By Inyali Peter
The Gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress in Cross River State for the 2015 general elections, Odey Ochicha has called on Nigerians to stop blaming President Muhammadu Buhari for the current stiff economic situations they face as his intervention prevented what would have been a total shamble for now.
The former NNPC top gun made this call in a statement issued in Calabar by his media office and made available to CrossRiverWatch where he said it was time to separate facts from lies, pointing out that it was time Nigerians face reality and stop believing the rhetoric and illusions created by those who looted their commonwealth and failed to set up structures for the economy to grow without oil.
“Nigerians should begin to channel their questions to the right people and stop believing this rhetoric and illusions that President Buhari and APC are responsible for the nation’s economic woes” said Ochicha who blamed the former administrations which he described as insensitive and the most corrupt in the history of the country which has led the country to the present quagmire.
The statement further read: “There is nowhere in the world that the economy grows in space. What were the structures the past administrations built for our economy to grow without oil? The economy grows by the standard of infrastructure and institutions created but unfortunately, the Buhari administration inherited almost a failed state from the PDP that had the rare privilege of managing the affairs of this country for a whole 16 years.
“I can’t understand why people are pointing accusing fingers at this administration. The former administration earned more than sixty per cent of our total revenue from oil yet there’s nothing to show for it. See what is happening with the former first lady? What work was she doing to have such stupendous amount of money in her various accounts?
“Over USD51.4 million in her separate accounts. What was her source of income? I served this country for 29 years, 6 months and grew to the rank of Deputy Manager in the NNPC but I cannot boast of such huge amount of money because I didn’t steal but a woman who has contributed nothing to the development of our country is today richer than the entire South South region.
“When people talk about Jonathan handing over the largest economy to Buhari, I begin to wonder whether they don’t understand that Jonathan met a viable economy with the growth rate of 7.9% and left it at about 2.9%. Six months to when he was leaving office and when the prices of crude oil had began to fall, his Finance Minister told us that they were borrowing money to pay salaries of federal workers.
“But under the President Buhari’s administration, despite the difficult economic situation, the government has been able to pay salaries without borrowing. The last two month’s federal allocation shared was the highest in the history of this country and was not gotten from oil. Why is nobody talking about this?”
Also, he rallied support for the current administration which he said had dogged approaches to reviving the economy and pointed out that “Nothing good comes easy.”
“Only a few countries like United Arab Emirates, Norway etc that utilized their oil wealth very well are currently not faced with recession. In fact, Norway is surviving now from about USD800 billion foreign reserve it had accumulated but here, former President Jonathan’s Finance Minister has said it all that they lacked the will to save even when they had the will to squander what other administrations had saved.
“So I want to appeal to Nigerians to be patient with the President. What we are going through now is the price other nations had paid to get to where they are. President Buhari and you the good people of Nigeria will make our dear country great and prosperous again”. Together, we can build a new Nigeria that is great, powerful, progressive, prosperous, industrialized and world class” the statement read.
In a related development, Ochicha in his message the Muslims on the occasion of the Eid El-Kabir celebration urged them to look inwards and continuously pray for the country and her leaders.
“With our current economic challenges, the Eid El-Kabir should be much more than the usual fun. It is a time that we as a people need to take sober reflection on our gains and failures, analyse our collective efforts to make Nigeria a better country and then pray especially for our peaceful coexistence” Ochicha said in a statement.
“We need to sincerely pray for our President that as he is fighting strongly to redeem the country from the hands of those who have breached public trust by illegally and selfishly enriching themselves at the detriment of the masses, their revolt would heat the rock,” the statement reads in part” the statement added.
Furthermore, he called on “our Muslim brothers and sisters in Cross River State to pray for Governor Ben Ayade”, adding that; “while I commend the governor’s courage for some of his projects, he should understand the present economic reality of the state and the country by focusing on developmental projects that would be of direct benefit to the good people of Cross River State.”
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