The Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, has tasked the Peoples Democratic Party National Assembly Members-elect on being a credible opposition.
Mr. Ekweremadu said “being in opposition is not a life sentence for any party.”
He spoke at a retreat organised by the Forum of PDP National Assembly members-elect for its members in Port Harcourt on Monday.
The retreat was themed, The Role of the Opposition in Facilitating Development and Good Governance.
In a press statement, Mr Ekweremadu said that being in opposition is an opportunity for soul-searching and self-reconstruction.
“It is also for providing healthy, robust, vigilant, and responsible opposition, which is critical to democratic growth and good governance,” he said.
“The PDP lawmakers in the 8th National Assembly should not only hold the APC accountable in terms of their list of promises, but also in accordance with the timeline they gave in the course of the campaigns.
“They should be able to bring exchange rates down to one naira to one US dollar, bring back the Chibok Girls, eradicate terrorism and insurgency, stamp out corruption, create two million jobs every year, provide uninterrupted electricity supply, and fulfill other campaign promises or prepare to hand over power to the PDP in 2019.
“Their recent dithering and excuses on their campaign promises are not acceptable. We believe they must have studied the Nigerian situation thoroughly before mounting the podiums with promises.
“We should also provide policy alternatives, dissect every executive bills on its merit, and provide informed and energetic oversight of the executive to ensure that Nigerians are not cheated by the ruling party. We should ensure that successive national budgets address national needs and that they do so equitably.”
He also urged them to desist from destructive criticism that causes damage by inciting the citizenry against the government in power.
He also warned the lawmakers-elect to avoid a brand of opposition that exudes negativity in any government and asked that APC should also not dither on campaign promises.
Mr. Ekweremadu said there is inherent danger in such brand of opposition because it causes overheating of the polity and detracting from good governance.