By YSO Olaniyi
The Oyo state chapter of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has expressed its dismay over a press statement credited to one of the opposition parties, the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state for condemning a move by the state government under the leadership of governor Seyi Makinde to borrow the sum of twenty billion naira (20 000 000 000) from a commercial bank in Nigeria to improve on critical sectors of the state and provide for economic relief.
The ruling party in a press statement signed by its state publicity secretary, Engr Akeem Olatunji, on Wednesday, said that the condemnation by Oyo APC in the face of harsh and unpleasant economic realities was not only embarrassing and shameful, but also shows the height of deceit from a political party that has lost its connection with present economic realities as a result of its blindness by sheer desperation to pull down Makinde’s government by all means.
According to the statement, PDP wondered why the opposition applauded the federal government under its administration for embarking on series of unaccountable loans including a recent N850 billion which the national assembly hurriedly approved and running Nigeria’s economy on deficit and condemned Makinde’s similar move to cushion the state economy stressing that Oyo APC was playing politics at the detriment of the people.
The ruling party further stated that such statements credited to the opposition party was an attestation to its political naivety which further exposed its ignorance of simple management of the state economy in time of economic crisis stressing that it was such level of ignorance that led to Ajimobi/APC government plunging the state into a whooping debt burden of over one hundred and fifty billion naira (150 000 000 000) the state’s highest debt profile since Oyo state was created with nothing to show for it.
The party noted that what became very disturbing was the fact that the over N150 billion naira debt inherited by present administration from APC government happened when Oyo state received the highest federal allocation in history when crude oil was selling on the average price of between $140 and $45 per barrel unlike now when crude oil price is at all time fall of around $25 to $22 per barrel.
The ruling party stressed that the 20 billion naira loan approval sought by the state government from the state assembly was specifically for development of critical infrastructure that will boost economic relief since the whole world is currently bearing the brunts of COVID-19 pandemic that has already grounded most economies to a halt including Oyo state which is suffering great loss of internally generated revenue to the pandemic.
Engr Olatunji, in the statement reiterated that APC in Oyo state was merely playing what was described as ‘notice me’ politics stressing that the opposition party in Oyo state was already dead in the state after 2019 guber election adding that the few remnants with no political value and nothing to offer the state were merely surviving on federal presence stressing that if the opposition was truly alive it would have condemned the federal government in strongest term under its party’s administration for diverting the supposed school feeding program to an unrealistic home feeding program when the FG could not even help Nigerians it placed under lockdown with relief cash transfer to ameliorate the unspeakable hardship they are being subjected to.
The statement reads: “Our attention has been drawn to a press statement credited to Oyo state chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC), where the opposition party in its usual smear campaign condemned a strategic and laudable move by the state government under governor Seyi Makinde for seeking the approval of the state house of assembly to access a 20 000 000 000 (twenty billion naira) loan with the aim of investing it in the state critical infrastructure and provide economic relief to safeguard our dear state from a worst economic implication arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Where was Oyo APC when federal government under its watch claimed not less than N7.2 billion was disbursed to Nigerians without any iota of proof, where was APC when Mr President sought and got the approval of the national assembly for the loan of N850 billion, why was APC silent on explaining the over N150 billion its administration bequeathed to the present government, where is APC when just yesterday (Wednesday May 20th) the FG declared another release of N623 Million for purchase of computers?
“We find the statement by any opposition extremely appalling, embarrassing, shameful and should be condemned by all economically sound minded persons because such statement only shows the height of deceit, hypocrisy, and deliberate attempt to frustrate government’s efforts towards keeping the state on the path of post COVID-19 economic recovery.
“It was on record that when the request for the said N20b loan was read on the floor of the house during the last plenary by the state assembly that is comprising of lawmakers representing different political parties, no objection was raised to decline such move that was described by the house as very important and timely.
“It was very commendable to note that the 9th Oyo assembly has continued to show apolitical judgement by always putting the state first ahead of partisan or personal interests leading to the approval of the executives request.
“We want to make it abundantly clear to the APC in the state to stop embarrassing the good people of our dear state before the world with the level of ignorance it has continued to show towards management of the state economy particularly during this present time of unfriendly economic reality arising from a global pandemic.
“The least APC in Oyo state could have done in a time like this if it was still alive to its duty was to save us the embarrassment and wait for implementation before passing any judgment or make remarks if necessary.
“We are not perturbed by the Oyo APC’s unabated penchant for attacking governor Makinde, even when the governor recovered from the dreaded corona virus infection, their desperation to pull him down by all means couldn’t keep them from attacking the governor for telling his people how he survived the disease and what measures were taken during his treatment as a means of educating the public.
“We are of the conclusion that attacking Makinde and his government has become an antidote for Oyo APC’s political misfortune but we urge them to play opposition with at least little sense of empathy for the people they desperately wish to govern again, and we insist that APC government in the last eight years be duly probed in order to ensure accountability as well as set the records straight on how APC led government managed to plunge the state into an all time record of over N150 billion debt inherited by the present administration.”