The Peoples Democratic Party has described the New Year speech by President Muhammadu Buhari as a broadcast full of lame excuses and empty promises.
In a statement issued through its national publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, the opposition party said under Buhari's watch, Nigeria is fast moving toward a failed state.
The PDP stated that what Nigerians expected from the President in the New Year was a decisive will to tackle the security challenges in the country, not an empty address.
The statement read: “The PDP laments as appalling that on New Year Day, all that President Buhari could offer a troubled and frustrated nation was a regurgitated script full of lame excuses and empty promises that address nothing.
“As a President, President Buhari has not demonstrated the capacity to play his own part, as he claimed, having failed to find solution for the security and economic challenges that pervade our nation under his incompetent and lethargic watch.
“The myriads of lame excuses in Mr. President’s address again underline our national misfortune of a weak leadership that is unable to resolutely confront and vanquish bandits, terrorists, kidnappers and vandals who are now holding our nation hostage, ravaging our communities, kidnapping and beheading our compatriots without restrain.
“The least Nigerians expected from Mr. President, in the New Year, was a decisive will to tackle our security challenges by reviewing his parade and heeding the demands by Nigerians to rejig our nation’s security architecture.
“The situation at hand requires more than an armchair commander-in-chief who only dwells on excuses for manifest failures. President Buhari’s New Year address only points to the fact that our nation is in dire need of a leadership that is willing, able and ready to engage from the fronts."
The PDP added that the president failed to articulate a definite blueprint for recovery of an already troubled economy.
It continued: "He had no clear strategies to shore up the value of our naira, repay and end our foreign borrowings, revamp our external reserves, give hope to foreign investors, move promises of job creation from the perpetual drawing board and guarantee food security, health care, among others.
“Mr. President had the opportunity to redeem his administration by taking steps that will address high cost of food, education and housing deficit; address the high price of fuel, multiple taxes and tariffs that bear pressure on businesses and families as well as how to enhance national productivity and grow our Gross Domestic Product, GDP.
“In the same vein, our party finds it lamentable that President Buhari, in his reference to the demonstration by our youths, did not make any decisive pronouncement to end the ongoing persecution of EndSARS protesters or order a presidential inquest into the reported Lekki killing.
“Moreover, the failure by Mr. President to make direct commitment on budgetary provisions exposes a lack of will and direction, and shows that the next two years under the Buhari-led All Progressives Congress, APC administration would leave our nation with forlorn hope."
The party, however, urged Nigerians not to despair but use the New Year to reinforce the bond of unity and continue to work together in a collective resolve to use opportunities offered by democracy to rescue the nation from misrule.
“The PDP prays that God will give compatriots the perseverance to outlive the pains of the APC and President Buhari’s misrule as we work collectively for a new dawn,” the statement said.