Monday, December 19, 2005

Your Excellency, You Are A Liar

PDP Has Transformed Nigeria, Says Obasanjo
PDP Has Deformed Nigeria, Replies Orikinla.

Please, this is not fiction. This is my rejoinder to an address delivered by President Olusegun Obasanjo at the last National Convention of the PDP in Abuja. Please, read it now or copy and save it to read it later. And don’t rush to make any trivial comment if you have not read it. This is a very important political dialogue of utmost importance, relevance and significance to the state of current affairs in Nigeria. God bless you as you read it.

PRESIDENT OLUSEGUN OBASANJO OF NIGERIA: Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, I could go on reeling out the achievements of the PDP government till tomorrow. There is no aspect of the economy that we have not impacted positively. There is no Nigerian that we have not touched through proactive and positive initiatives. There is no community that has been left out. Even our detractors have become humbled and silenced by our single-minded commitment to make Nigeria a better place and by our specific achievements on several fronts. We shall not waver from our desire to make life better for all Nigerians. This is our promise, our commitment and our goal.

ORIKINLA OF NIGERIA: You can go telling more and more lies about the fictitious achievements of your notorious and monstrous PDP of Nigeria till Kingdom Come. As I can see that you are an incorrigible liar. How could you lie that there is no aspect of the economy that you have not impacted positively when your aviation ministry has killed over 200 innocent passengers in three air disasters within only 50 days?! When your Police Force has murdered so many innocent Nigerians and your draconian armed forces have also murdered hundreds of armless and powerless people in the Niger Delta and other regions of Nigeria in extra-judicial killings that Amnesty International has found your government guilty of wanton violations of the fundamental human rights of Nigerians? What proactive and positive initiatives are you talking about? Or your negative actions and backward government policies! Why are you such a wicked liar? Do you know the grave consequences of your inhuman policies? The more people you have rendered homeless and impoverished and left in penury and misery? Do you know that there are more poverty stricken Nigerians since you came to power than even in the bad days of the tyrannical military juntas of IBB and Abacha? Yes, those days were really bad. But your evil ruling party the PDP has made things worse.

Who ever wrote this fake speech of white and black lies must be an incarnate of the Father of Lies himself, the devil. Because, even the innocent blood of the over 50 pupils of the Loyola Jesuit College who were killed in the catastrophic Sosoliso plane crash will testify against you that your government has failed woefully and the best advice I can give you is that you should repent and go on air to apologize to Nigerians with regrets for your glaring failures in democracy and governance and do your best to make amends before the wrath of the Almighty God descends on you and the corrupt bureaucrats and kleptocrats of your evil and wicked ruling party PDP.

OBJ:I feel very delighted to welcome you all, great men and women of our great Party: the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). Since its formation, we have seen our party become stronger, bolder, larger, and steadily institutionalized.

ORI: Yes, institutionalized tyranny and kleptocracy.

OBJ: When we say that we are the largest political party in Africa, it is not a joke. It is the truth and we must be proud of that fact.

ORI: Yes, and also the largest kleptocracy in Africa.

OBJ: In addition, we have succeeded in learning from our experiences, strengthened our institutions and structures, built discipline, and mapped out an agenda for progress, prosperity and development.
Let me use this opportunity to thank the founding fathers of our great party for their vision, patriotism and sense of nation. I commend them for giving to Africa such a strong and focused political party that is setting the pace on many fronts as we collectively march towards democratic consolidation.

ORI: You have succeeded in learning nothing from the mistakes of the past, you have destroyed the institutions and structures of democracy and governance in Nigeria. And you have betrayed your so-called “founding fathers” that you have abused and misused their trust. And you have given Africa nothing but monstrosity and notoriety in party politics and setting the pace in corruption, rigging of elections, political thuggery and assassinations and kleptocratic consolidation.

OBJ: Let me very briefly give you a report of our stewardship in Government. You are all very familiar with what we met in 1999: a totally dislocated, fragmented, decaying, badly governed, highly demoralized, and corruption-stricken nation and people. Not only was civil society suffocated, but political spaces were closed, and there was not much economy to speak about. The vast majority of Nigerians relied on dubious and extra-legal coping methods of survival to the detriment of the soul of the nation.

