The PDP National Youth Frontier (PDPNYF) has called for the resignation of embattled national publicity secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olisa Metuh.
Mr. Metuh has been detained by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, since Tuesday over his alleged involvement in the $2.1 billion arms deal scandal rocking the Office of the former National Security Adviser, ONSA.
The PDP spokesman is alleged to have received questionable payments from the ex-NSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.) to the tune of N1.4 billion.
He, however, denies any wrongdoing, insisting that he carried out assignments for former President Goodluck Jonathan for which he was duly paid.
The PDPNYF, however, said it noted with great concern, the various allegations and charges against some PDP members that served in government, even as these allegations and charges are yet to be proven.
In a statement signed by its national coordinator, Usman Okai Austin, the body said “We are calling for the immediate resignation of Olisa Metuh from his position as National Publicity Secretary until ongoing corruption investigations by the EFCC are concluded. The PDP as the voice of Nigeria’s opposition must remain credible and untainted.
“We dissociate well-meaning and credible members of the PDP completely from any corrupt practices perpetuated by a minority while the party was in power. Not everybody in PDP is corrupt”.
“However, while we are aware that indeed an insignificant fraction of members of the PDP may have indulged in acts capable of tarnishing the integrity of our great party, we call on President Muhammadu Buhari to expand the scope of the war to include members of his own party indicted for acts of corruption. We are calling on the President to investigate some of his serving ministers and associates who have grievous allegations leveled against them”, the group said.
PDPNYF said it has resolved to ensure that any member of the PDP so convicted shall also face intra party disciplinary actions and severely sanctioned accordingly.
“As a prominent PDP youth group with a membership profile in excess of 300,000 across the zones of Nigeria, we find it difficult to understand the nature of transactions which caused there to be huge sums of cash deposits into the private bank accounts of a few party members who are not known to be government workers, contractors or administrators. Only anti-graft agencies and the courts can assist in resolving these mysteries and Nigerians are eagerly waiting.
“The PDP stands steadfastly by the ideals of the G-34 founding fathers of the party. The ‘Principle of the Rule of Law’, which was a cardinal, focus of founding fathers of the party remains sacrosanct and immutable.
“Let us however seize this opportunity to state that while the war against corruption is in the overall interest of Nigerians, it must not be used as a weapon to victimize and weaken the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP). Events of the past few weeks have shown that the fabric of democracy is threatened and the opposition is at risk of being beaten into a state of silence by a leading party that is notorious for its open contempt of our judiciary”.
The group said on behalf of the party, it regrets the conduct of prominent members the PDP, who have so far been implicated in acts ranging from corruption to outright theft.
“But we shall not preempt the courts by pronouncing them guilty. We strongly aver that it is only in the best interest of our great party that they step aside, handing over the reins of leadership to persons who command bigger measures of respect. Their continued stay in office shall continue to rob our great party of its integrity, honour and credibility on a daily basis. As it stands, Nigerians are watching and no serious Nigerian is currently taking our party seriously.
“Under the party’s current leadership, the party is now being represented at various levels, including the social media by some of the most funny, shady and incompetent characters. Who will take such a party seriously?
“Finally, we reiterate our commitment and loyalty to the ideals of the founding fathers of PDP and remain resolved to work for the success of the coming national convention which we are hopeful will throw up a new set of strong, vibrant, credible and selfless leaders”.