to change Nigerian politics, APC must unambiguously commit itself to the unity of Nigeria based on governance initiatives founded on the principles of fairness and equitable access to resources and opportunities by all Nigerians from every part of the country.
“In addition, APC must commit itself to developing the productive potentials of every Nigerian and every part of the country. The issue of national development must be oriented based on clear strategies to develop the economy of every part of the country.
“Issues of industrialisation, human capital development through correspondingly aggressively high public and private investment in education and health sectors of the country must be prioritised. This should mean that commitment of political leaders to issues of development planning must be strengthened, and the Nigeria public service must be appropriately reformed and rebuilt to manage initiatives for national development.”