ORI: You have no other report than your bad stewardship since 1999 to date. You have worsened the dislocation, fragmentation, decadence, badly governed, highly demoralized and corrupt-stricken (you have turned it into corrupt-ridden) nation and disillusioned people. You have done even worse in suffocating civil society, you have violated the human rights of thousands of people your storm troopers murdered in the Niger Delta in Odi, Odioma and other parts of Nigeria. Murdered innocent and armless protesters during several Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) strikes in Lagos, Benin, Abuja and other places. Bola Ige was murdered in your regime and about 1,000 lives have been lost in extra-judicial killings since you came to power in 1999. Chima Ubani and others died on the terrible roads you have failed to repair. And you have worsened the state of the economy as many of your cronies and proxies have been looting the treasury since 1999 to date. And the vast majority of Nigerians have been rendered homeless as your draconian regime dispossessed them of their accommodations from Lagos to Abuja and you have robbed Peter to pay Paul. You have made more Nigerians poorer than ever before.

OBJ: Our first term in office required courage, boldness, and alternative thinking. In spite of the numerous distractions, largely the products of demilitarization and readjustment to democratic values and practices, we succeeded in laying the foundation for peace, stability, security, growth, development and democracy.
Great members of the PDP: our party never claimed that reform would be easy. We never said we were going to bring about change through magic. But we did claim, and we still stand by that claim that it would no longer be ââ?Å?business as usual.ââ?? Today, the entire country, Africa and the world know that it is no longer business as usual in Nigeria.
I want to thank you all, including other patriotic Nigerians for their support, suggestions, contributions, sacrifices, and commitment to progress and prosperity for all. We must continue to work harder till we get to what I call the cruising level of growth and development.

Since our second term in office, we have transformed Nigeria. Let me repeat that statement: the PDP has transformed Nigeria. This is certainly not the Nigeria of yesterday and we are beginning to reap the rewards of our sacrifices and commitment to a better Nigeria. In agriculture, we have achieved unprecedented growth rates. We are even exporting cassava to China, and that is a first in our history. We are, today, the number one cassava producer in the world. Technology to enhance output of cassava and cassava products has been developed locally and is being accessed by farmers.

Our economy is turning around with inflation gradually coming down, employment expanding, productivity growing, and poverty declining. The manufacturing sector is experiencing a boom and investors are coming into Nigeria in an unprecedented rate. In oil and gas, especially gas, we have made unprecedented breakthroughs.

In telecommunications we are among the top three fastest growing markets in the world and within Nigeria there is a telecommunications revolution going on. The area of ICT development has not been left out and we are working on outsourcing and software development. In the area of infrastructure, we are working to fix failed roads, construct new ones and work with the private sector. We have a great plan to rehabilitate, reconstruct and expand our railway system. Our effort at building a strong economic foundation is also evidenced in our support for a strong public-private partnership and our support for Transcorp Nigeria to undertake large investments within and beyond the shores of Nigeria.

In the area of power, we are far ahead of where we were in 1999 and we have initiated plans that will no doubt culminate in steady and unbroken supply of power to all Nigerians. In the area of water, we have invested more in irrigation, dams, boreholes, and water systems than at anytime in the history of Nigeria and our farmers and rural dwellers are happier for this. We have managed the economy very well to build up robust foreign reserve, tame inflation and interest rate and stabilize the rate of exchange. Against all odds, we secured debt relief for Nigeria.

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, I could go on reeling out the achievements of the PDP government till tomorrow. There is no aspect of the economy that we have not impacted positively. There is no Nigerian that we have not touched through proactive and positive initiatives. There is no community that has been left out. Even our detractors have become humbled and silenced by our single-minded commitment to make Nigeria a better place and by our specific achievements on several fronts. We shall not waver from our desire to make life better for all Nigerians. This is our promise, our commitment and our goal.

When we came into office in 1999, the challenge was how to hold Nigeria together. Dozens of iconoclastic, extra-legal, and violent organizations dotted the political landscape. At that time the Nigerian State was unsteady, uncertain, weak and badly delegitimated. Today, the PDP has united Nigeria.

