Dan Orbih, National Vice Chairman, South-South, of Nigeria’s main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said on Thursday that the party must begin to play its role as a credible and respected opposition force.
He expressed this view when he led the South-South party executive on a courtesy visit to Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, in Asaba.
According to Orbih, the party is the hope of the people.
He said, “We must start playing our role as a party in opposition. We are the hope of our people.
“About few days ago, the Senate approved another $6.1 billion loan about N2.34 trillion.
“The conscious policy of the Nigerian government to mortgage our future must stop. These loans are not deployed for economic productive ventures but for railway lines from Kastina to Niger.
“What we spend in combating herdsmen atrocities and kidnapping if deployed in the Agricultural sector can make Nigeria provide enough food for the whole of Africa.
He added, “What a country so blessed but grossly mismanaged. When will they stop borrowing? Let our members in the National Assembly speak out and express our party’s stand on these loans.
“Unfortunately, the committee in charge of loans has a PDP member as Chairman. How do people see us when we turn around to criticise the loans?”
He stressed that in future the party’s legislators’ performance must be judged by their role in critical decisions on national issues, adding that there was the need to have a South-South stakeholders meeting to let the people of the region know the direction to go as the country approached 2023.
“We commend Governors and leaders in the North who have thrown their support for the Southern Governors’ Lagos resolution.
“By their support they have demonstrated their abiding faith in a united Nigeria that stands on the pillars of equal rights and justice.”
The South-South PDP leader also called on the governor to mobilise the people of the state, especially the youth, to use the opportunity of the ongoing voter registration exercise to register to enable them to participate in the next election.
“Now is the opportunity for them to send a strong message with their voter cards.
“A message that will address their demands during the endSARS campaign.
“A message that will change the failed government and bring back our country the way it used to be, One Nation, One destiny,” he said.
Stressing the reason for the visit to Delta State, Orbih said that the team came “as part of our movement around the Zone to appeal to the Governors and leaders of our zone on the need for the party to remain focused and united.
“To rescue Nigeria is a task that must be done. All hands must be on deck.
“Those sleeping on duty should wake up and together we can save our people the horrors of bad governance.
“As an opposition party we must rekindle the hope of frustrated and disappointed Nigerians that we can do it better.
“For Nigeria to make progress, we must vote out those who have neglected our zone in terms of development,” Orbih said.
He expressed concerns that the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) had become “the National Headquarters of fraud,” noting that the on-going forensic audit had reportedly uncovered 12,128 abandoned jobs with no specific ownership.
He urged Governor Okowa to rise and fill the gap created by governance which has made the country sick, and its citizens poor and hungry.
“Your Excellency, as the chairman of the PDP Governors’ forum South South, you have a major role to play in reshaping the politics of our Zone.
“Our party is the most viable vehicle to bail out the country from the mess we find ourselves, “ Orbih said.
Okowa, in his response, noted that as a party, the governors and leaders were doing their best to ensure that the party remained strong and united in the zone.
On the issue of the NDDC, the governor said that the South South governors would continue to push for the constitution of the board, adding that forensic audit was not supposed to stop the constitution of the board.