Lai Mohammed Minister slams PDP over call for Buhari's resignation

The minister also said PDP ought to be filled with remorse for putting the country in this mess, instead of blaming Buhari.

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Lai Mohammed play

Lai Mohammed, Minister of information and culture.

(Daily Trust)
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The Minister of information, Lai Mohammed has described as shameless, the call by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for President Buhari’s resignation.

The PDP had earlier told Buhari to return the economy to the state that former President Goodluck Jonathan left it, and resign.

According to Mohammed, what the past administration projected as economic progress, was just a smoke screen.

The minister also said PDP ought to be filled with remorse for putting the country in this mess, instead of blaming Buhari.

Mohammed said ”We are on a rescue mission to resuscitate Nigeria after the PDP left it in a coma, and the noise from the same PDP seems designed to sabotage the rescue efforts. But we are not deterred.

”While the PDP was emasculating Nigeria on all fronts, including social, economic and political, the rapacious party was deceiving Nigerians by giving them the illusion of growth and prosperity.

“Instead of showing remorse and rebuilding itself to a strong opposition party, the PDP has continued to blame the successor Buhari Administration which is left to pack their mess.

“PDP undertakers have continued to engage in a blame game, when they should be hiding from the shame they brought upon themselves and the nation."

Adding that ”They keep saying we should stop talking of the past, yet the past will not stop rearing its head. They keep saying we should no longer refer to the past, but how can we forget so soon that our foreign exchange reserves plummeted from $62bn in 2008 to $30bn by 2015, at a time when oil prices were at a historic high, reaching a level of $114 per barrel in 2014.

“By comparison, Indonesia, another oil producing economy with a high population, increased its reserves from $60bn in 2008 to $120bn in 2015.

”The candid truth is that we failed under the successive PDP administrations to save for the rainy day, and we need to constantly remind ourselves of that so that we won’t repeat the mistake.

“Take the excess crude account which fell from about $9bn in 2007 to about $2bn in 2015. The argument that it was the State Governors that depleted the account does not hold water since there were Governors in place when the account was being built up.”

The minister also said ”Worse still is the fact that up to $14bn in revenues from Nigerian LNG remains unaccounted for and indeed until the Buhari Administration came to office, State Governments never got any allocations from this source of funds which properly belongs to the Federation Account.

“The naked fact on the revenue front is that there was just a failure of leadership. This was compounded by the non-transparent uses of funds. We are all witnesses to the sacking of a Central Bank Governor because he raised an alarm about $20bn that had gone missing.

”We are indeed still trying to recover huge sums looted from the national treasury under the PDP’s watch, with $15bn stolen from the defence sector alone.

“Perhaps most painful is that because of the way funds (about $322m) returned from Switzerland were mishandled, we now have to accept conditionalities before our stolen assets are even returned to us.”

In response to PDP’s call for Buhari’s resignation, the All Progressives Congress (APC) told the party to return all the funds it stole.

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