We have replaced fear with hope. We have replaced uncertainty with confidence; and replaced despondency with dedication and purpose. We have created new paths and opportunities for dialogue, tolerance, negotiation, and peaceful engagement. We have rekindled faith in Nigeria, our communities and families. We have engendered a new morality and spirituality anchored on a new faith in the New Nigeria that we are all striving to build and we have shown that any day, anytime and anywhere, peace and understanding are preferable to violence and discord. Let me thank all of you, great members of the PDP, and indeed all Nigerians for their respective roles in this process.

The PDP government realized that economic reforms without political reforms cannot be sustained. We in the Party recognize that democracy admits of opposition and pressure groups.

They cannot hide under the guise of being a pressure groups or opposition to engage in political rascality, lies, indiscipline, disloyalty, destabilization and destruction. If we are to move forward as a people and as a nation, we must emphasize discipline, patriotism, unity, nationalism, loyalty, peace, security, stability, love, and integrity as part of our core values. This is why we complemented the economic reforms with political reforms in order to lay the required holistic foundations for growth, development and democracy.

Speaking on discipline and loyalty, the PDP decided to begin reform with itself. We realized that every human organization requires periodic review, self-assessment, and redesign of policies and priorities. This, we have successfully carried out and I thank the National Working Committee of the Party, the NEC, the Board of Trustees and all members of the party for recognizing the essence of reform and embracing the innovations with enthusiasm. Of course, the reform of the party is only the precursor of the much-needed political reform and sanitization in the country. It is important that we clean up our politics in order to consolidate our democracy and reap the full rewards of democratic politics. You will all agree with me that only a political party that is dynamic, democratic and disciplined can be relied upon by all Nigerians to achieve results, change the image of Nigeria and inspire the generality of the people to greater heights. It is only such a party that can embrace all interest groups under a huge reliable umbrella. It is only such a party that can ensure party discipline and loyalty while identifying persons of positive track record for political office. We in the PDP have already embraced this perspective and we must not get distracted from our commitment to party and country.
Let me make a few comments on a couple of national issues that show the resolve of our party and government for discipline, integrity, and sensitivity.

Our fight against corruption in all its manifestations remains unrelenting. Let me state categorically that no one or group can distract, discourage or divert us from our war on corruption. We have no reasons to take too seriously the pseudo-complaints of those selfish few who do not wish Nigeria well and whose track record are so cloudy and shady. It is amazing that such persons are now the ones pontificating about corruption. Let us remain focused on the war against corruption because the benefits will be good for the entire nation.
In this regard, I want to commend the members of the Bayelsa State House of Assembly, who have lived up to their constitutional responsibilities, the dignity of their office and the sacredness of their duties. I am very proud of them and the PDP as a party is proud of them.

I want to commend the elders and the youth of Bayelsa State who acknowledged the impeached governor as their son but at the same time condemned the shame and disgrace he had brought on all Bayelsians by his gross misconduct. It is my sincere hope that other States that have fallen into or may fall into the same situation will take a wise cue from Bayelsa. I want to also thank the leadership and rank and file of the PDP that stood firm to support the government to take all necessary action to show that we are a party of honour and decency, good governance, integrity, constitutionality, discipline and law and order.

Finally on Bayelsa, I thank the Nigerian media for their courage and steadfastness in upholding the honour and dignity of Nigeria and the obligation and responsibility of the media to stand for what is noble, dignifying, patriotic, just, and soothing to the psyche and soul of a people and country.

By the action of all these people, professions and institutions, again, Nigeria has regained her place of honour which would have appeared tarnished by the action of the former Governor of Bayelsa State. As a member of INTERPOL and in reaction or in answer to the mutual assistance agreement between Nigeria and Britain, Nigeria will take the appropriate action as required by the British authorities on this matter.

As a party, going back to 1998/99 we addressed the principle of power shift and rotation. It was discussed extensively, debated rigorously, and agreed to even without it being included in the party constitution or the nationââ?â?¢s constitution. That spirit of discussion and dialogue which stood us in good stead then must not now be appropriated, manipulated, compromised, contaminated or corrupted by any individual or group no matter how highly placed. As a party, we must resist efforts by some individuals or groups to use their pedestrian understanding of power shift and power rotation to hold the country to ransom. In any case, in engaging in any political discourse or positioning, we must not use it as a cover to distort, mangle, deny, rewrite or redirect history in very dangerous directions.

