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Democracy sliding under Buhari, PDP insists

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By Henry Umoru
ABUJA- NATIONAL leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP has vowed to remain focused despite what it described as high level of intimidation by the All Progressives Congress, APC led government.

According to PDP, the APC should address the issue it raised with respect to assault on the nation’s democracy, insisting that democracy was sliding under President Buhari.

In a statement Sunday by PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, the party vowed that no amount of blackmail and diversionary tactics by the APC  would deter it “from exposing the deliberate agenda, already in motion, by the present administration to destroy the nation’s democracy and impose a dictatorship in the country.”

The PDP noted that  by resorting to insults, threats and personal attacks on its leaders, instead of responding to issues of emerging fascism raised by the PDP on Saturday, September 19, 2015, the APC and the Federal
Government further “confirmed their intolerance, disdain for democracy and frenetic appetite for totalitarianism.”

Metuh noted that  Nigerians await answers to issues and would not be hoodwinked by the antics of APC’s spokesperson, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, whose cleverness in using insults, personal attacks and wild allegations to divert attention is well known.

He said: “While we understand the nervousness of Alhaji Lai Mohammed to remain relevant, especially in the face of desperation for an appointment, this administration must come to terms with the fact that democracy requires accountability, adherence to the rule of law and constitutional order, and not the crass infractions, executive arrogance, intolerance and undermining of the legislature; the symbol of the sovereignty of the people that we now witness under the APC.

“The question is, has the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC government not exhibited all the trappings of despotism, including ruling without a constitutional component of a cabinet, persistent abuse of power,
corrupting of democratic institutions, quest to appropriate the National Assembly, in spite of the principle of separation of powers; invasion of state government and personal houses, injecting confusion into the judiciary and hounding of individuals perceived to be against its interests?

“What is APC’s position regarding the anti-democratic statement by the President, who, in an interview, during the recent visit to France,
expressed his reluctance to appoint ministers, in addition to his disparaging allusion to cabinet ministers as noise makers? Does this not
smack of totalitarianism?

“How else can one explain the relentless interferences in the activities of the National Assembly, a separate and independent arm of government, in addition to the bitterness with which the Presidency and the APC hold the duly elected leadership of the Senate, simply because it is not occupied by their preferred candidates?

“If not for a possible ulterior motive of appropriating the federal legislature as a means to undermine its statutory role of checks and balances and set the stage for dictatorship, what other reasons could there be for the current fixation on the leadership of the Senate by the
APC and the Presidency?

“Nigerians are still waiting for APC, a party which prides itself as a progressive platform, to respond to the widely condemned invasion of
Akwa-Ibom state government house by the Department of State Services (DSS), under the direct instructions from the Presidency. Is it not part
of the plot activated for possible forceful takeover of PDP states and impose a one-party regime in Nigeria?

“What about the July reprehensible invasion and sealing of Rivers local
councils by the federal controlled Police, who also barred members of caretaker committees that were duly appointed by the state government to take charge of the councils?

“In the same vein, how else can one explain the undue interferences of
the DSS in the activities of election tribunals in PDP controlled states of Rivers, Akwa-Ibom, Delta, Abia, Taraba and others where electoral
officers are being harassed, intimidated and detained, ostensibly to influence judgments against the PDP?

“This is not to talk about the intolerance and arrogance witnessed in the venom with which the APC attack well-meaning Nigerians, including
highly revered national leaders, for daring to counsel the Federal Government on some observed undemocratic tendencies under their ‘new Sheriff’, a development which has resulted in the setting in of an environment where citizens, irrespective of political affiliations, can no longer freely express their views.

“Is the PDP therefore not justified when we described as a mockery of reasoning, President Buhari’s use of choice words to condemn the coup in
Burkina Faso whilst his government engages in brazen contravention of our own constitution?

“Whilst we note the failed efforts of the APC spokesman to divert attention, we invite the Presidency and the APC to be informed that their attempt to harass and/or intimidate us with plethora of well instigated, sponsored, immature and wild allegations can never deter us from remaining focused on issues.

“Nevertheless, as we restate our commitment in providing issue-based opposition as well as our support for the fight against corruption, our final word for the APC spokesman on this, is that being ethically challenged, includes embezzling funds meant for fencing of an airport in an APC-led South West state. It also includes fraudulently refusing to supply ambulances after collecting monies from another APC South West state.

“It is then a comedy of roles when Alhaji Lai Mohammed speaks on corruption, a topic he practices and has well learnt, being a personal aide to one of the most corrupt politicians to ever bestride the political landscape of the country.”

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