The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has warned that the hiking of prices of petroleum products will double all vices that emerged in the country since the advent of the All Progressive Congress (APC).
The national chairman-elect of the main opposition party, Prof Iyorchia Ayu, made this declaration while reading the communique issued at the end of the two-day retreat for the newly elected members of its National Working Committee (NWC) in Abuja.
He said even though the party is yet to take a position on the planned removal of petroleum subsidy by the federal government in 2022, doing so will engender enormous transportation difficulties and more increase in the prices of food and other commodities.
He said when the PDP returns to power, it will do all that is necessary to end the massive hardship Nigerians are going through.
Asked about the party’s position on the planned fuel subsidy removal Ayu stated: “The PDP does not believe in visiting more hardship on the Nigerian people the party has not discussed the issue of hike in petroleum price, but we know the general position is that the people of Nigeria are already hard-pressed. There is so much hardship.
“If you are poor in the first place, you’re not going to benefit from what is called petroleum subsidy. Who really is the government subsidizing? Is it the poor or the rich, those who are marketing petroleum products?
“This is a very important question which the PDP will discuss and take a position when we have all the facts.
“But I want to assure Nigerians that when we come back to power as a party, everything will be done to make sure that he the massive suffering that Nigerians have gone through because of you increase (price) petroleum products today with the kind of poverty Nigerians are in, it means there will be enormous difficulty in transportation, food prices will escalate and they are already very high out there.
“You will find that crime rate will in fray. Every single vice which has escalated under the APC will double.
“So, instead of taking us to next level, of suffering, the APC administration is trying to take us to the highest level of suffering and ultimately, taking Nigerians to a position of non-existence. We’ll try to reverse this trend.”
Reading the retreat communique, the incoming party boss said the participants observed that the “terrible” security situation in the country threatens Nigeria’s corporate existence.
They noted that the collapse of national security has made Nigeria to begin sharing sovereignty with terrorist gangs and rogue elements.
The communique said the lack of vision, capacity, ability and competence on the part of the ruling APC has driven Nigeria towards a failed state, noting that through incessant borrowings, the Muhammadu Buhari regime has returned Nigeria to the status of “a beggar and debtor-nation.”
The communique further observed: “The collapsed economy, infrastructure and a comatose manufacturing sector under the APC regime have pushed over 30million people into unemployment and underemployment between June 2015 and now.
“From the largest economy in Africa as of May 2015, Nigeria, under APC, has suffered two recessions and become the ‘Poverty Capital’ of the world.
“The unprecedented nepotism and divisiveness of the APC-Federal Government are fueling separatist tendencies in the country. Nigeria cannot survive another four years of APC misrule.
“PDP must put its house in order to enable it to win the trust of Nigerians and be seen as a serious alternative to the failed APC.
“To make Nigeria a workable and functional federation; an imperative by the incoming PDP government to restructure Nigeria.”
The retreat participants resolved that the incoming Ayu-led NWC should commence a sustained dialogue with the Nigerian electorate before the next round of elections.
The communique added: “The PDP should engage different segments of the voting population especially to encourage youths and women demographics in the rescue and rebuilding process.
“The new leadership of the party should be in line with the party’s slogan; return the PDP to the people by entrenching the culture of internal democracy as the party’s founding fathers.
“The new party leadership should enthrone the principle of party supremacy in the PDP so as to enhance order, discipline, unity, unanimity of purpose and, ultimately, landslide victories, come 2023 and beyond.
“Members at all levels should rally round the new leadership so that it effectively reforms, repositions, re-energizes, retools and re-directs the party towards regaining her lost glory and rescuing the country.
“PDP to see an emergency need for economic recovery and diversification through appropriate fiscal and monetary policy implementation approach that will help grow the nation’s export potentials, stabilize the foreign exchange regime and present an attraction for local and foreign investments.
“The new NWC should, as matter of urgency, revive and retool the Peoples Democratic Institute (PDI) as the brainbox, the research and policy arm of the PDP:
“The incoming leadership of the party should explore alternative sources of funding for the party via registration fees/annual dues, statutory contributions, sales of mementoes etc.
“The task of rescuing and rebuilding the nation is a national emergency. It requires sacrifice, dedication, laser-focus and the cooperation of all.
“The outgoing NWC praised the incoming NWC led by the PDP National Chairman, Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, for organizing a very successful retreat, with quality attendance from all over the country. It noted that the fruitful deliberations and the out-of-the-box prescriptions are all indications of PDP’s rebirth and resurgence.
“The incoming NWC, on its part, thanked its outgoing counterpart for its cooperation and full equally commended support.”
Ayu also assured that, with PDP, “Nigeria shall rise again.”
He promised the new administration will look for reports prepared by the outgoing administration with a view to cleaning up the party.
Ayu stated further: “By the time we come into the office, accountability will be our watchword. And I want to assure all of you that we will run the PDP administration as transparently as possible.
“However, we cannot ascertain the facts until we get into office. When we are in office, we’ll look at all possible reports and outgoing NWC had set different committees we will take all reports, review them, look at the facts and attend to each issue according to the facts available to us.”