The degree of economic distress suffered by Nigerians at any time in the post-independence history of the country has been worst since the assumption of power of President Muhammadu Buhari, Professor Jerry Gana has said.
Gana, a chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, stated this at the weekend at the
. PDP Critical Stakeholders’ Retreat organised by the Kogi PDP Renaissance Group in Abuja
Delivering his keynote address modified to reflect the substance of the theme, “Kogi PDP: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow,” the Professor of Geography lamented the sorry state of affairs in the country, noting that under the watchful eyes of the global community, Nigeria has sunk deeply into a legion of artificially created challenges by the ruling party.
In a trip down the historical lane, the former Minister of Information painted a portrait of the importance of Kogi state in the pre and post-colonial political development of Nigeria even as he urged PDP leaders and stakeholders in the state to go the whole distance in reclaiming the governance of Kogi in the next governorship election.
Professor Gana said, “The Misery Index in Nigeria is the worst in Africa. The level of indebtedness in the past few years is such that every Nigerian is now in debt. The Naira is perhaps one of the most useless currencies in Africa today. I have never seen this level of corruption as we have today. In fact, the level of corruption makes the PDP governments look like angels because corruption is now a thousand times worse.”
Energized by the frequent rounds of applause that punctuated his delivery, Gana shifted attention to insecurity in the land, noting that against the backdrop of the scourge of the twin evils of banditry and kidnapping; the PDP has the bounteous duty to rise to the challenge of leadership to send the All Progressives Congress, APC, packing not only at the state level but at the centre in 2023.
The organisers of the retreat would be doubly proud of their choice of a keynote speaker as the former Information Minister wasted no time in deploying his mastery of the Queen’s language to score a big point, politically and literally.
Against the backdrop of recent call by Governor Aminu Maisari for the people of Katsina to consider arming themselves to ward off frequent attacks by bandits; Gana tasked PDP leadership to think and reflect on life in its whole essence if Katsina could also afford to cry.
Hear him: “Governor Maisari was advocating recently that everyone in Katsina state should get a gun. Do you know where Katsina is? Do you know who comes from Katsina?” The rhetorical but punchy question awed his audience, who wasted no time in returning the favour by applauding the Professor for scores of seconds.
That said, the keynote speaker pleaded with the Kogi State chapter of the PDP to put aside whatever it is that is likely to threaten its chances at the poll in 2023 saying, “You have the best chance to take over power in Kogi. Kogi is very central because every part of Nigeria passes through Kogi. Whoever is ruling Kogi cannot lie because if you are doing something, people will see it and know. If you are not doing anything, the people will know. We have the people and the resources, so Kogi has no excuse not to excel.”
Ahead of the election in 2023, the PDP chieftain highlighted a number of factors capable of seeing the PDP coast home to victory. According to him, strategy, organisation, grassroots presence, free, fair, credible primaries, justice, equity and fairness as well as resources and logistics would combine to deliver victory to the party in 2023.
Speaking earlier, immediate past Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki described the retreat as a pointer to the readiness of the PDP to put its house in order not only in Kogi but throughout the country.
“Kogi has witnessed change in fortune since 2015 but I am happy because today’s meeting sends a strong message to the PDP family throughout the country. We must not forget that our party, the PDP is the landlord in Kogi that was robbed of victory in the past elections. So, we must set aside our differences in the interest of the party,” he said, stressing that if not united, same fate could befall the PDP in subsequent elections.
On his part, Hon David Ina Ogu, Chairman, Kogi PDP Renaissance Group, described the body as “a Consultative initiative of concerned PDP members made up of loyal and committed party members who share mutual concerns for the party,” adding that its core objectives are “to partner with the state executive committee of the party to build synergy that will reinvigorate the party, mobilise and sensitise the teeming grassroots support base in preparations for the task of reclaiming the state in 2023.”
Prominent party stalwarts including former governor of the state, Ibrahim Idris and chairman of the PDP in Kogi state, Engr. Sam Uhuotu, among others, attended the program.