Main opposition Peoples Democratic Party, on Monday, decried the New Year speech by President Bola Tinubu, saying it’s a “harvest of deceit, false claims and empty promises”.
Tinubu, in his New Year address to Nigerians on Monday, affirmed that Nigerians are frustrated because of the removal of fuel subsidy and the Naira devaluation.
The President said, “I am not oblivious to the expressed and sometimes unexpressed frustrations of my fellow citizens. I know for a fact that some of our compatriots are even asking if this is how our administration wants to renew their hope.
“Over the past seven months of our administration, I have taken some difficult and yet necessary decisions to save our country from fiscal catastrophe. One of those decisions was the removal of fuel subsidy which had become an unsustainable financial burden on our country for more than four decades.”
But the President urged Nigerians to be patient with him, adding that his government is working towards solving all issues around the socio-economic situation through his ‘Renewed Hope Agenda’.
But in a swift reaction, the PDP in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, on Monday, said Tinubu’s speech was uninspiring and amounted to a waste of valuable time as it did not address any of the critical issues plaguing the nation.
“Nigerians were dismayed as President Tinubu employed rhetoric and failed to address the critical issues of insecurity, decayed infrastructure, comatose manufacturing, and productive sectors; crushing 28% inflation rate, continuing plunge of the Naira, alarming unemployment, excruciating poverty and economic hardship occasioned by the reckless, ill-advised and insensitive policies and programmes of his administration,” the party stated.
The statement added that it’s an unpardonable assault on the sensibility of Nigerians for Tinubu to assert that “everything I have done in the office, every decision I have taken and every trip I have undertaken outside the shores of our land, since I assumed office on 29 May 2023, has been done in the best interest of our country”.
According to the PDP, “On the contrary, all decisions and actions of the Tinubu Presidency, including the approval of an increase in the pump price of fuel from N167 to over N700 per liter, devaluation of the naira with the consequential high costs and hardship; skewing of the 2024 budget in favour of luxury appetite of the Presidency and APC leaders without concrete policies to revive the economy and create jobs; the wasteful foreign trips with political cronies and failure to address the mindless killings across the nation cannot be said to be in the interest of our country.”
It added that Tinubu’s statement that his actions and policies are in the interest of the nation further confirmed that this administration is allegedly subjecting Nigerians to hardship as a way to suppress them to surrender to totalitarianism.
The statement further read, “President Tinubu ought to have used the opportunity presented by the New Year to apologize to Nigerians and marshal out steps to address our national challenges, including those responsible for the exiting of multinational manufacturing companies and other businesses from our country.
“What Nigerians demand of President Tinubu is to provide a comprehensive account of our nation’s earnings, including the proceeds from the removal of subsidy on petroleum products, especially in the face of allegations that the earnings are being diverted to private pockets of APC leaders and their cronies.
“The National Assembly is invited to step up and perform its Constitutional role of oversight to hold the Executive Arm accountable as the custodian of the purse of the nation.”