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Economic hardship: PDP tackles APC over claims opposition behind protests

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) on Tuesday tackled the  All Progressives Congress (APC) over the ruling party’s comment that the opposition party was behind the protests in Niger and Kano states occasioned by hardship in the country, on Monday.

Citizens trooped to the streets to express disenchantment against the biting economic hardship.

The APC in a statement by its national publicity secretary, Mr Felix Morka alleged that opposition parties instigated the protests.

But the PDP, while replying the APC, said the protests were against economic hardship being faced by Nigerians as a result of APC Tinubu’s government’s bad economic policies.

Morka, who did not name the political parties he alleged were masterminds of the protest in the two states, claimed it was meant to “destabilise the country for their own base and parochial political gains.

“That the protests happened simultaneously in both cities is not coincidental. It bears a bold stamp of an orchestrated and coordinated effort to instigate unrest and undermine the government. This mercenary opposition tactic is a clear and present threat to public peace and national security.”

While it acknowledged that the economic policies of the Bola Tinubu administration has its attendant pains with Nigerians at the receiving end, Morka maintained that the administration “is doing everything in its power to mitigate the transient pains of critically important reforms that are crucial to economic recovery and sustainable prosperity for all Nigerians.”

The statement reads in part: “In its arrant desperation to portray the APC-led administration as under-performing, opposition parties have resorted to instigating unsuspecting young people to protests in the streets of some major cities.

“The protests in Minna and on Monday were the manifestation of this devious and unpatriotic plot. That the protests happened simultaneously in both cities is not coincidental. It bears a bold stamp of an orchestrated and coordinated effort to instigate unrest and undermine the government. This mercenary opposition tactic is a clear and present threat to public peace and national security.

“While we recognize the right of citizens to engage in peaceful protest, we urge our good people to be vigilant and not lend themselves to the treacherous attempt by the opposition to promote social strife by its incendiary rhetoric and manipulative plots.

“The President Bola Tinubu-led administration is solidly committed to doing everything in its power to mitigate the transient pains of critically important reforms that are crucial to economic recovery and sustainable prosperity for all Nigerians. It behooves us as good citizens of our beloved country to stand fast with our government in this noble stride. In due time, these policy reforms will yield enduring beneficial transformation of the material conditions of life in the country.

“We implore Nigerians to shun the guile and unpatriotic attempt by opposition elements to destabilize the country for their own base and parochial political gains.”

Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) condemned what it called the vicious attempts by the Tinubu Presidency and the All Progressives Congress (APC) to politicise the protest by Nigerians against the current economic hardship and worsening insecurity in the country.

While noting that the present hardship is occasioned by the “anti-people policies and unprecedented corruption of the President Bola Tinubu-led APC administration,” the opposition party said in a statement on Tuesday that the ruling party and government want to label and clamp down on the suffering masses.

This PDP’s statement is a reaction to the claim by the APC that the protests against economic hardship in parts of the country were instigated by the opposition.

In the statement signed by Debo Ologunagba, PDP National Publicity Secretary, the party asserted that the action of the APC in threatening Nigerians for exercising their democratic and Constitutional right to protest in the face of misrule, agonizing poverty, hunger, killings and other harrowing experiences under the Tinubu administration shows that the APC is insensitive and relishes the life-discounting situation in the country.

It added: “This approach by the APC, instead of listening to the people, is not only offensive but akin to pushing Nigerians to the wall and daring them to do their worst.”

The PDP observed that it is an assault on the sensibility of the people that rather than providing answers to how the Tinubu-led APC government in a space of nine months, turned the nation’s economy upside down leading to terrifying food scarcity and catastrophic high cost of living, the APC is seeking to label and clamp down on the suffering masses.

It further stated: “The APC is insensitive to the fact that because of its policies more than 104 million citizens have sunk deeper into poverty; Nigerians can no longer afford their daily meals with families now going to bed on empty stomach as poverty rate soars to over 46%.

“Any government that has an idea of macro-economic policy management ought to have recognized that the suffocating policies of abrupt increase in the pump price of petroleum products, high cost of electricity and arbitrary floating of the Naira as executed by the Tinubu administration without due considerations, would have excruciating consequences to the economy as being witnessed today.

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