President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-corruption crusade has been described as a war between the ruling party, the All Progressives Congress and the major opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party.
In a statement issued on Saturday by its National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, the PDP claimed that President Buhari and the APC were using ongoing fight against corruption to target and destroy it.
“It is sad and embarrassing that President Buhari’s anti-corruption crusade has now been reduced to a war between the APC and the PDP as declared by the office of his spokespersons. Since they have confirmed that this is what the anti-corruption crusade is all about, the APC is obviously seeking to destroy the PDP so that it can push through Buhari’s second tenure in 2019 without opposition from the PDP.
“This has also confirmed our concern that this is the reason the Federal Government is persecuting, and not prosecuting, Col. Sambo Dasuki. The APC and its leaders fear that Dasuki, given his vast political and security network, may be harbouring a presidential ambition, more so that the PDP has zoned its presidential ticket to the north,” Metuh said.
The statement noted that the PDP was aware of an alleged “sinister plan by the APC-led Federal Government to completely decimate our party” by raking up corruption charges against the ex-President Goodluck Jonathan administration and leaders of the PDP with a view to taking them to court on orchestrated charges.
Metuh claimed further that President Buhari had directed security agencies to be more vicious in dealing with PDP members, adding that the Presidency had allegedly continued to “subtly coerce the judiciary to convict those being charged to court.”
“But what gives us joy is that President Buhari is not God and we will not worship him,” he said.
The PDP also condemned the inability of the APC to accept, “with equanimity”, constructive criticisms of their administration.
The party said it was unfortunate that the APC and its leaders, who “gleefully and unjustifiably” poured invectives on Jonathan in the guise of playing the role of an opposition party, would now not want to condone criticisms.
“Unlike the APC that denigrated the office and person of former President Jonathan by wrongly depicting him as ‘clueless and incompetent’, the PDP remains the most decent, mature and constructive opposition party in our democracy and we have evidenced great respect for the person and exalted office of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“During the Goodluck Jonathan presidency, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, while in the saddle as interim Deputy National Secretary of the APC, in a post on his twitter page, described President Jonathan as ‘lazy, docile, incompetent, clueless, hopeless and useless leader.’ Other APC leaders made raining abuses on Jonathan a past time,” it said.
He said the PDP after careful deliberations on what the President said during the media chat, came to the conclusion that the President remained an unrepentant tyrant.
Rather than listen to the PDP and analyse what it said, Metuh said it was unfortunate that the leaders of the APC were not comfortable with it (the PDP).
He said, “We did and came up with the theme of our initial reaction that portrayed him very appropriately as a tyrant. And for purpose of clarity, a tyrant is a ruler who has complete power over a country and who uses the power in a cruel and unfair way, which was why we recommended the suspension of the operation of the constitution so he can rule for the next four years as a maximum ruler.
“In its reaction, his party’s National Chairman, John Odigie-Oyegun magisterially and dictatorially warned that ‘we (APC) may not condone such anymore.’
“Our position in the PDP is that we are in trouble as a nation. All we hear from the APC regarding our freedom is ‘we won’t tolerate’, ‘we won’t condone.’ Are these words used by democrats or tyrants?”
On Friday, the APC National Chairman, John Odigie-Oyegun, had condemned the PDP for referring to Buhari as an “unrepentant tyrant.”