Muhammadu Buhari, the All Progressives Congress presidential candidate, cannot boast of any development project in any sector of the economy during his regime as head of state, the Peoples Democratic Party has said.
Speaking on Monday through its spokesman, Olisa Metuh, the party argued that “when juxtaposed with the performance of President Goodluck Jonathan’s democratically elected government, it becomes clear that Buhari is not and cannot be a match for President Jonathan”.
It noted that Buhari failed because he lacked the capacity and capability to comprehend complex issues at the highest level of governance.
The PDP also said that the APC presidential candidate lacked team spirit, “a principal component of public private partnership critical for national development, a character his colleagues in the military rejected and kicked him out of office for”.
In a sector-by-sector juxtaposition of the Buhari and Jonathan administrations, the party claimed that “while Buhari suspended the constitution and led Nigerians by the nose, President Jonathan exhibited excellent democratic credentials by enhancing the rule of law wherein Nigerians, including Buhari now relish all kinds of personal freedoms which he denied the citizens during his rule.”
The ruling party argued that while Buhari enacted the military decree 4 of 1984 with which he abolished the freedom of the press, President Goodluck Jonathan not only signed into law the Freedom of Information Act to, but also consolidated the rule of law in the country.
“Whilst the Buhari administration carried out extrajudicial killing of innocent Nigerians using widely condemned retroactive law, President Jonathan has never trampled on the rights of any Nigerian, instead he has remained sincere, humble and calm despite all unwarranted
provocations,” it claimed.
“On education, Buhari never built a single school during his regime as head of state and never cared for the educational advancement of any part of the country including the north. On the other hand, President Jonathan revamped the education sector, established 14 new universities in two years, revitalised the unity schools, initiated the back to school programme, and established the Almajiri system of education for the progress of hitherto neglected children from the north, an innovation Buhari never thought of, among others.
“Under Buhari, no effort was made to revitalise the railways as an instrument of mass transport in the country. Instead, Buhari on account of the famed parochial and sectional nature, scrapped the Lagos Metroline Project at a loss of over $78 million to the Lagos taxpayer. On his own part, President Jonathan has revived the railways. Today, our trains are back, ferrying passengers and goods along various routes across the country. The case is the same in the road sector, which was also neglected by Buhari as head of state but now being transformed by President Jonathan.
“On health, while Buhari neither initiated nor executed any project in this sector that has direct bearing on the welfare of Nigerians, President Jonathan has repositioned this sector through a meticulous implementation of his National Strategic Health Development
“Nigerians now have access to better and affordable health care with new technologies that have better positioned our hospitals to handle medical emergencies and disease control using international best practices and cost-effective interventions.
“Also while Buhari did nothing to enhance the power sector, President Jonathan successful unbundling of the power sector with polices that encouraged massive private sector investment for greater productivity. The speedy completion and commissioning of key power stations including the Geregu Power Project in Kogi state, Omotosho 2 Power Station in Ondo as well as huge investments in other power plants across the country. The projects are there. The facts speak for themselves.
“In the same vein, the APC Presidential candidate cannot boast of any investment in agriculture. Today, with the unique interventions by President Jonathan, Nigeria’s food import has declined by USD 5.3 billion between 2013 and 2014 even with our increasing population. Our nation now ranks as one of the biggest food producers in Africa with our food production expanding by an additional 21 million metric tons between 2011 and 2014, a record exceeding the nation’s set target of 20 million metric tons set for 2015.
“Furthermore, while Buhari failed in ensuring the productivity of the manufacturing sector, the Jonathan administration has repositioned the sector while creating enabling environment for private businesses to thrive. Today, the neglected automobile sector has been revived and cars are now being manufactured in our country as a result of the New Automobile Policy initiated by President Jonathan.
“On security, we wish to remind Buhari that Nigerians are still waiting for him to show them the investment he made in enhancing the military and security agencies, which suffered the worst type of deprivation under him. This sector has now been re-equipped by President Jonathan to effectively confront the security challenges facing our country.”
Claiming that Nigerians are more prosperous under Jonathan, the PDP argued that the nation’s economy now ranked as the largest in Africa as against the situation under Buhari.
It insisted that “what the nation needed now was not a return to the dark days”, but to continue with President Jonathan and his Transformation Agenda for the benefit of all.