- Jega To Nigerians: APC, PDP Have Failed In 20 Years, Dump Them In 2023
- You ‘portray ignorance.. your roles in bringing this failed Party, Administration to office fresh in the hearts of Nigerians,’ PDP Bombs Jega, APC
- APC Fires Back: Jega trying to ‘launch his political career in a mushroom party’ with comment.. Prof ‘got his facts wrong, mixed up.. PDP failed Nigerians..in 16 years!’
As the theatrics of 2023 politicking sets in gradually, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), and former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega have traded barbs inside their fiery exchange over comments made by the latter.
Jega, who was speaking in an interview with BBC Hausa, had launched a stinging rebuke at the APC and PDP as he warned Nigerians against re-electing both parties into office in subsequent elections, citing their alleged failure to bring development to the country in the past 20 years since Nigeria returned to democratic path.
According to him, the two main political parties are like Siamese twins of corruption, urging Nigerians to replace them with credible alternatives in the upcoming general polls.
In his words, “Looking at their inability to change the economic fortunes of Nigeria for 20 years now, it is now apparently clear that they would not do anything even if Nigerians vote for any of the two parties again.
“The bad things these parties committed in those past years, Nigerians should never give their trust to them again. It is now very clear that these parties will never change, even if they are given another chance.
“The APC and PDP have formed governments; we were all witnesses. They did not come with good intentions to make amends. If you look at the fight against corruption, all these corrupt people that were supposed to be prosecuted sneaked into the APC.
“We are hearing nothing. That is why I’ve since registered with the Peoples Redemption Party, PRP. I am now a PRP member looking for ways to help Nigeria.
“That is why we believe now is the time to establish a platform which every good Nigerian should join and contribute towards building the nation on the right path.”
Reacting, the PDP was quick to warn the former INEC boss to stop comparing their party with the APC, describing the comparison as unfortunate and unpardonable.
According to the opposition party, the comparison is unpardonable because Jega who is a professor of political science “could portray an ignorance of the manifest contrasts between the robust fortunes of our nation under the PDP and the wasteland she has become under the APC.”
This was contained in a statement issued by the National Publicity Secretary of PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan.
The statement reads, “It is indeed unfortunate that Jega, as a Professor of Political Science, could portray an ignorance of the manifest contrasts between the robust fortunes of our nation under the PDP and the wasteland she has become under the APC.
“Perhaps the Professor needs to be reminded of how the PDP worked hard to revamp our nation’s economy, paid off our huge foreign debts and went ahead to grow the economy to become the largest investment hub in Africa as well as one of the fastest growing economies in the world, with Fitch B+ rating; only for the APC to wreck the economy and turn our nation into the world’s poverty capital and a debtor country in a space of six years.
“Prof. Jega must also be reminded how the PDP reinvigorated the private sector with new businesses and employments springing up in critical sectors of telecoms, aviation, agriculture, manufacturing, oil and gas, education, retailing, hospitality, healthcare and banking among others.
“Today, under the APC and Buhari, these gains have been wrecked with massive closures of businesses, which saw over 60 million Nigerians losing their means of livelihood, with alarming 33.3 per cent unemployment rate and over 82.9 million more and about 25 million families not being able to afford their daily meals as our country ranks 98th out of 107 in Global Hunger Index, due to the obnoxious policies of the APC and President Buhari.
“Perhaps the former INEC chairman has forgotten how the PDP stabilized our fiscal economy and handed over our naira to the APC at N160 to a dollar only for the APC to wreck our currency to a dismal N510 to a dollar.
“He may have also forgotten how the PDP handed over the cost of fuel at N87 per litre and how the APC has hiked it to N165 per litre with attendant pressure on our economy.
“We invite Professor Jega to note how the PDP ran an all-inclusive and transparent administration that guaranteed freedom of speech, equity, fairness as well as free and fair elections, which he attested to; and how the APC, had been running a massively corrupt, insensitive, divisive and exclusionist administration that has destroyed our national cohesion and turned our nation into a battle field.
“As professor of Political Science, Prof. Jega ought to know that while the PDP is an ideologically based political party, the APC is just a Special Purpose Vehicle, SPV, operated on the basis of deception and that is why it has failed in all ramifications and now fizzled in the eyes of the law.
“Nigerians are already confronting the fact of the failures of the APC as well as President Buhari and would therefore not require a manipulative tendency of any individual seeking political relevance ahead of 2023.
“After all, the roles which Professor Jega played in bringing this failed party and administration into office are still fresh in the hearts of Nigerians.”
But the ruling APC while delivering a fiery rebuttal to Jega’s comments and PDP’s reaction asked the former INEC Chairman to desist from making baseless comparison.
APC in a statement by the National Secretary of its Caretaker Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee CECPC, Senator John James Akpanudoedehe, described the comments of Jega as “uncontrolled, wrong and untenable”.
The statement reads, “Our attention has been drawn to an uncontrolled, wrong and untenable political outburst by a former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega in which he lumped the All Progressives Congress (APC), together with the failed People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
“While the PDP failed to meet the expectations of Nigerians as a government and oppositon party, the APC is thriving, healthy and assiduously cleaning the massive mess left behind by the PDP which failed to deliver democratic dividends to the people of Nigeria after being in charge of the country for 16 years.
“While Professor Jega is right about the PDP, a party under which he served as the chairman of the nation’s election management body, we reject his comparison of the APC with the PDP. Professor Jega got his facts wrong and mixed up in his baseless comparison of the PDP with the APC.
“While we do not intend to join issues with Professor Jega, we encourage him to engage in genuine scholarly research and come up with evidence-based conclusions on the progessive orientation of the APC.
“It is, however, instructive to note that having recently abandoned his academic pursuit and blindly plunged into the arena of PDP’s brand of politics, the erstwhile electoral umpire as a politician can make such political statements occassionally while trying to launch his political career in a mushroom political party.
“The APC is a strong, united, popular and focused political unit. Hence, the Professor should note the political lesson that maligning the APC would not provide him a springboard to achieve his desires. Nigerians are wiser and remain the ultimate judges.”