The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said that attempt by the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) to slur the integrity of the anti-corruption efforts of the Federal Government is a symptom of a one-track minded political party unable to appreciate the pre-1999 deprecate societal fabrics that the PDP met.
Also, Peter Abulu, the Personal Assistant to the former Chairman of the party’s Board of Trustees (BoT), Chief Tony Anenih, has said it was not true that Anenih had been appointed Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) Elders Committee.
A statement by the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh, said the PDP was optimistic that its battle on corruption would be won with the bold institutional framework the Federal Government has put in place and with the collective efforts of all Nigerians.
According to him, “No government in the history of Nigeria has attempted the bold initiatives that our party has taken to fight corruption.
The PDP-led Federal Government created the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) as well as the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC). No matter the criticisms trailing their performance, these bodies have posted degrees of successes. Most importantly, these institutions are meant to outgrow partisan practices and given time, become inviolable winnower on the chaff of corruption.”
The PDP spokesman further said: “In a similar vein, for the first time in our history, a government emphatically voted for a free society with the enactment of the Freedom of Information law so that Nigerians irrespective of class shall be fully informed and have access to hitherto classified pieces of information; the bottom line being to make governance collective and participatory; so that each Nigerian at any level is enabled to pick up the gauntlet against corruption.”
Besides, PDP said, the worst form of corruption is the one that annuls the will of the people, which it said, the PDP-led government has successfully waged war on.
“For the first time in the history of our dear nation, a government made good its promise of free and fair elections. The 2011 general election in which President Goodluck Jonathan participated as an incumbent was adjudged locally and internationally as the most incredible in our recent records. The subsequent state governorship elections which the Ondo election is the most recent have towed the same path,” the statement said.
The party noted that a comparison with the electoral activities and bare faced robbery that go on in the opposition controlled states in the name of local government elections as witnessed recently in Ogun and Lagos States is just one out of myriads of ways the ACN is throwing spanner in the wheel of anti- corruption.
According to the statement, “Under the PDP-led Federal Government, the nation has witnessed high profile probes as well as convictions. The National Assembly under the leadership of our great party has also upped the scrutiny in its over sight functions.
“Even though we are making no claims to having stamped out corruption, we insist that appreciable progress is being made. Yes, there is corruption but corrupt persons know full well today that the loop of the long arm of the law is not in any way broken; that questions must come up if not immediately, definitely later. But what is the ACN’s contribution to freeing our society from corruption as party controlling six out of 36 states of the Federation? A physician who refuses to clear the huge logs in his eyes and struts into the theatre will not only grope in the dark but headed for incalculable damage on his chosen profession,” the party said.
Reacting to news report that the former chairman of PDP BoT has been made the chairman of PDM Elders Committee, Abulu said not only was he (Anenih) not chairman of the committee, but was also not aware of any such appointment at the meeting of the PDM held at the weekend at the Shehu Yar’Adua Centre in Abuja, as he was not in attendance.
According to him, “Chief Anenih was not in Abuja when the meeting was held. If such decision was reached, those who took the decision would have either consulted with him prior to the decision or briefed him after the decision was taken.
“I can tell you authoritatively that if any such decision was taken, he was not consulted on it; and as this official reaction is being made, Chief Anenih has already contacted those who attended the meeting and they told him that no such decision was reached.”