A group, Governance Watch Initiative, has called on the National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh, to be wary of his utterances in order not to instigate violence in the country.
In a release by its National Coordinator, Rotimi Ogunwuyi, on Monday, the group said it was shocked that the PDP spokesman, in his statement on Sunday, instigated members and supporters of the party to rise up against the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari and his party, the All Progressives Congress.
It stated, “We are horrified that a party that was, until six months ago, the ruling party in our country and one that was in control of 27 states at a certain time, could so brazenly seek to instigate anarchy in the country simply because a duly constituted tribunal upturned the governorship election in Rivers State.
“We have also noticed a series of unwarranted attacks against our nation’s judiciary by Metuh and his party, an attack that was carried to a disturbing level in his Sunday’s statement. We recall that when Rotimi Amaechi, then of the PDP, was pronounced the governor of Rivers State by the Supreme Court in October 2007, even when he did not contest that year’s governorship election since his name had been substituted by his party, the PDP did not think the judiciary was being used by the PDP-led Federal Government at the time”.
The group added that under the present dispensation, all the APC National Assembly candidates in Rivers, who took their cases to the election petition tribunal lost, and there was no call for anarchy.
The group reminded Metuh that he has always been quick to say that his party will provide a credible opposition, wondering what was credible in the kind of statements that have been emanating from the PDP spokesman in recent times.
It further said that if Metuh and his party adhered to the rule of law, as they want Nigerians to believe, they would have realised that it was better to appeal any judgment rather than instigate people to revolt against the government.
The group further wondered what true democrat would resort to self-help to resolve an electoral dispute amid many available constitutional channels.
“It is an interesting irony that the same Metuh who has been raving at the judiciary, is the one who, in his statement, called on the Chief Justice of Nigeria to ‘note the looming danger and save the nation’s democracy and the institution of the judiciary.’
“We call on Metuh and his party not to plunge Nigeria into crisis through inciting and careless statements that have no place in any democracy. They should realise that every statement they make is read within and outside Nigeria; hence, their new-found pastime of denigrating our judiciary will have consequences far beyond politics.
“We note that being in opposition is not synonymous with abuse for the institutions of government and wolf crying, especially for an opposition political party that has barely spent six months in that capacity”, it said.
Noting that Nigeria is bigger than any individual, the GWI warned that nobody should jeopardise the country’s democracy because a tribunal nullified an election.