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PDP Should Have Covered Face In Shame For Destroying Nigeria In 16 Years – Governor Oshiomhole

Oshiomhole
Edo state governor has said that in a civilized country, the leadership of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) should have by now, cover their faces in shame for the damage they did to Nigeria as a nation.
Nigerians, he said, are a very patient and tolerant people, saying that if it were not so, “anybody wearing the tag of PDP ought to feel very unsafe because you are all victims- all of us here.”
Speaking to newsmen shortly he had a consultative meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja today, governor Oshiomhole said that the bail out funds that were supposed to be given to states were not there.
“That money that has been coming in, PDP never paid that money to the treasury. They shared it; the federal government spent it illegally. You know the constitution. You can’t spend what had not been appropriated. Under PDP, there was no law; they were law onto themselves. So, if a party for 16 years underdeveloped the country, and according to the American officials, they were just confused. The Nigerian former President (Dr. Goodluck Jonathan) didn’t know what the issues were and everybody was frustrated. “Friends of Nigeria were… Mr. Carson who was the Assistant Secretary of State, when we visited him in company of Senator Saraki, then as chairman of the governors’ forum- that was at the eve of president Obama’s first visit to Africa- and we went to complain, ‘why is Nigeria not on the list’. And what he said for me was quite instructive, compared to what he said last week. “Then I was present when he said ‘you know, we who see ourselves not just as friends of Nigeria, we even think that our forefathers were Nigerians (he is a black American, Secretary of State for Africa). He said each time we think there is light at the end of the tunnel and it is time to encourage Nigeria to build on it, you would wake up the following day under President Jonathan to find out that even the tunnel had been removed. Those were the words of Mr. Carson.”
Governor Oshiomhole, still on PDP, said people of good conscience have to pity them, adding that Nigeria now has a President who talks with confidence and not a President that was blabbing and was not sure of what the issues were.
“He (Buhari) is one that can tell the U.S Senate that ‘look, Nigeria is governed by rule of law. We are not going to do any of those things that is offensive to the culture and tradition of our people. “We have moved away from a President that didn’t seem to know his powers to one that understands that he is a President of the country in the continent. So, what do you expect PDP to say? I always say that the day you see armed robbers clapping, you know that things are going wrong. When you see them frowning, you know that the security agencies are doing their best. “PDP destroyed the country- I mean from the lips of American officials; senior officials of the state department. “They said one minister under PDP cornered as much as $6billion, and the man said even by Washington standard, that is earth-quaking. So, a party that presided over the liquidation of our nation, destroyed all our institutions, converted the Armed Forces commanders to use them as if they were political thugs, converted NTA to a party megaphone, destroyed the SSS, went after opposition as if we were rabbits to be pursued to our holes, compromised even student unions and destroyed everything that you can think of; elevated religion to a state affair; Israel became a place you visit every week; placed Pastors against Mallams, placed North against South, East against West just to retain power; elevate Obas and Obis with dollars and … You guys were reporting dollars that were changing hands; when NNPC was spending much more money than is available to the federation account.”
The full transcript of governor Oshiomhole news briefing goes thus:

On his U.S trip with the President Buhari:
That was a very wonderful outing. Nigerian Presidents have visited U.S before but I think what is different is the level of engagement and the general attitude and disposition of the U.S government. It is not everyday that you hear from a U.S President right in the Oval Office saying to Nigerian president ‘you are a man of integrity’. And America is confident that any transaction between the American government and the Nigerian government will benefit the Nigerian people. They believe that the stumbling block had been the issue of corruption and now they have found a president they trust by reasons of his pedigree, his disposition and his personal lifestyle. America is convinced that he has all the qualities required to fight and to defeat corruption, and once that is out of the way, then America is ready to stand by Nigeria to do what needs to be done.
President Obama was emphatic that given the size of Nigeria and its population- our location within the continent and the role we have played before- helping Nigeria to overcome some of its challenges would be helping the African continent to reposition itself. He recalled with such fond memories the outstanding contributions of the Nigeria Armed Forces in the past and regretted how from a situation in which the Nigerian nation was looked upon for support when other countries were in trouble in the continent it deteriorated to one in which the Nigerian Armed Forces could no longer secure the Nigerian territory. That is how much things deteriorated and he expressed that this is the result of declining values and all of that. So, with President Buhari, everybody in the White House and the state department are all very happy that for once Nigeria has a leader they can engage with.

