APC: PDP’s Lack of Robust Engagement Turning Nigeria into One-party State

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  •   Opposition party rejects FG’s attempt to gag media  

Chuks Okocha and Adedayo Akinwale ín Abuja

All Progressives Congress (APC) has decried the inability of the main opposition, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to engage in rigorous and intelligent interrogation of its policies and programmes, which it said, were turning the country into a one-party state.

This was coming as the main opposition party has rejected what it described as the moves by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government to further gag the media, and subjugate Nigerians and curtail their constitutionally guaranteed freedom of expression.

The ruling party said the country’s democracy has a lot to gain in an atmosphere of robust engagement by responsible and patriotic opposition, adding that the system envisaged that such parties would provide alternative viewpoints and put the governing party on its toes.

APC National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, in a statement yesterday, said Nigeria deserves a strong, vibrant opposition to play its conventional role in the polity to deepen democracy.

He added: “Sadly, Nigeria is becoming a one-party state. As a party that believes in democracy and progressive politics, we cannot pretend any longer.

“Democracy cannot be said to be fully operational in a situation where the supposed ‘main’ opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party has become a joke, irresponsible and rudderless.” The ruling party said, instead, the PDP and their minions have in the name of opposition continued to distract the government and Nigerians with their post-election delusions, salacious fictions, conjured rifts in government circle and of course the lowest of it all, “the pathetic and senseless Jubril of Sudan malicious tale,” among others.

Issa-Onilu said: “It is sad that PDP has finally proved incapable of filling this important democratic space. The other mushroom parties are even worse. Some of the smaller parties are filled with incurable charlatans issuing infantile weekly press statements on behalf of the PDP. Our democracy deserves better.”

APC noted that the so-called Congress of United Political Parties (CUPP), which could have filled the vacuum and engaged the APC administration in useful debates over governance, has become a comedy theatre group and frontline PDP minion.

The party stressed that CUPP has the unenviable mandate to try to intimidate and blackmail important state institutions such as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the judiciary, and security agencies, on behalf of PDP with the hope of gaining political advantage having been rejected by the majority of the voters.

The ruling party added that as the current administration tackles national challenges and at a period that all should focus on issues of nation-building, the best PDP and its acolytes are offering is a distraction.

APC spokesman noted that while the PDP wallows in its obscene conducts, Nigeria under the Buhari-led administration would continue to consolidate on its status as Africa’s largest economy, despite inheriting a battered economy.

Meanwhile, PDP has rejected what it described as the moves by the Buhari-led federal government to further gag the media, and subjugate Nigerians and curtail their constitutionally guaranteed freedom of expression

The opposition party noted that  the decision by the President to impose stringent regulations on online media and broadcast organisations as recently announced by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, was completely obnoxious, anti-democratic and a direct violation of statutory rules governing media practice and freedom of expression in Nigeria.

PDP, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said that it rejected the presidential declaration of political comments as “Class A” offence, insisting that such was designed to undermine the nation’s constitutional democracy, exterminate the rights of citizens to dissenting public opinion, emasculate the opposition and foist a dictatorship and one-party system on the nation.

“Our party alerts that such moves amount to an attempt to amend our constitution to take away the rights of citizens and undermine our democratic institutions – a development that has the capacity to destabilise our dear nation.

“The PDP invites Nigerians to note that this dictatorial pathway which the Buhari Presidency seeks to impose, if allowed, will herald the gradual emasculation of freedom of expression, repression of free press, infringements on the rights of citizens and foisting of siege mentality on the people.

“Nigerians are already apprehensive that the directive is geared towards clearing the ground for the introduction of certain harsh policies in our country,” PDP said.

The party insisted that the constitution has made enough provisions to guide media practice as well as the exercise of freedom of expression, adding that the foisting of unconstitutional and suppressive regulations would not be acceptable under any guise.

The party therefore called on the members of the National Assembly, as the representatives of the people, to reject this presidential directive in the interest of the nation.

It also admonished the President and his advisers not to derail the nation with such undemocratic policies.

