The All Progressives Congress (APC) has said that its commitment to progressive reforms and its electoral promises remains unwavering.
The party gave the assurance in a statement on Friday in Abuja by Sen. John Akpanudoedehe, National Secretary of its Caretaker and Extra-ordinary Convention Planning Committee (CECPC).
The party was felicitating President Muhammadu Buhari and Nigerians on the occasion of the 2021 Democracy Day being marke on Saturday, June 12.
Akpanudoedehe noted that this year’s Democracy Day coincided with the sixth anniversary of the people-oriented Buhari administration and the 22nd year of continuous democratic governance in Nigeria.
He recalled that it was the Buhari-led APC administration that declared June 12 as Democracy Day in line with the party’s unwavering commitment to democracy as contained in its mission statement and vision.
“As Nigerians mark the 2021 Democracy Day, it is important to note that Africa’s most populous country remains the largest economy on the continent under the leadership of President Buhari,” he said.
He said this was especially so, as the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) stood at $514 billion as published in the latest World Bank report.
Akpanudoedehe said this was in spite of lower oil production caused by the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy.
“The proactive and successful implementation of the N2.3 trillion Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP) has not only stimulated the economy and prevented business collapse amid the COVID-19 global pandemic.
“It has also created jobs through support to labour-intensive sectors such as agriculture, public works and extending credit to Small and Medium scale Enterprises. The proactive measures paved way for Nigeria’s quick exit from recession,” the APC scribe said.
He added that the country’s economy had returned to steady growth due to prudent economic management despite the lean resources available to government.
He expressed gratitude to the president for his display of political will in the posthumous honour to Chief MKO Abiola, the presumed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election.
Akpanudoedehe noted that MKO paid the ultimate price in the struggle to actualise his unjustifiably annulled electoral mandate. He added that the APC leadership and millions of its members and supporters would continue to recognise and appreciate the sacrifices made by many Nigerians in the enthronement of democracy in the country.
This, he said, contributed in the decision to officially recognise June 12 as Democracy Day. He noted that in six years of the Buhari administration, Nigeria had witnessed unprecedented renewal of vital infrastructure designed to support the continuous expansion of the country’s economy.
According to him, this had facilitated domestic trade, enhance social interactions and promote ease of doing business.
He further noted that no government in the country’s history had systematically taken steps to create jobs and alleviate poverty like the President Buhari-led administration.
“In the Social Investment Programmes (NSIPs) like the N-Power with an approved intake of one million participants and the Homegrown School Feeding Programme, 774, 000 young Nigerians have been gainfully employed under the Special Public Works (SPW) programme targeted at poor and low-skilled youths.
“This is one of the largest ever job-creation initiatives in Nigeria’s history, courtesy of the Buhari-led government.
“The security challenge faced by the country for over a decade is being successfully brought under control. The insurgency in the North-East has virtually been put down, with the security forces conducting clearance operations,” he said.
Akpanudoedehe added that kidnapping, banditry, clashes between farmers and animal rearers and the emergent agitations by separatists in the South-East and South-West were being contained.
He said the destruction of public facilities, including the offices of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), several Police stations and correctional centres had also been curtailed.
According to him, many of the criminals engaged in the subversive activities have been neutralised, apprehended and will face the full weight of the law.
“Under the APC administration, our armed forces are now better equipped with new advanced platforms which have enhanced their capability to fight terrorists, insurgents and other criminals.
“They are taking the battle to their hideouts. Currently, no inch of Nigeria’s territory is under the control of Boko Haram,” he said.
He added that the hideouts of bandits, kidnappers and other criminals were being cleared with the miscreants suffering heavy casualties on a daily basis. He urged stakeholders and all well meaning Nigerians to avoid politicising or being simplistic about the security situation.
Akpanudoedehe said our duty to the nation as good citizens should outweigh political party affiliation.
He added that this was not the time to play to the gallery over the sensitive matter of national security.
On the fight against corruption, he said the EFCC, ICPC and other sister agencies had detected cases of fraudulent self enrichment and recovered hundreds of property and cash.
He said the agencies had also won hundreds of court cases and some of the culprits were now serving jail terms, including high level politically exposed persons.
“The public procurement process and the rigorous National Assembly oversight of government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) have reduced the brazen misappropriation of public assets as was the case in the past,” he said.
He said that the undeniably successful anti-corruption efforts of the Federal Government had made more cash available for critical infrastructure projects.
He said the party’s leadership was doubling efforts to meet up with the tasks ahead in 2023, adding that the CECPC was rebuilding the APC to strengthen democracy.
He stressed that the party’s commitment to lead the process of political change in Nigeria was unwavering.