Abuja – There is urgent need to set up “Shadow Cabinet’’ to benchmark the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government on its campaign promises, Deputy President of the Senate, Sen. Ike kweremadu, has said.
Ekweremadu made the suggestion on Thursday in Abuja at the National Conference organised by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) with the theme: “PDP and the Sustenance of Democratic Ideals in Nigeria.’’
He said that the PDP must not be deterred in holding the APC-led government accountable, adding that the ruling party must always be put at the mercy of the truth.
“That is the job of the opposition: to confront errors with the truth.
“To stand up for what is right; to offer constructive criticisms of the follies and errors of the ruling party and to proffer better ideas for moving the nation forward.
“We need to urgently set up Shadow Cabinet to benchmark the APC-led Federal Government on its promises.
“It is the greatest service we can offer to Nigeria and her democracy at this time. That is our task.
“Citizens and indeed posterity will not be kind to us if we fail in these laudable goals,’’ Ekweremadu said
The deputy senate president also called on the media and Civil Society Organisations to partner the PDP in this regard in the interest of Nigeria.
He listed some of the promises made by the APC to include scaling up the exchange rate of the Naira to one US Dollar and bringing back the Chibok girls in three months.
Others he said, include the promise to pay N5, 000 to 25 million unemployed youths and provision of free meals to school children.
Ekweremadu noted that in spite of these promises, inflation and unemployment were rising “ with the construction industry lying off tens of thousands of workers.’’
He described the theme of the conference as “clarion awakening’’ to the PDP’s role as the main opposition party, with the responsibility of ensuring the sustenance and furtherance of democratic gains of the last 16 years.
Commenting on the judgments of the election petitions tribunal, Ekweremadu said, “it does appear that to be a PDP governor, especially in an oil rich state is to be endangered political specie.
He said that the judiciary must not only do justice, it must be seen to be just.
Ekweremadu, who described the senate as one institution with the responsibility to serve Nigeria, said that both PDP and APC legislators would continue to support the senate president in the discharge of his duties.
In his remark, Minority Leader of the Senate, Sen. Godwill Akpabio, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to engage PDP in the governance of the country.
He pledged that PDP senators would not fail the party and Nigerians in performing their duties at the National Assembly.
Rep. Leo Ogor, Minority Leader in the House of Representatives, described the withdrawal of money from the nation’s Treasury Single Account to a company as commission as `unconstitutional.’
“The constitution under the provision of section 80 sub 4 stipulated that no funds shall be withdrawn from the consolidated account or any public account except in the manner prescribed by the National Assembly.
“ That makes the National Assembly the custodian of the people resources,’’ Ogor said.
He said that lawmakers would identify the people behind the withdrawal and recover the money.
In his speech, the Chairman, PDP Governors Forum, Dr Olusegu Mimiko of Ondo state, pledged that PDP governors would continue to set benchmarks of good governance in all sectors for Nigeria and Africa.
Mimiko also called for credible elections in the forthcoming governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states.
“The least we expect from the APC led government in Kogi and Bayelsa is free, fair and credible election,’’ he said. (NAN)