APC: PDP’s Lack of Robust Engagement Turning Nigeria into One-party State

  Opposition party rejects FG’s attempt to gag media  

Chuks Okocha and Adedayo Akinwale ín Abuja

All Progressives Congress (APC) has decried the inability of the main opposition, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to engage in rigorous and intelligent interrogation of its policies and programmes, which it said, were turning the country into a one-party state.

This was coming as the main opposition party has rejected what it described as the moves by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government to further gag the media, and subjugate Nigerians and curtail their constitutionally guaranteed freedom of expression.

The ruling party said the country’s democracy has a lot to gain in an atmosphere of robust engagement by responsible and patriotic opposition, adding that the system envisaged that such parties would provide alternative viewpoints and put the governing party on its toes.

APC National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, in a statement yesterday, said Nigeria deserves a strong, vibrant opposition to play its conventional role in the polity to deepen democracy.

He added: “Sadly, Nigeria is becoming a one-party state. As a party that believes in democracy and progressive politics, we cannot pretend any longer.

“Democracy cannot be said to be fully operational in a situation where the supposed ‘main’ opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party has become a joke, irresponsible and rudderless.” The ruling party said, instead, the PDP and their minions have in the name of opposition continued to distract the government and Nigerians with their post-election delusions, salacious fictions, conjured rifts in government circle and of course the lowest of it all, “the pathetic and senseless Jubril of Sudan malicious tale,” among others.

Issa-Onilu said: “It is sad that PDP has finally proved incapable of filling this important democratic space. The other mushroom parties are even worse. Some of the smaller parties are filled with incurable charlatans issuing infantile weekly press statements on behalf of the PDP. Our democracy deserves better.”

APC noted that the so-called Congress of United Political Parties (CUPP), which could have filled the vacuum and engaged the APC administration in useful debates over governance, has become a comedy theatre group and frontline PDP minion.

The party stressed that CUPP has the unenviable mandate to try to intimidate and blackmail important state institutions such as the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the judiciary, and security agencies, on behalf of PDP with the hope of gaining political advantage having been rejected by the majority of the voters.

The ruling party added that as the current administration tackles national challenges and at a period that all should focus on issues of nation-building, the best PDP and its acolytes are offering is a distraction.

APC spokesman noted that while the PDP wallows in its obscene conducts, Nigeria under the Buhari-led administration would continue to consolidate on its status as Africa’s largest economy, despite inheriting a battered economy.

Meanwhile, PDP has rejected what it described as the moves by the Buhari-led federal government to further gag the media, and subjugate Nigerians and curtail their constitutionally guaranteed freedom of expression

The opposition party noted that  the decision by the President to impose stringent regulations on online media and broadcast organisations as recently announced by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, was completely obnoxious, anti-democratic and a direct violation of statutory rules governing media practice and freedom of expression in Nigeria.

PDP, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said that it rejected the presidential declaration of political comments as “Class A” offence, insisting that such was designed to undermine the nation’s constitutional democracy, exterminate the rights of citizens to dissenting public opinion, emasculate the opposition and foist a dictatorship and one-party system on the nation.

“Our party alerts that such moves amount to an attempt to amend our constitution to take away the rights of citizens and undermine our democratic institutions – a development that has the capacity to destabilise our dear nation.

“The PDP invites Nigerians to note that this dictatorial pathway which the Buhari Presidency seeks to impose, if allowed, will herald the gradual emasculation of freedom of expression, repression of free press, infringements on the rights of citizens and foisting of siege mentality on the people.

“Nigerians are already apprehensive that the directive is geared towards clearing the ground for the introduction of certain harsh policies in our country,” PDP said.

The party insisted that the constitution has made enough provisions to guide media practice as well as the exercise of freedom of expression, adding that the foisting of unconstitutional and suppressive regulations would not be acceptable under any guise.

The party therefore called on the members of the National Assembly, as the representatives of the people, to reject this presidential directive in the interest of the nation.

It also admonished the President and his advisers not to derail the nation with such undemocratic policies.