PDP’s misrule ‘ll end next year, says Odigie-Oyegun

By IAfrica
In Nigeria
Sep 1st, 2014
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The National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, assured yesterday that the administration of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), which started 15 years ago, would end next year.

He said the administration would be  replaced by that of the APC.

Odigie-Oyegun spoke at the Third Progressive Governance Lecture Series in Owerri, the Imo State capital, with the theme: “Dealing with the Challenge of Building a Physically-Healthy Nation through Preventive, Protective and Innovative Medicare”.

He said the nation could not survive another four years of PDP misrule.

The APC chief said his party would ensure that the change Nigerians desired was actualised in 2015, adding: “The tenure of the PDP at the centre must end next year. This is the mission before us. Our mission is simple. We must do everything legitimate to end PDP’s 15-year inept administration.”

Odigie-Oyegun noted that the nation’s problems were caused by “totally visionless and clueless leadership,” saying: “Nigeria ranks among the lowest in the world in all facets of modern society.”

The APC chairman said corruption had affected all sectors of the society.

His words: “Corruption has become the business of the President Goodluck Jonathan administration. This shows that the PDP government needs to be changed to save the country from impending collapse.

“But the good news is that all Nigerians need a change. They look on to us as the vehicle of change.”

The chairman of the event and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar advocated the devolution of power at the centre, to enable states drive development and check corruption.

He said the country runs a defective federalism structure, which he advised should be restructured to address the challenges. “The Federal Government should hand over the functions to the state governments and give them funds to develop the sectors.”

Atiku went on: “Federal Government has no business in agriculture, education and health sector as well as infrastructure development. These should be handed over to the state governments with the required funds for effective development.”

Highlighting the challenges in the health sector, the former vice president called for adequate investment in primary healthcare. Said he: “We need to identify the illnesses, which affect our people, identify the priority areas and tailor our health policies towards addressing them.”

Imo State Governor Rochas Okorocha said the health sector was a source of concern, despite efforts to improve it in some states.

Okorocha, who also chairs the APC Governors’ Forum, said the party believed that health cannot be ignored and improvements must be sought in the policy, strategy and management of healthcare to build a world-class and affordable healthcare for the citizens.

He said: “The health sector seems to be in a standstill. As it is, the three health-related Millennium Development Goals of reduction in infant mortality rate, maternal mortality rate and the reocurrence of HIV, malaria and tuberculosis have not been met. In truth, a lot of the difficulties we face can be attributed to the dearth of preventive healthcare system.”

Okorocha said Nigeria’s healthcare sector, according to the statistics released by the United Nations’ Report on the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) in 2013, stands at 187 of 191 countries, adding: “The report seems to insinuate that Nigeria is the only country clogging the wheels of the forward movement in the fight against the disease, towards a global target of reducing HIV infection by 50 per cent in 2015.”

He said the APC governors met to examine the state of the country’s health sector with regard to harvesting perspectives on preventive, protective and innovative healthcare delivery.

Those at the event include governors of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi; Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi; Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi and Kano State, Rabiu Kwankwaso.

Others are Senators Chris Ngige and Magnus Abe.

In her paper presentation titled: “Nature, Scope and Dynamics of the Prevailing Crisis in Nigeria’s Health Sector; Examining the State of the Health Sector in Nigeria”, the guest lecturer, Prof. Ijeoma Okoye of the Department of Medicine, University of Nigeria, Nsukka and Chairperson, Association for Good Clinical Practice in Nigeria, said the health of a nation enhances its economic development and vice versa.

She said HIV/AIDS, maternal mortality, under-five mortality, malaria and tuberculosis, compounded by the non-communicable diseases, had undermined and impoverished many developing nations, such as Nigeria, adding: “The pursuit of better health should not await improved economy, rather measures to improve health will contribute to economic growth.”

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