What would you say to the opposition that is already criticizing this visit, saying it will yield noting?
No no no, you have to pity them! We have a president who talks with confidence; not a president that is blabbing and is not sure of what the issues are. He (Buhari) is one that can tell the U.S Senate that ‘look, Nigeria is governed by rule of law. We are not going to do any of those things that is offensive to the culture and tradition of our people. We have moved away from a president that doesn’t seem to know his powers to one that understands that he is a president of the country in the continent. So, what do you expect PDP to say? I always say that the day you see armed robbers clapping, you know that things are going wrong. When you see them frowning, you know that the security agencies are doing their best. PDP destroyed the country- I mean from the lips of American officials; senior officials of the state department. They said one minister under PDP cornered as much as $6billion, and the man said even by Washington standard that is earth-quaking. So, a party that presided over the liquidation of our nation, destroyed all our institutions, converted the Armed Forces commanders to use them as if they were political thugs, converted NTA to a party megaphone, destroyed the SSS, went after opposition as if we were rabbits to be pursued to our holes, compromised even student unions and destroyed everything that you can think of; elevated religion to a state affair; Israel became a place you visit every week; placed pastors against mallams, placed north against south, east against west just to retain power; elevate Obas and Obis with dollars and … You guys were reporting dollars that were changing hands; when NNPC was spending much more money than is available to the federation account.
We are a very patient people. If we were not a patient people, anybody wearing the tag of PDP ought to feel very unsafe because you are all victims- all of us here. I spoke about how much Edo State government lost. You were here last week; the bail out that you are talking about. That money that has been coming in PDP, never paid that money to the treasury. They shared it; the federal government spent it illegally. You are journalists, you know, to be watch dog. You are not digital watchdog; you know the constitution. You can’t spent what had not been appropriated. Under PDP there was no law; they were law to themselves. So, if a party for 16 years underdeveloped the country, and according to the American officials, they were just confused. The Nigerian former president didn’t know what the issues were and everybody was frustrated. Friends of Nigeria were… Mr. Carson who was the Assistant Secretary of State, when we visited him in company of Senator Saraki, then as chairman of the governors’ forum- that was at the eve of president Obama’s first visit to Africa- and we went to complain, ‘why is Nigeria not on the list’. And what he said for me was quite instructive compared to what he said last week. Then I was present when he said ‘you know, we who see ourselves not just as friends of Nigeria, we even think that our forefathers were Nigerians (he is a black American, Secretary of State for Africa). He said each time we think there is light at the end of the tunnel and it is time to encourage Nigeria to build on it, you we would wake up the following day under president Jonathan to find out that even the tunnel had been removed. Those were the words of Mr. Carson. Now last week, this same Carson chaired the president’s address at the institute of peace. And he said ‘we now have a man of enormous integrity; one that has shown so much faith in the democratic process; one that refused to be frustrated even in the face of massively rigged elections. He submitted to the judicial process and even when that was compromised he never gave up. America has done its check and we are convinced that this president is the one that Nigeria needs at this time to regain its leadership of the African continent. America now has a partner worthy of relations because they believe that every dollar that America provides to support Nigeria whether in the area of security, in the area of education, or encouraging American investors to invest in Nigeria, there is an enabling environment because what had been destroying the country is corruption. You have so much capital outflow; so, America is ready to stand side by side to support this president to achieve his core objective of fighting corruption, restoring security, creating jobs and redistributing prosperity’. So, if PDP doesn’t condemn it then they are no longer PDP. Don’t forget, people deceiving people has been a way of life for 16 years.

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On his visit to the Villa:
We went there basically to speak about the issue in the National Assembly. The progressive governors’ forum asked both of us to try and engage the APC caucus in the senate on behalf of the forum. And the while idea is that having had some challenges in the house and these are nothing new to you. You are familiar with the situation that has produced a senate president of APC and a deputy senate president from PDP and of course the fact that many APC Senators were not present when the elections were held and that they now have what they called quota- a technical issue about whether they formed a quorum or not. But whatever position you take, the truth of the matter is that majority of APC Senators were in a location at the invitation of the party waiting for party briefing when elections were held in the senate and that has produced an upset. Now the current effort is to try to see how you would have an all inclusive leadership in the senate; that those who were not present, not because they were sleeping, but because they honored the party’s invitation. By the time they were done, their colleagues have had election in collaboration with PDP senators that were present. So, I feel the position now is ‘look how do you ensure that having elected this two, that the remaining position that are within the discretion of the APC caucus in the Senate are distributed in a way as to give the other group that were shut out of the process a sense of belonging’. We are convinced that a winner take all in this case won’t work and building peace is making concession and power works better when it acknowledges that even the person who is powerless has a right to exist.
My brother and I spent some time with the senators last night and we had what I think was a useful conversation. We have come today to report to the president what transpired at those meetings and make few suggestions to him and I think for me there is light, as they say, at the end of the tunnel. One thing is clear, we are all APC family, we are all committed to change. We recognise that there are few issues; people may not be comfortable, but we have what it takes to resolve the issues so that in the National Assembly we will have an APC senate caucus that is united, that is ready to support the change agenda as the president is committed to and work along with PDP. Nobody is suggesting that we shouldn’t work with PDP. PDP exists in the house, just as APC had existed in the house under PDP government. So, at some point there has to be a way to engage bipartisan. So, that is basically why we are here. [myad]

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