The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has described as a show of shame and national embarrassment, Thursday’s fracas by disgruntled All Progressives Congress, APC, members in the House of Representatives.
The party condemned the ugly development, saying it brings to question President Muhammadu Buhari and his party – APC’s commitment to democracy, unity and the stability of the country.
According to the opposition party, the “disgraceful” act is a direct consequence of President Buhari’s lack of democratic credentials to rein in his party to respect the independence and sanctity of the legislative arm of government, the very citadel of democracy, as enshrined in the nation’s constitution.
PDP National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, in a statement on Thursday said “the barbaric attempt to physically assault a duly elected Speaker, seize the mace, the authority of the House, is a direct attack on the Nigerian parliament which embodies the supremacy of the people and our freedom as a democratic nation”.
The party said what Nigerians witnessed in the House on Thursday clearly underscores the fact that the APC has exhausted its excuses and has now imported its internal contradictions into an independent arm of government as a way to further cover its lack of ideas for governance.
It alerted that intelligence available to it shows that “the brawling APC lawmakers ostensibly acted on instructions from the Presidency, an obvious indication that President Buhari is largely an interested party whose involvement is beyond mere body language”.
The PDP said the dishonorable conduct from the unruly APC lawmakers in acting out the script did not come to it as a surprise given that they are bred and nurtured under a political platform that lacks discipline and thrives on violence as an unwritten manifesto.
“We state unequivocally that the onus lies on President Buhari to ensure that all democratic institutions are harnessed for effectiveness, a responsibility he has apparently abdicated by allowing his personal interest to instigate division in the parliament, a tendency that poses great threat to the survival of our democracy and the stability of the nation”, he said.
The PDP said the continued confusion in the APC-led government is a confirmation of its earlier stand that the party lacks the capacity and democratic discipline to effectively steer the ship of nation and face the challenges of governance at the center.
“If a party that has since March 28, 2015 when it got its victory, about 90 days ago, cannot resolve a basic issue of selecting its leadership in the National Assembly, clearly, their competence for national governance comes to question”, the PDP stated.
The PDP, however, commended Speaker Yakubu Dogara for his comportment especially his statesmanly remarks after the unfortunate incident and urged him to continue to display maturity and not yield any ground in his duties to protect the independence of the legislature.
In the same vein, the PDP commended all its members (past and present) in the House of Representatives for their maturity and dignifying conduct in line with the ideals of its founding fathers on democracy built on peace and unity.