The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in its new role as the main opposition party has accused the All Progressive Congress, APC, of double standard and insincerity following President Muhammadu Buhari’s visits to Chad and Niger Republic last week as part of efforts to strengthen regional cooperation in the war against Boko Haram.
The APC had castigated the immediate past administration of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan for seeking the assistance of Nigeria’s neighbouring countries in the fight against insurgency – a similar path the PDP said Mr. Buhari is toeing.
In a statement on Sunday by its National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, the PDP said in the days ahead, Nigerians should expect further unmasking of the governing party’s double standard and blackmail upon which they rode to power.
The party also condemned the venom with which the APC’s spokesman, Lai Mohammed, attacked well-meaning Nigerians for daring to offer constructive criticisms to President Buhari, following apparent loss of tempo in the fight against insurgency since he took office, describing such as unacceptable in a democracy especially in a country like Nigeria where the citizens have been enjoying freedom of expression in the last 16 years under the PDP.
“The APC must understand that the hallmark of democracy is freedom of expression and opinion, particularly on governance issues; inalienable rights of all citizens guaranteed by the constitution and which must not be denied them under any guise whatsoever.
“Though we had decided to give President Muhammadu Buhari and the ruling party sometime to settle down, indicators show that the APC is not getting its bearing right and the PDP as a party that has nurtured and sustained democracy in the last 16 years, we cannot fold our hands and watch our nation drift towards dangerous undemocratic paths”, the party said.
The PDP lamented that since the APC took over power at the centre, there has been no clear sign of seriousness and direction, but confusion, selfish infighting and hysteria for positions of power while the nation drifts, noting that the situation is unhealthy for democracy and national development.
“The concern of well-meaning Nigerians is that this may be a pointer to the fact that the APC lacks clear-cut directions on how to govern a nation as complex as Nigeria”, it said.
The PDP observed that though some jostling for political offices are expected among politicians in a democracy, Nigerians are not comfortable with the confusion in the APC camp and the dimension it has assumed.
The party said “the negative effect of the glaring political commotion in the APC is compounding President Buhari’s self-confessed nervousness and puzzlement, his flip-flops and worrisome reneging on campaign promises for which Nigerians will continue to hold him accountable.
“Instead of fighting for positions, which betrays their lust, APC leaders should be more concerned with how to help President Buhari, who is still struggling with his ministerial list and basic appointments more than a week after his inauguration.
“They should be more concerned with how to end insurgency by the end of July as promised by President Buhari in his April 2, 2015 CNN interview.
“They should be concerned about how to pay N5,000 each to 25 million poor Nigerians beginning from the end of June; how to bring the naira to the same value with the dollar; provide allowances to the discharged but unemployed Youth Corps members for Twelve (12) months; provide free education and meals for school children among others as they promised during the campaigns.
“We invite the APC to note the concern of Nigerians that the pictures emanating from their camp are not reassuring in this direction”, the PDP said.