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Presidency: Under PDP, we had army of phantom soldiers whose pay went to politicians’ pockets

Author:
Femi Owolabi

The presidency has reacted to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governors’ criticism of the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration.

The PDP governors had met in Abia state on March 24, after which they declared that the APC is unfit to participate in the 2023 general election.

They described the ruling party as a failure that had become a menace to Nigerians.

Garba Shehu, senior special assistant to the president on media, issued a statement on Sunday, reacting to the criticism.

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Shehu said the PDP governors were attempting to cover up the “serial failure” of the opposition party’s period in office.

He said the Buhari administration and APC “have strived these past seven years to repair” the damage done by the PDP.

“We cannot forget under PDP, the nation had an army full of phantom soldiers whose pay went to PDP politicians’ pockets while our under-resourced real soldiers died in the fight against terrorist insurgents and our international allies refused to supply Nigeria kit and military aid,” the statement reads.

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“Today with the APC, the army is resourced, we have fighter jets from our partners, Boko Haram is being driven from every inch of Nigerian territory, and ISWAP’s leader eliminated in a Nigerian airstrike.

“We cannot ignore how PDP politicians sought – and continue to seek – to inflame ethnic and religious tensions by refusing to even proffer a solution to the herder-farmer clashes which became most prevalent under their misrule.

“Today with APC in government, there are ranches on Federal land and in state land where there is the willingness to establish them. Clashes are reduced. Lives are saved, and livelihoods are enriched.”

Garba also accused PDP politicians of mismanaging the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

He said under the APC, funds from NNPC are directly and transparently used to fund social and health programmes – such as the COVID-19 response and the construction of public infrastructure.

“The Governors reeled out numbers on the economy, pretending as if the once-in-a-life COVID-19 pandemic, with its huge and devastating effect, disrupting global supply chains, uniformly battering the world economy never happened,” the statement further reads.

“COVID-19 brought suffering and hardship to the doorstep of the entire global community-less maybe, of the affluent and pretentious PDP Governors-and to the credit of this administration, Nigeria’s economy recovered faster and stronger than the entire world ever imagined.”

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