The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) have continued to trade blames over the poor state of the economy.
Mr Kassim Afegbua, PDP presidential campaign council spokesman, and Mr Jasper Azuatalam, APC’s deputy director for the south youth mobilisation, presidential campaign, continued the ongoing debate Wednesday while appearing on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.
While PDP claimed that the lives of Nigerians were made better under its 16-year rule, the opposition party said the TraderMoni initiative is only a scheme for vote buying which has not really influenced the lives of Nigerians.
“From the record of performance of the APC in the last three and half years, I think it is obvious that this government does not have the capacity and the competence to manage the internal contradictions in the country and thereafter deliver on its electoral promises.
“To that extent, people have compared two scenarios. The first is that of PDP, the second is that of APC. And they can compare and trust that life was better under the PDP and this is very instructive. And if you look at what was gotten in the last three and half years, life has become much more difficult now.
“The APC will naturally come up with this weather-beaten rhetoric of saying that 16 years of PDP, they didn’t do well. We are doing so much and all of that. But when you look at the statistics, they are completely negative – whether our GDP, job creation or borrowing, unemployment, insecurity, anti-corruption fight,” Afegbua stated.
In reply to PDP’s claims, the APC said it would not bow to pressure by the opposition to stop the TraderMoni programme of the Federal Government, insisting that the initiative has bettered the lives of the masses.
APC spokesman, Jasper Azuatalam said he considered the criticism by the main opposition PDP an abuse on the sensitivity of Nigerians that voted the party into office in 2015.
Azuatalam accused the PDP of creating what he described as “hunger and poverty in the land”, vowing that the party would continue to deliver on its electoral promises to Nigerians.
“I consider this an abuse to the sensitivity of Nigerians who voted the All Progressives Congress (APC) to come and ameliorate the challenges, the poverty and the hunger that was created by the PDP.
“And I will want to state it here clearly and unequivocally that the APC-Federal Government will never stop the TraderMoni initiative because terming this to be vote buying means that PDP and their cronies are fighting so hard to see that Nigerians continue to suffer and the developmental strides of APC are not felt.
“I wonder how somebody will tag the TraderMoni an initiative that the Federal Government has brought to reach out to market people. The PDP has seen that this is making the people believe so much in the Buhari-led Federal Government and they are saying that Buhari must stop the TraderMoni. Buhari will never stop the TraderMoni, it will continue,” Azuatalam argued.
The TraderMoni is a federal government initiative aimed at providing two million petty traders across the country with collateral-free loans.