…Accuses ruling party for resisting calls for accountability
By Dirisu Yakubu
The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Wednesday, kicked against the clamour for the regulation of social media by some governors elected on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC, describing it as unconstitutional, anti-people and a suppressive design to cage Nigerians.
The party in a statement signed by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, said the renewed frenzy to censor the social media is “ostensibly targeted at muzzling outspoken Nigerians, particularly the youths, media and civil society organizations, from demanding for accountability and competence, as well as exposing the widespread corruption, unbridled treasury looting, barefaced injustice, human right abuses, constitutional violations and divisive actions of the APC administration.”
The statement read in part: “Our party rejects the claims that the regulation bill is targeted at checking fake news. This is because our nation already has enough implementable laws to counter the dissemination of fake news and punish offenders.
“It is clear that the APC administration is rather xenophobic of criticisms from citizens against its manifest atrocities that it seeks to surreptitiously re-enact the obnoxious military Decree 4 to suppress Nigerians.
“Instead of this desperation to gag the citizens and curtail their constitutionally guaranteed rights, our party counsels the APC administration to rather take steps to reassure Nigerians by ending its manifest corruption, treasury looting, abuse of human rights, nepotism and unaccountability for which the citizens demands answers.
“Our party counsels the APC administration to become more accountable, particularly, by ending its arrogance as well as its shielding of corrupt officials, as being witnessed in the desperation to protect federal officials allegedly involved in the criminal diversion of funds voted for COVID-19 palliatives.”
The party also called on the federal government to clear the air on sundry graft allegations against some of its officials across various sectors of the economy.
“The Buhari administration should be forthcoming on various corruption allegations, including the stealing of trillions of naira in sleazy oil subsidy regime and claimed under-recovery for unnamed West African countries; the humongous fraud in the N500bn Social Investment Programme as revealed by First Lady, Aisha Buhari; frittering of over N9.6 trillion ($25 billion) as detailed in the leaked NNPC memo, among others.
“This is in addition to the N90 billion allegedly stolen from the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, in which APC leaders were mentioned; the alleged looting of N33billion from the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, fund; the over N25 billion siphoned from the National Health Insurance Scheme, NHIS, among a litany of others.
“The APC administration should come clean on the parameters for the hike in the cost of fuel, the depletion of our foreign reserves as well as the mortgaging of our nation to external interests through foreign loans.
“Instead of seeking to gag Nigerians, the APC administration should be explaining how government vehicles were seen conveying hoodlums to attack protesters in Abuja as well as who deployed the military to Lekki Toll gate leading to the reported killing of innocent and unarmed protesters.
“While our party does not in any way condone the dissemination of fake news, which was actually birthed and promoted by the APC as a tool to grab power during the build-up to the 2015 elections, the PDP rejects the attempt to hide under fake news to impose a siege mentality in our country for selfish political reasons,” the statement further read, adding “ the APC should be apologizing for making our social media toxic, importing fake news into our polity as well as running an incompetent, oppressive and corrupt administration.”