Arise Interview: Buhari Evasive, Dodgy, Claimed Our Projects, Says PDP

Press Conference

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is appalled by President Muhammadu 
Buhari’s deplorable performance at the exclusive interview on Arise 
Television this morning.

Our party is dismayed that while millions of Nigerians eagerly expected 
President Buhari to use the interview to address salient issues 
confronting our nation, Mr. President bungled the opportunity by being 
evasive and dodgy while attempting to lay claims to projects done by PDP 

Instead of addressing issues and providing direction for our nation, 
President Buhari exposed his cluelessness, paucity of ideas for 
development while making very provocative comments that could embolden 
terrorists as well as serve as recipe for further division and violence 
in the country.

On Infrastructure, it is ludicrous to us in the PDP that Mr. President 
can disingenuously seek to subtract the deliverables achieved by past 
PDP administration from his so-called achievement on infrastructure.

The PDP places it on record and we know that Nigerians are also aware 
that President Olusegun Obasanjo, who was elected on the platform of the 
PDP, introduced a 25 years national development plan upon assumption of 
office in 1999.

This included the massive construction and expansion of road network, 
power plants, railways projects, inland and coastal waterways, airports, 
housing, agricultural and health projects as well as establishment of 
new universities and other legacy projects in various parts of our 

We want to inform President Buhari, since he is not always aware, that 
successive governments elected on the platform of the PDP built on these 
development plans leading to the expansion of major trunk roads across 
our country, railways and other legacy projects which, probably, his 
handlers are making him to believe are his.

It is on record that President Goodluck Jonathan also took on a massive 
expansion of our international and domestic airports, across the 
country, built and commissioned railway stations.

It is instructive to state that where projects were yet to be completed, 
it is only a natural occurrence for any Nigerian elected as President to 
proceed, in the national interest, to complete such projects.

The PDP therefore considers it tacky for Mr. President to seek to claim 
any credit for projects he never conceptualized, commenced or built to 
near completion, just because he found himself in office at the point of 

Should Mr. President be reminded that even the expansion of the 
Presidential Villa including the Banquet Hall, which his party, the All 
Progressives Congress (APC) uses today as its National Secretariat was 
conceptualized and built by the PDP government, though leaders of the 
APC stood stoutly against the project while it was on-going?

President Buhari also needs to accept the bitter fact that the current 
draw back in infrastructural development in our country started with his 
administration. Like a relay race, successive PDP administrations 
furthered infrastructural development only for him to run the opposite 
direction when the baton was passed to him.

It is important to state that only the on-going refurbishing of 
Akwanga-Maiduguri road that President Buhari can lay claim to as the 
singular and only project in which he has demonstrated capacity.

The expectation of Nigerians is that in an interview like this, Mr. 
President should give honour to those who conceptualized and built these 
projects to near completion and, in most cases, only for him to perform 
the commissioning ceremony.

Mr. President must also be reminded that all institutions of good 
governance under the contemporary dispensation including the EFCC, ICPC, 
the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) and Debt Management 
Office (DMO) among others were PDP’s creation.

Even the Sovereign Wealth Fund, which has become the referral point for 
his administration, was created by the PDP with stiff opposition from 
leaders of the APC, like former Governors Rotimi Amaechi and Adams 

On issue of devolution of power, state police and restructuring, it is 
disappointing and heartrending that Mr. President was evasive, dodgy and 
had no direct response to these burning issues even in the face of a 
national consensus for the amendment of the1999 Constitution to address 
these pertinent issues.

It is also alarming that Mr. President, in his own words, dismissed two 
governors who ran to him for solution to issues of national security, 
with escalated killings, kidnapping and violence in their states.

That action as revealed by Mr. President is very disturbing because, as 
the commander-in-chief, on whose shoulder rests the responsibility of 
securing our nation, and who also promised to lead from the front, his 
reaction ought not to have been dismissive of the said governors.

This action as narrated by Mr. President clearly showed how he abdicated 
his responsibility and yet was audacious to come to the public arena and 
made open his personal flaws and failures that have affected the 
foundation of our national security and emboldened terrorists, 
kidnappers and bandits to attack and kill our compatriots.

On the issue of fuel subsidy, it is a known fact that cross boarder 
crimes like smuggling have their negative effect on prices of petroleum 
products. While this constitutes a challenge to our economy, the 
fundamental issue which Mr. President dodged in the interview is the 
sleazy nature of subsidy policy under his administration.

Mr. President failed to tell Nigerians how the volume of PMS used in our 
country progressed exponentially from 35 million liters per day to the 
current fictitious 100 million liters per day, upon which his 
administration’s subsidy payout is calculated.

In an interview in which for the first time in the history of his 
government, President Buhari flamboyantly faced the camera, the opaque 
nature of the subsidy regime under his administration ought to have been 
topical. The expectation of Nigerians was for Mr. President to address 
the demand for openness in his administration’s subsidy regime as well 
as why Nigerians are paying humongous sums on subsidy.

On corruption, we invite Nigerians to note that President Buhari 
admitted in the interview, that corruption was endemic in his 
administration; that there are corrupt persons in his administration and 
his party, but that he devised a way of easing them out and thus giving 
them official covers instead of exposing such persons and allowing them 
to face the law. This validates our position that the Buhari 
Administration is a sanctuary of corruption.

It is also distressing that President Buhari used the interview to issue 
threats to Nigerians as well as justify the nepotism that has 
characterized appointment of key officials of his administration to the 
chagrin of our national sensibilities.

Such disposition to our national sensibilities is a recipe for further 
divisions and violence in our country.

Most disheartening is that in the face of grave security concerns across 
the federation, President Buhari proffered no solutions, even when he 
admitted that insecurity has almost overwhelmed his administration.

Also, though he lamented the invasion of our national territory by 
Sahelians, Mr. President did not introduce any concrete measure that can 
vanquish these set of criminals.

The interview session was therefore a Presidential demonstration of the 
challenges confronting our nation without a modicum of solution either 
now or in the future. It was all about buck-passing, grandstanding and a 
holier-than-thou disposition of the Buhari Presidency.

From the interview, it is clear that President Buhari has no legacy 
project to point to except infrastructural backwardness, false 
performance claims, covering corruption, destroying of our national 
institutions, wrecking of our economy, dividing Nigerians as well as 
reckless borrowings with nothing to show.


Kola Ologbondiyan
National Publicity Secretary

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