As a party, we will not substitute violence, threats, intimidation, arrogance and lack of consultation for dialogue, debate, accommodation, negotiation, inclusion, tolerance, and peace.

I believe that credentials which were found to be good enough and acceptable for holding Nigeria together when the preoccupation of most Nigerians was how to prevent the country from disintegrating, should not now be subject to question when together, people have worked to stabilize, regenerate, and reposition the country for unity, peace, security, stability and democracy. Let us remember that the fabric of our unity and integration is still comparatively fragile.

I have read with some understanding the document issued by the South-South Assembly. What I will say to PDP members of that Assembly is that while nobody will turn deaf ears to their well-made case and well-marshaled points, they should allow the spirit of dialogue, debate, tolerance, negotiation, and give-and-take to prevail.

When the time comes, they should accord me, as the Leader of the Party, the opportunity to interpret our policy and principles of power shift to suit the occasion which will definitely consider the seeming agitation from the North of the country.

The new PDP has a big and large enough umbrella to accommodate all Nigerians that are willing and ready to be members of our reformed, democratic, disciplined and people-oriented party. Let us join hands, eschew bitterness and opportunism, avoid treachery and disloyalty, imbibe democratic values and stand for fairness, truth, equity and justice.

From complaints in the field, we do know that the recent registration exercise has not covered all those who wish to belong to our great party.

I saw this myself in my own Ward. Therefore, immediately after this Convention, the Chairman of the PDP and the National Working Committee have a plan for massive campaign and massive registration of members. It is in this way that we can continue to justify our claim to being the largest political party in Africa.
Let me also use this forum to suggest that just as we have a Discipline Committee in the PDP, we should also have a Reconciliation Committee to mediate and sooth nerves when and where necessary.

In conclusion, let me reiterate that the PDP and the Government that emanated from it will not be diverted from the path of rectitude and the path of making Nigeria great no matter what the cost may be to us as leaders of the party and government.

Long live the PDP
Long Live Nigeria
May God continue to bless us all.

ORI: Your Excellency, I beg your pardon. If there is anything I hate most, it is telling lies. And I wonder if you have a problem with telling the truth and damning the devil. What demilitarization are you talking about? And you sent your storm troopers to demolish harmless and armless civilian communities in the Niger Delta and houses were burnt. Including churches, and you claim to be a Christian or an Owu High Priest? Did you get the consent of the National Assembly before sending soldiers to violate the fundamental human rights of the villages of Odi and Odioma and other areas in the Niger Delta? Did you prosecute the soldiers for killing an innocent old woman and her grandchild? And you are here lying to the whole world that you have succeeded in laying the foundation for peace? Where? In the riots perpetrated by your Frankenstein Chris Uba in Anambra State in Nigeria where properties worth billions of Naira and innocent lives were destroyed in the mayhem caused by your notorious and monstrous ruling party, the PDP. Is that your own definition of peace, stability, development and democracy? I am wondering whether I am not being too harsh in my criticism, because I am not considering the fact that your limited education is responsible for your misconceptions and misinterpretations of peace, stability, security, growth, development and democracy. Who wrote that speech for you? I hope it is not my Albino uncle in charge of your Radio Nigeria? The lies in your speech are preposterous and ridiculous.Look at the state of Nigeria since you came to power in 1999. Can you count the number of ethnic riots, civil unrest and carnage in Lagos, Kano, Kaduna, Jos, Kwara, Anambra, Rivers, Bayelsa and other parts of Nigeria? The countless lives lost in the bloody chaos. The several cases of extra-judicial killings all over Nigeria are already noted by Amnesty. And you are here talking of peace, stability and security? Where? In your dreams or are you blindfolded that you cannot see the dreadful realities of the state of affairs since the PDP came to power.

