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PDP Tackles APC Over Congresses



Apparently unsettled by the outcome of the All Progressives Congress (APC) congresses, which started on a shaky note at the ward level and culminated in a successful exercise at the local government level nationwide last Saturday, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday expressed fears over the conduct of the governing party.   

The major opposition party in the country said it is terrified by the spate of violence, mayhem, bloodletting and massive corruption associated with the APC, both in governance and its internal activities.

But in a swift reaction, APC said having gone through what it (APC) is currently undergoing as a governing party, the PDP is just being opportunistic by using the same rough times it (PDP) also went through to castigate the party in power.

In a statement issued yesterday by its national publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, PDP alleged that since APC came into power, its leaders have continued to drag the nation towards a state of anarchy by engaging in actions that instigate bloody conflicts and breakdown of law and order among Nigerians.

The opposition party said Nigerians watched with bewilderment and disbelief as indescribable savagery, cruelty, violence, shooting and bloodletting enveloped the APC ward congresses, which ordinarily should be a civil interaction among party members.

The statement noted: “From the rascally attempt to overrun a court of competent jurisdiction in Port Harcourt, Rivers State to halt the wheel of justice, the burning of their own secretariat in Owerri, Imo State, the gruesome murder of their own members in Lagos and Oyo States to the malignant disputation and lust for power by its leaders across the nation, it is clear that the APC is not organic but a soulless mob without any form of conscience and integrity; an ‘evil wind that blows no good’.

“Party Congresses are designed to allow members interface and resolve divergences amicably. It is therefore instructive that the APC could not handle this simplest tradition of political parties, making its congress a threat to our democracy”.

Describing it archrival as a symbol and harbinger of malevolence, PDP said from every indication, APC is on a sordidly accelerating the country to “the long forgotten state of nature where only the mighty rules; the state of anarchy”.

Ologbondiyan continued: “From its cannibalistic proclivities, the world can see why the APC and its insensitive Federal Government care less about the lives and welfare of Nigerians, resulting in the escalation of violence, bloodletting, mass killings, extra-judicial executions, persecution of citizens, abuse of human rights, constitutional violations, including invasion of the National Assembly as well as attack on federal lawmakers and judicial officers.

“We now know the roots of APC’s harsh economic policies and massive corruption that led to the biting economic recession and its attendant hunger, starvation and lack ravaging our nation today”.

PDP added that Nigerians are now on a consensus that things can only get worse with the APC owing to its proclivity for vengeance, violence and repression.

The opposition party urged Nigerians, irrespective of creed, class or sectional persuasion to be at alert, look beyond personal interests, rise in unison and use all democratic instruments to stop the APC’s dangerous drive to further wreck the nation and plunge it into a state of anarchy.

“On our own part, the rebranded PDP remains open as the credible platform for all Nigerians to coalesce in the collective quest to rescue our nation from the clutches of the APC and the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration, come 2019”, it concluded.

But hitting back at the PDP, the governing APC said if it was not merely being opportunistic, the opposition party would have reminded itself that within four years, the PDP administration under former President Olusegun Obasanjo had about five Senate presidents.

Speaking with LEADERSHIP on telephone yesterday, national publicity secretary of the APC, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, also recalled that the drama of the mace disappearing from the Senate started under PDP.

He said, “I think PDP is just being opportunistic. Given that they’ve gone through their own difficult periods. If we go back to the history of PDP in the last 19 years or so that they have been in existence, we know what this country went through under PDP.

“I remember in one instance in four years, they had like five Senate presidents. The idea of mace disappearing from the Senate started under PDP.

“So, we are going through our own difficult period and we are going to overcome it. But to now use that opportunity to say we (APC) are dragging the country into anarchy is being opportunistic”.

No Major Problem In APC – Osinbajo

Meanwhile, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said contrary to claims, there is no major problem in the APC.

Osinbajo who stated this while fielding questions from journalists after the inauguration of President Maada Bio of Sierra Leone on Saturday, assured that all the issues will be resolved.

In a statement by his spokesman, Laolu Akande, the VP described the APC as a strong party that is committed to offering hope to the electorate.

He said,  “In politics, as you know, there will always be tension, but the party is strong and the leadership and membership of the party are committed to ensuring it remains strong and continues to offer hope to the people.

“I think a lot of the issues will be resolved as we go along. This is the normal order of things. There will be disagreements; there will be those who may feel that they need certain preferences or certain things, which may not have been done earlier on. I don’t think there is any major problem.”

On the significance of the inauguration of Sierra Leone’s president, the vice president said it was a great celebration of democracy as the transition was peaceful from one civilian president to another.

According to him, it signals hope for the people of Sierra Leone, as President Maada Bio is a consummate technocrat.

He said, “Bio was the one who handed power to a democratic government as a military leader. He also proved over time to be someone who thought over the problems of the country.

“And listening to him and having met with him for close to an hour, I think there is great opportunity and hope for the people of Sierra Leone and I think he is going to do a great job.”

Osinbajo reaffirmed hope that the new president would collaborate with other African leaders to ensure growth and peace on the continent.

He added: “One thing is for certain, Sierra Leone and Nigeria have a long history. Most recently, if you recall, Nigerian troops gave their lives here in Sierra Leone defending the territorial integrity of Sierra Leone, the people and the country.

“President Bio repeated this in my conversation with him, and said how grateful he was. We have maintained very good relationship; I believe that relationship will continue.”