The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) has challenged the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to identify the projects it alleged were done by past
PDP administrations but were claimed by President Muhammadu Buhari, either in his exclusive interview with Arise Television last week Thursday or at any other time in the last six years.
The group said in a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke that the former ruling party should also provide a list of projects it began and completed in its 16 years in power at the centre in line with its 25-year National Development Plan for the country.
“PDP has again shown its knack for deception and duplicity with its latest effort to dismiss President Buhari’s legacy on provision of national infrastructure by claiming credit for those projects under some nebulous 25-year plan.
“Is it not shameful that a party that had three successive administrations at the federal level for 16 years is struggling to lay claims to projects that it abandoned but are being completed by President Buhari after two election cycles?
“We wonder what deliverables PDP media handlers were referring to as ‘massive construction and expansion of road network, power plants, railways projects’ that they could not identify in their long, winding but empty statement that was meant to counter the President’s lucid and forthright outing on Arise TV.
“If they had no time to compile a list before releasing that poorly thought out statement, we challenge them to put up one now, showing the legacy projects that were put in place in the 16 years between the Obasanjo administration and that of former President Jonathan, which is more than half of the timeline of the so-called plan it claimed it had for Nigeria.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the Abuja-Kaduna railway line is the only one rail project that was inherited by the Buhari administration and it was not even close to completion in 2015, when Nigerians said enough was enough and booted PDP out of office. We make bold to say that no official of the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led government has ever tried to claim credit for conceptualizing it.
“But we wonder if that was the best the PDP could do in 16 years, yet it claimed that there was a 25-year National Development Plan that included rail, road and power infrastructure, and just like the President said in the Arise TV interview, we also want to remind Nigerians that it was at a time the country was making an average of $100 per barrel on a daily production of 2.1 million barrels of crude oil”.
BMO noted that the former ruling party and its supporters have always been comfortable with informing Nigerians about all the projects PDP had on paper, but the fact is that it did little or nothing to make them a reality.
“The Lagos-Ibadan rail line may have been conceptualised by the PDP, just like its abandoned National Secretariat complex in Abuja, but the Buhari administration sourced for the funds from China and also entered into discussions with the contractors on extending the project from its original terminal point at Ebute Metta to the Lagos Port Complex in Apapa.
“We invite Nigerians to note that the ground breaking was done by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in 2017, while the President commissioned it in 2021; so it is safe to say that the Buhari administration began that project and completed it. All PDP did was to have a plan on paper but it took an APC-led administration to do the hard work from scratch to completion within the 36-month timeline
“We like to inform PDP that the contracts for the Kano-Maradi project and that of Port Harcourt to Maiduguri have been awarded with a 36-month timeline too, so we will be waiting for their usual PDP started it refrain.
“And there is also the Second Niger Bridge which is due for completion within the next one year, but we need to remind Nigerians that previous governments did not place a single brick on the site where the 1.6km-long bridge and the adjoining 10.3 km-long highway are gradually taking shape.
“Another legacy project we have to dangle proudly before the PDP is the 326-km Itakpe-Warri railway which was conceptualised 33 years ago by the then military government but which a party that has a 25- year development plan did not consider necessary to complete until the Buhari administration came on board and completed it. There are also plans to extend the rail line to Abuja and also link it to the Baro inland Port as well as construct a Sea Port in Warri.
“We agree with PDP that government is a continuum but nothing justifies the sheer number of abandoned projects that dotted the landscape at the time it left office which this administration is working on completing and also adding value to them”.
The group urged Nigerians to continue to ignore a party which it insisted has so lost touch with reality that it cited a non-existent Akwanga-Maiduguri road as the only project that the Buhari administration has demonstrated capacity for; the actual ongoing project is Akwanga-Makurdi highway.