- ‘I’ve performed creditably’
- PDP behind ‘third term’ claim, says party chair
All Progressives Congress (APC) National Chairman Adams Oshiomhole said on Thursday that his stellar performance is the reason he has been under attacks and attempts being made to remove him from office.
“My report card is very clear. We have performed creditably,” he said.
Oshiomhole spoke at the Presidential Villa in Abuja when he led members of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) on a New Year visit to President Muhammadu Buhari.
Oshiomhole said the visit was also to congratulate the President on the successes so far recorded since his second term administration was inaugurated.
The party chairman has faced a barrage of criticisms. Some governors are also scheming to get him out of office.
The chairman said: “You hardly see people throwing stones at a dry palm tree. But if you see a mango tree when it is its season, people throw stones at it when passing. I think that is my lot. You my comrades (media) should also help in interrogating the process, how a performance of a National Working Committee of a political party should be evaluated.
“So, in every aspect of life, you will have supporters, you will have opponents. Even God our creator, even those that He created in heaven and earth, haven’t you seen people lamenting that how can God give us this little and give this man so much even as we are encouraged not to jealous.
“There are people who canvassed those views and there also those who think that yes, APC has not done badly. You must have also read ironically, people say that under the chairmanship of my brother, Mr Secondus, the PDP appeared to have been missing every election and that they want him out.
“I think there was somebody who wrote something in Kano that while APC gave financial support to our candidate (we gave financial support from our own resources) the PDP doesn’t give kobo to any of their candidates.
“But we did it for the first time. We didn’t do it in 2015. I can point to a lot of innovations that we have brought on board. But as they say, the reward for hard work is even more work. Those who are determined to criticize you, don’t ever deceive yourself that because you have done well, they will stop.
“I am very confident that our party is stronger today than it was before I became the chairman”.
Speaking on President Buhari’s assurance to Nigerians that he had not third term agenda, Oshiomhole recalled that Nigerians had a bitter experience in the past by a President, who attempted to override the constitution and foist a third term on the country.
He said the third term agenda idea is a brainchild of the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP), recalling that it was under the party’s watch that a president attempted to override the constitution and impose himself.
The party chairman approved President Buhari’s choice of reassuring Nigerians of his plan to keep faith with the Constitution, complete his second term and quit the stage at the end of his term in 2023.
He attributed idleness in a section of the Nigerian political class as fueling the third term rumour.
“I am surprised to see that there are people who begin to wonder why should the President reassure Nigerians that he is not going to do third term in office because third term was planted by PDP.
“It is still in the sub-consciousness of most Nigerians that a Nigerian President tried to do third term, emptied the treasury to bribe members of the National Assembly and since that President left, thanks to the National Assembly, no other next President has done eight years in office.
“Because there is a level of idleness within a section of the political class, people can sponsor all kinds of publications to give doubt to whether or not the President is planning to stay longer.
“And I think it is his decision that at every interval he needs to remind Nigerians that he is not about to do what a PDP President did. For me it is necessary and in any case it costs us nothing to reassure us that he is leaving”, Oshiomhole said.
He urged Nigerians to recognise that under the Buhari-led administration, a lot have changed for better.
Oshiomhole said: “In Nigeria when good things happen they don’t command good headline news. For example, consistently under this President, people are now used to going for Christmas without having to worry whether or not there is petroleum product in the market.
“Few years back, people were always afraid of what will happen during the Christmas season, all your money, all the little money you are saving to take back home to celebrate with your people, you end up patronizing ‘black market’ to buy a liter of PMS at two, three, or four times the value and some times it is adulterated. And we see pictures of people who are stranded across the country because they cannot access PMS.
“Again, these are things we are now able to with pride and take for granted. I also think that we ought to celebrate the fact that we are able to celebrate Christmas and New Year and people have rice everywhere that were not imported from other countries.
I bought some quantities of rice to share in line with the tradition and all these were Nigerian grown rice. They taste better, they are not expired, they are more nutritious and for me this is how a nation grows and eventually becomes self-reliant, self-sufficient.
“Now if we can sustain this policy for another one year or two years, and Nigerians get used to eating Nigerian rice and our farmers get a ready market for rice, obviously, that aspect of food security would have been put behind us. I thought it was something that we should commend the President for; what he has done and the courage to put Nigeria first before any other sentiment.
So we can say that we can see a gradual revolution taking place in the agricultural sector.
“This past few weeks of dry season, a lot has been done to improve part of the road network in Nigeria. Every leader needs to be encouraged, while the opposition would amplify what is wrong and even distort facts that are right, we as a party have a duty to amplify what we have done differently. It was a nice visit and the President was happy and we are also very excited”, he said.