***Labels palliatives ‘biggest joke’

The Peoples Democratic Party on Tuesday, slammed the President Bola Tinubu-led Federal Government over what it called the bloated nature of the cabinet.

The President had on Monday sworn in 45 Ministers, charging them to put Nigeria first in their service to the nation. However, a loyalist of former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, Mr. Segun Showunmi said by rolling out such a huge number of cabinet members, the All Progressive Congress-led government has shown to the world what it is set out to do.

Addressing newsmen at the PDP secretariat on Tuesday, Showunmi who spoke both as a party stakeholder and for the party wondered why some ministerial designates had their portfolios changed even while they were yet to be sworn in.

He said, “First, should the government be that large at a time when a lean cabinet seems more needful given the financial state of the country? Can a nation be in dire straits and those who created the financial and governance mess be shoving it in our face as though we have become a captured nation with no way out of the slavery of helplessness?

“The flopper-in-chief has started changing the portfolios even before they start their original assignments, indicative of trial and error and lack of preparation. Not much has changed in the recycled status quo, resembling the same of same and the most notorious bullies having the undeserved right to add to the misery of the people in some sad reality of gangsterism of the new order.

“The big issues before the nation in no particular order are, accountability & justice, stabilising the naira, security, national cohesion, the economy, particularly jobs and national reorientation to mention but a few.

“In the last nearly 82 or so days, our new helmsman has demystified himself and whatever toga of competence that was mouthed. Unfortunately, they neither allowed the media to ask questions during the campaigns nor allowed for sober interrogation of the issues by the stakeholders who seemed to have been hoodwinked with irrelevances as against asking the critical how. They have now resulted to bragging and raking and policy somersault,”

On the palliatives rolled out by the Federal Government to cushion the effect of the hardship caused by removal of fuel subsidy, the PDP chieftain noted that Nigerians would not be better off considering the current state of affairs in the country.

He said, “The biggest joke is a palliative of rice and wholesale delivery of N5bn in the direction of state governors which to my mind, is like giving the fish to the cat with the expectation of delivery to the rat. They have not accepted that it’s either you deregulate and take your hands off the pricing of petroleum products or you interfere with it in a veiled return to the subsidy you claim you are unable to sustain.

“Investor and exporter window and floating of the forex by the Central Bank of Nigeria is unfortunately not yielding anything but misery; typical of people who act before they think in a knee-jerk trial and error manner, voodoo economics, have no capability or interest in figuring out and placing consequences on those who ran the forex aground.”

He continued, “They scrapped the Niger Delta ministry and hurriedly put it back. Someone should wake up a captured people who must, barring the ruling of the court, endure a long road to freedom. There is no point saying the obvious in terms of the lopsidedness and favouritism that the cabinet has shown.

“Nigerians must learn that election choices have consequences and now I welcome us all to dimming hope with nothing assured.”

He further called on the President to speak up on the controversy surrounding his academic records, saying, “What Nigerians should ask themselves is why would anybody who has nothing to bury refuse his academic records? The worst that would have happened there is that your academic records are something you can brag about. But it is not like them to do that. It is for them to pretend as if certain fundamentals that would have necessitated certain way of how they got qualify to do certain things, must be opaque.

“We do not know the primary school you attended, we do not know the secondary you attended. We have a right to want to know by what qualification did you got into the university and if you will not present it on your own, I suppose in the interest of all of us in Nigeria, just for freedom of information purposes, we have a right to ask the university to come out and show us those records. Perhaps, we may be able to decipher who exactly we are dealing with here.”