The national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party has refused to hang the official portrait of President Muhammadu Buhari at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja.
Checks by the PUNCH revealed that over 100 days after the president assumed office, the main opposition party is yet to hang his portrait at any of the offices in its Wadata House national secretariat, located at Wuse Zone 5, Abuja.
The party has also said it would never hang Buhari’s portraits on its walls though it has removed that of former President Goodluck Jonathan, who is a member of the PDP.
Explaining why President Buhari’s portrait is not hanging on the wall in any of the offices in its national secretariat, the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, on Tuesday said “We will never hang his portrait in this office because President Buhari is not known to our party. He is not a leader of our party and therefore we will never put his portrait here. We are a political party, very partisan and therefore, we are not going to hide that”.
The PDP, which had been in power since 1999 when the country returned to democratic rule, was ousted in the 2015 general elections.
Prior to this time, the party had always hung portraits of all the Presidents at the party’s reception area as well as the National Executive Committee and National Working Committee halls within the secretariat.
But Metuh defended the PDP’s action, saying rather than criticize it for not displaying the incumbent president’s official portrait in its offices, the APC should be asked if it ever hung the immediate past president’s portrait in its own offices before the March 28 presidential election.
“Can you find out if the APC had the portrait of former President Jonathan in their office before he was defeated? That is just it”, Metuh said with an air of finality.
When pressed further to confirm or deny whether the PDP’s action was not an act of vengeance, Metuh denied, but insisted that since Buhari “is not a member of our party, we won’t put his portrait here”.
The APC National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Lai Mohammed, expressed shock at Metuh’s comment.
“This is ridiculous and we have no comment. Let Nigerians judge the PDP on this matter”, Mohammed said.
The spokesman for the governing party said Metuh had a shallow understanding of the concept of opposition politics.