The national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Dr. Iyorchia Ayu, has opposed the planned upward review of the pump price of petrol saying the party was not ready to add more hardship to Nigerians.
Addressing the media yesterday in Abuja where he presented a communiqué at the end of a two-day retreat of the newly-elected members of the party’s national working committee, Ayu said the masses had suffered enough.
“The PDP does not believe in visiting more hardship on the Nigerian people. The party has not discussed the issue of increase in petroleum prices, but our general position is that the people of Nigeria are already hard pressed, there is so much hardship.
“If you are poor, you are not going to benefit from what is called petrol subsidy. I want to assure Nigerians that when we come back to power as a party, everything will be done to make sure that the massive sufferings that Nigerians are going through comes to an end.
“If you increase the price of petroleum products today, with the kind of suffering that Nigerians are going through, it means that there will be enormous difficult in transportation.
“Food prices will escalate; you will find that crime rate will increase. Every single vice which has escalated under the APC will double. So the APC government is trying to take us into the highest level of suffering and ultimately, taking Nigerians to a position of non-existence,” he said.
He also announced that the party would review some of the activities of the outgoing national working committee to ensure accountability in all issues in the past.
“By the time we come to office, accountability will remain our watchword and I want to assure all of you that we will run the PDP administration as transparently as possible.
“The outgoing NWC has set up different committees to look into different areas, we shall take up all the reports, review them, look at the facts and then attend to each issue according to the facts available to us.
“I want to assure you that we shall try to clean our house no matter who is going to be affected, we shall try to clean our house following due process and that due process also include exhausting all internal conflict resolving mechanism before we bring in any external intervention when we cannot resolve the issue,” Ayu said in reaction to what the former national chairman of the party, Mr. Okwesilieze Nwodo said on accountability and recovery of stolen party fund.
According to the communiqué of the PDP retreat, the security situation in the country threatens Nigeria’s corporate existence, stating that the collapse of national security had made Nigeria to begin sharing sovereignty with terrorist gangs and rogue elements.
Also, the communiqué alleged that the lack of vision, capacity, ability and competence on the part of the ruling all Progressives Congress- (APC) government had driven Nigeria towards a failed state.
It argued that through the federal government’s incessant borrowings, the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration had returned Nigeria to the status of “a beggar and debtor-nation.”
“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 at 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 is fueling separatist tendencies in the country. Nigeria cannot survive another four years of APC misrule,” the communiqué stated.
The communiqué tasked the incoming Ayu-led NWC to hold periodic retreats and roundtable dialogues to clarify its position on issues affecting the country, adding that the NWC should commence sustained dialogue with the Nigerian electorate before the next round of elections.
He said the PDP should engage different segments of the voting population especially to encourage youths and women demographics in the rescue
It also urged the new leadership of the party to in line with its slogan, return the PDP to the people by entrenching the culture of internal democracy as envisaged by the party’s founding fathers.
Also, the communiqué added: “Members at all levels should rally round the new leadership so that it effectively reforms, repositions, re-energises, retools and re-directs the party towards regaining her lost glory and rescuing the country.
“The new NWC should, as matter of urgency, revive and retool the Peoples Democratic Institute (PDI) as the brain box, the research and Policy arm of the PDP,” the communiqué stated.
The communiqué further urged the incoming leadership of the party to explore alternative sources of funding for the party via registration fees/annual dues, statutory contributions, sales of mementoes, among others.