Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State has urged Nigerians to vote for change in order to strengthen the nation’s economy and democracy, which he said the ruling Peoples Democratic Party had weakened since it took over leadership of the country in 1999.
Speaking in Auchi yesterday, he governor said that the ruling party had disappointed Nigerians, having failed to facilitate major infrastructural developments in power, education, health and other sectors.
He said, “They have not fixed power. They have not fixed education. They have not fixed the health sector. They have not fixed the roads. They have dashed the expectation of the youths and they have polluted the political atmosphere and they have weakened the foundation of our national unity.
“They have re-partitioned the country along religious divide and along ethnic divide. They have played brothers against brothers, sisters against sisters; they are buffeting us with primordial sentiments in place of issues of development and the country is weaker today than it was before”.
Oshiomhole said that Nigerians needed people who fought to keep the nation together in order to “re-fix what PDP has broken”.
He added: “Nigerians should vote for change, even PDP needs change, you can see the internal contradictions within the PDP is like a weak fabric; the more you patch it, the more it gets torn and after 16 years, even PDP will agree that they haven’t delivered on the promises of democracy”.
The governor also argued that the private sector had lost its vitality and that the country needed urgent revitalisation to check the high rate of unemployment even as he frowned at the state of the economy occasioned by fallen oil price.
“The private sector is dead and this is why you are not getting adverts for products. And you are not going to be able to create jobs if you do not revive the private sector; as you can see, even though between 1999 till date, the oil sector has performed better than it was in the previous 10 years”, Oshiomhole said.
On the security challenges, he lamented that the Nigerian Army, in spite of its globally acknowledged successes in peace keeping and intervention missions abroad, had not replicated similar successes in the fight against terrorism.
The governor said, “All of a sudden, the Nigerian Army that is reputed all over the world to have fought and to be helping to secure neighbouring countries like Sierra Leone, Liberia, Mali, Sudan and others when they witnessed internal crisis, now it is our turn to look inwards and we are told that our soldiers are running.
“What has gone wrong? What has changed that we are no longer the giant? That we can’t even get arms to buy in official markets, we have to go underground? Are we under sanctions? By who and why? Why are we not earning respect? Why are we not trusted?
“So, for me, even the PDP will recognise that they need time to go and rest so that they can ask themselves some soul searching questions; that how come that in 16 years we left the country weaker than we met it?”