The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused President Muhammadu Buhari of attempting to doctor unemployment figures in the country, to create the impression of massive job creation by the administration.
The party was reacting to a directive by the President to the Statistician General of Nigeria, Mr. Yemi Kale, to change the existing data on unemployment.
In a statement Tuesday by the spokesman for the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, the main opposition party condemned what it described as brazen attempt to manipulate official statistics in favour of the administration.
It described it as a new low in the All Progressives Congress (APC) led government’s established “culture of deceit, falsehood and criminal subterfuge”, in its desperation to hang on to power.
The party further stated that in desperation, the administration is now trying to force the Statistician General of Nigeria to alter genuine data and smuggle in fictitious employment figures.
The statement said, “Our party holds that the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) is a professional body, insulated from government interferences, with statutory responsibility to compute credible and verifiable data and statistics, for national planning.
“The PDP is therefore shocked at this attempt by the Buhari Presidency to corrupt our system through the falsification of employment statistics just to shore up its failed economic policies that have brought untold hardship on the Nigerian people.
“Nigerians can now see why the Buhari Presidency has deliberately starved the NBS of funds; to prevent it from conducting surveys and releasing further data that highlight the failures of the APC administration.
“Unfortunately, President Buhari appears to have forgotten that statistics is like a mirror. If the government does not like the ugliness of its reflection, then the problem is not with the mirror.
“If the NBS backs down for political expediency or intimidation, it would have dealt a mortal blow to the credibility of official statistics emanating from Nigeria. In the future, such official reports from it would be regarded worthless and unreliable.
“We therefore call on the Statistician General not to succumb to the blackmail of the Buhari Presidency but remain on the path of truth and facts, in the course of his duty”.