In recent times, the ruling APC and the opposition PDP have continued to trade words over certain projects completed by the governing party, which the opposition party has been claiming to be their signature projects. JONATHAN NDA- ISAIAH writes on the unending squabbles.
The opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has not spared the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) over some projects completed by the present administration. In this side of the globe, inauguration of projects is always considered as delivering on campaign promises, or rather delivering the dividends of democracy to the people.
In politics, even where one party has a comparative advantage over the other, war of attrition cannot be ruled out because politicians see it as a veritable weapon to wear down their opponents. Neither the party in power nor the opposition is likely to surrender gracefully even when the odds are against anyone of them, and as the elections draw closer, the political war will only get messier as it seems to get closer to the end.
Last week, the PDP was at APC’s neck again when President Muhammadu Buhari flagged off the first phase of the Abuja light rail project. White inaugurating the project, Buhari noted that the completion of the project was a dream come true for his government and the change agenda.
He said, “I commend the Hon Minister of FCT for the hard work and sense of purpose towards the realization of this long awaited modern transportation system for both FCT residents and visitors. This accomplishment clearly demonstrates our commitment to addressing critical infrastructural projects and keeping with the ideals of the Change Agenda to ensure prudence in the management of public resources, value for money considering the huge investments in this project.
“Today, what we have in the Federal Capital Territory is another evidence that we are a government that delivers on its promises. I have observed keenly other milestones that this Administration has achieved, especially in the areas of education, public utilities and infrastructure development,” he said.
But the PDP would not want to hear any of these. In a swift reaction, the opposition party chided the federal government for failing to give credit to it at the penultimate Thursday’s commissioning of the Abuja Light Rail Project by President Buhari.
In a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan that same day in Abuja, the party expressed dismay that Buhari commissioned the project without giving credit to PDP, which initiated.
It stated that it was unfortunate that the APC attempted to claim credit for the project, while Nigerians were already aware that it was conceptualised, initiated and policy-propelled by the PDP. The party said it was unfortunate that after three years in office, the APC government could not boast of any development project conceptualised and executed in any part of the country.
“The PDP usually watch with amusement whenever the President and the APC seek to claim credit for our achievements in various sectors. However, while we understand their predicament of having nothing in their scorecard ahead of the 2019 general elections, we state that poaching the achievements of others cannot help them in any way,” PDP said.
This is not the first time the two leading political parties would be fighting over project ownership. While it was the present administration that started the implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) policy, the PDP had claimed that it birthed the idea of the TSA and had started the implementation in phases.
The PDP had also said that the Abuja – Kaduna railway was at 90% completion when they handed over power to the present administration and so President Buhari should not take credit for the project.
Also, two years ago, President Buhari launched the an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) produced locally by the Nigerian Air Force Institute of Technology. According to reports then, it was the first of its kind in Nigeria.
Buhari had, while unveilimg the unmanned aerial vehicle christened TSAIGUMI in Kaduna, said, “It is a pleasure to be here with you all for the induction of the Nigerian Air Force Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, ‘TSAIGUMI’, Nigeria’s first indigenously developed Unmanned Aerial Vehicle. The significance of this accomplishment as a milestone of national technological development cannot be over-estimated”.
Immediately, the PDP came out to say it discovered that TSAIGUMI is the same UAV that former President Goodluck Jonathan commissioned in 2013.
On December 18, 2013, Jonathan unveiled the first Nigerian made unmanned aerial vehicle named GULMA which was built by the Nigerian Air Force in Kaduna.
The PDP, in its reaction, described the commissioning as shameful. Its national publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan wrote on Twitter thus: “It’s a shame that same project former President GEJ commissioned om Decemebr 17th 2013 is the same project (first unmanned drone ) that Buhari is recommissioning and the @APCNigeria apologists are celebrating this Shameful act.”
Political analysts argued that the constant bickering between the two political parties is not healthy for the polity, as it is becoming obvious to the average Nigerian that the country is gradually descending into a failed state as a result of finger-pointing and emphasis on project completion.
Keen observers of the polity observed that the constant squabbles between the APC and PDP is all about 2019. As the general elections draw closer, the political parties are using every trick in their book to sway the voters. The thinking is that, just like the popular maxim: ‘In love and war all is fair’, politics is regarded as war in Nigeria.
On the other side of the divide, some analysts recalled that the APC had in recent past referred to the PDP as a clueless party, which in its 16 years in power did or achieved nothing. They queried that if the PDP is really clueless as being bandied about by the APC, how come the present administration is completing projects started by a clueless administration?
However, there are other political analsysts who argued that the problem of Nigeria is lack of continuity in government. In theirvestimation, if a government decides to complete abandoned national projects instead of embarking on pork barrel projects, that government should be commended.
To most Nigerians, it doesn’t matter if the PDP started a project and the APC completed it. What matters is that the project is for Nigerians. The thinking is that Nigerians are the beneficiaries and in the eyes of the electorate, the APC and PDP are actually the same because both parties are claiming credit of the project for selfish reasons.
In view of this, there is a congruence of opinions among pundits that Nigerians should demand good governance from all political office holders at all levels and when they renege on their promise, the power to recall or vote out non performing leaders should be exercised.
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