The campus cults have maimed and killed scores of students in our polytechnics and universities. And you are here telling lies to deny the facts of history. And today the entire country, Africa and the rest of the world know that it is not only business as usual in Nigeria, it is even worse than ever before. Look at the tragedies of the air disasters in Nigeria since you came to power and look at the state of our roads and airports. Nowhere is safe. People are scared of traveling on the bad accident-prone roads and people are in fear and trembling to travel by air in Nigeria. There was no ordinary water supply to put out the fire of the burning Sosoliso aircraft as it crashed at the Port Harcourt airport and you call that an international airport. And you have even wasted millions of our dollars to go on your globetrotting tours of the world and lying to us that you were going to attract foreign investors? Foreigners who are scared of landing on the bad runways of our airports where planes run into herds of cattle and run into potholes? And you are lying here that it is no longer business as usual when parents of the unfortunate 52 pupils of the Loyola Jesuit College in Abuja are still in shock over the sudden death of their sons and daughters who perished in the Sosoliso plane crash in Port Harcourt? Do you know how many people the corruption and misadministration of your government have turned to widows, widowers, orphans and physically disabled? And you are here talking nonsense? Where is your conscience? Don’t you know that telling terrible lies is evil and only an incarnate of the devil without conscience would tell the kind of wicked lies you are telling us in Nigeria. May God have mercy on you.

You say the PDP has transformed Nigeria? Or the PDP has deformed Nigeria and shortchanged Nigerians by turning Nigeria into a notorious and monstrous Kleptocracy of oligarchs controlled by your fellow retired generals and colonels who looted our national treasury and used the stolen funds to set up 419 banks for money launderers, illegal oil smugglers, black market currency traffickers and other crooks and rogues in your government and your cronies and proxies you gave licenses for oil blocks, GSM Telecommunications, importation of cement, sugar and other commodities, export of cassava, cocoa, and other products. And we are being ripped off everyday by day from Lagos to Abuja. The PDP is a political party of crooks, rogues and stewards of corruption in power.

You have witch hunted your political rivals and opponents and used the machinery of your statecraft to manipulate the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to embarrass, harass and lampoon two state governors who have fallen out favour with you. But, the other looters are still hobnobbing with you in your Otta farms, Lagos, Abuja and Minna. Have you arrested the evil genius your godfather? And the other criminals with their dirty fingers in all the pies in your Presidency. I have the short list and long list of the suspects you are scared of arresting and the EFCC has not had the balls to interrogate them. You want to use the case of the disgraced former governor of Bayelsa State for your image laundering. But, what of the other PDP governors and Chris Uba who should have been arrested and prosecuted for his rampant criminal activities?

Inflation is worse than ever, more Nigerians are unemployed and you lie that poverty is declining? When the statistics show that the level of poverty in Nigeria since you came to power to date is worse than when even Gen. Sanni Abacha was in power and the value of our currency has depreciated.

Your party the PDP is the worst ruling political party in the history of Nigeria. A party of bitterness, opportunism, treachery, disloyalty, betrayals, witchcraft, misappropriation, misadministration, lawlessness and other evils. You have not transformed Nigeria, you have deformed Nigeria and if not for the divine intervention of God you would have ruined Nigeria.

Even Dr. Festus Iyayi has categorically said that you have worsened the state of affairs in Nigeria. You can read more on his own views below.

Things are much worse today than ever –IyayiMeeting and interviewing Dr. Festus Iyayi, former president of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and lecturer in the Department of Business Administration, University of Benin, is really a delight. Several years after he and his compatriots with other Nigerian pro-democracy activists waged the war against the military in Nigeria and saw to the enthronement of a quasi or pseudo-democracy in 1999, Iyayi has not gotten tired of lamenting for his father land, a country ruined by unpatriotic and inept leadership at all levels. In this interview with CHUKS EHIRIM, the activist intellectual says President Olusegun Obasanjo has worsened Nigeria’s problems in the last six years because he serves foreign interests. He spoke on other national issues, including the Third Term agenda, the emergence of the new political movement (MDD), and the trouble in the country’s educational system and more. Excerpts:Festus Iyayi Speaks

This is Orikinla Osinachi’s rejoinder to an address delivered by President Olusegun Obasanjo at the National Convention of the PDP in Abuja.


Rumfa said...

Your posts are really long. Do you expect people to read everything?

Orikinla Osinachi. said...

Thank you for taking your time.

Only few posts are long. The others are quite short.

I already told readers how to save and read this rejoinder later.

God bless.