INEC Chairman, Attahiru Jega
The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) Thursday said it was wrong for President Goodluck Jonathan to have credited the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) with the growth of democracy in the country.
The party in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Muhammed, said rather than being a solution to the nation’s problem, PDP had constituted a major hindrance to the entrenchment of democratic values in the country.
ACN accused the PDP of suffering from delusion of grandeur by saying the party was the reason why the nation’s democracy had not collapsed.
“Mr. President, the reason Nigeria’s democracy has survived thus far is not the robustness of the PDP, as you have said, but the determination and courage of the good people of Nigeria, who have resolved to say ‘never again’ to anti-democratic forces, as well as the robust opposition mounted by a few progressive forces,” the statement stated.
The party further added that if the truth should be told PDP deserves to be blamed for the shortfalls in our democracy, “due to its anti-democratic antics, election manipulation tendencies, lack of respect for the rule of law and total disregard of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, just to mention a few.”
“Were it left for the PDP, this democracy as we know it would have become history. This is the party that has weakened all the institutions that are indispensable to building a virile democracy, from the judiciary to the legislature. This is the party that has sought to emasculate the opposition by infiltrating their ranks and coercing them into a fake unity government. This is the party that does not believe in one man, one vote, but will rather engage in do-or-die politics to win at all cost,” the party added.
The party said the reason why the PDP was subjected to intense criticisms by Nigerians was because the party had failed to meet the yearnings and aspirations of the people in terms of good governance and provision of visionary leadership.
“Mr. President, it is not the opposition alone that is complaining. The people are fed up with the PDP governments at all levels, and what happened in Edo last weekend is the clearest indication yet that the PDP, with all its so-called spread, access to limitless funds and control of the state instrument of coercion, is fast receding into irrelevance,” the party said.
The ACN also described as an unnecessary distraction the plan to bring ministers and other key government officials to brief the NEC of the PDP as a way of informing the people of what the party has done.
“The truth is that the PDP has done nothing to justify its strangle-hold on power at the centre since 1999. The problem is not with the message, but with the messenger. If a government that has a full-fledged ministry of information, and television and radio stations in every state, says its message is not reaching the people, then something is wrong!” ACN said.
The party also described as disingenuous the PDP-controlled federal government’s recourse to blaming Boko Haram for its failure to ensure good governance and deliver democratic dividends to the people.
“The Boko Haram crisis flared in 2009, ten clear years after the PDP has been in charge of the country’s affairs without moving the nation forward. Pray, is it Boko Haram that made the Obasanjo and Yar’Adua administrations to under-perform, even at a time of unprecedented earnings from high oil prices?
“Mr. President, it is the other way round. The lack of purpose and direction of the PDP over the years helped to give birth to the causes of national insecurity like the Boko Haram. Therefore, seeking to hang the failure of the PDP federal government since 1999 on Boko Haram’s neck is another indication that the PDP federal government lacks what it takes to make Nigeria a more secured nation for its citizens and non-citizens alike. It should quit the stage before crashing the house on all of us,” ACN said.