Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, on Monday, carpeted President Muhammadu Buhari-led government on its management of the nation’s economy, saying the country had suffered more crises than it did under previous governments.
Ekweremadu made the observation at the Peoples Democratic Party’s national stakeholders’ meeting held at the Ekiti State Governor’s Lodge, Asokoro, Abuja, on Monday.
He said “all APC promises had been kept in the reverse order.”
He was quoted by his Special Adviser on Media, Mr Uche Anichukwu, as saying, “They told us that one US dollar would be one naira when they take over. Has that happened? Today, our currency is the worst in the whole of Africa.
“ Is that the type of democracy we looked forward to? I can see a situation where the price of oil is going up and the value of naira is going down. What type of economics is that?”
Ekweremadu, however, enjoined PDP faithful to remain strong as the party would “work with Nigerians to restore true democracy and hope to our people.”
He said, “I believe that with determination and sticking together, we will triumph and Nigeria will be better for it.”
The Deputy Senate President also condemned what he described as the manipulation of vital institutions of democracy and radical decline of democratic freedoms in Nigeria.
He also said the solidarity of all key organs of the PDP for the Senator Ahmed Makarfi-led National Caretaker Committee, despite the recent judgment of the Court of Appeal on the party’s leadership tussle, showed that “it is not the hood that makes the monk.”
Ekweremadu, while condemning the sealing of the International Conference Centre, Abuja, the earlier announced venue of the meeting, by the security agencies, said that “such flagrant manipulation of critical institutions of democracy is not only dangerous, but bad news for the nation’s democracy.”
He said, “We are aware that all the institutions of democracy are being manipulated and harassed in this country. The National Assembly and the press are not left out. The Independent National Electoral Commission has been captured and now a part of the APC. Our judiciary is being insulted and assaulted every day. Their houses are being attacked very late at night and the judges are being harassed.
“So, we are not surprised at what we are seeing today (sealing of meeting venue)? But what remains is for us to remain resolute.”
The Deputy Senate President expressed his displeasure at what he described as the rising political persecution in the country.
He said, “If you look around this room, you will see a lot of people who are being harassed, persecuted and taken to court. What is their offence? They claim they allegedly received stolen property, yet, nobody has been arraigned for the actual stealing. As a lawyer, I know that if you are being arraigned for receiving stolen property, you must first of all arraign the man who stole the property. That is not so in our own case. Is that democracy?”
Ekwememadu urged party members to remain resolute and protect the soul of the PDP and the nation’s democracy, insisting that the party leaders were made by the party faithful and could never be imposed from the outside.
He said, “We have heard there was a judgment in Port Harcourt. Now, those who benefitted from the judgment, where are they? Are they with our former ministers? Are they with our National Assembly members? Are they with our governors? Which organ of the party are they with or is with them? The truth is that it is not the hood that makes the monk.”