Chuks Okocha in Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has stated that the attempt by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to justify President Muhammadu Buhari’s appointment of his aide and frontline APC member, Ms. Lauretta Onochie, as a national commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commissioner (INEC) has confirmed that APC is the brain behind the series of constitutional violations, abuse of human rights and impunity bedeviling Nigeria in the last five years.
The PDP said such provocative, arrogant and disdainful display of impunity by the APC and its administration, particularly in the violation of rules and crass abuse of apparatus of power like the police, is responsible for the growing tension, remonstration and social restiveness currently threatening the national cohesion.
The party said in a statement issued by the National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, that the PDP and Nigerians were shocked that the APC deployed an impostor as spokesperson to issue a statement to justify the brazen violation of paragraph 14 of the 3rd Schedule of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), which forbids a person involved in partisan politics to hold office as a member of INEC.
According to the PDP, “After a critical analysis of the statement and other offensive comments by the APC in support of constitutional violations and abuse of rights, no one is left in doubt that the APC, as a party, is bent on triggering crisis and destroying the unity of our dear country, seeing that it has no place in the future of Nigeria.
“It is distressing that while our party (PDP), known for our strict adherence to the rule of law, and an overwhelming majority of Nigerians, including members of the National Assembly and state governors, have rejected the offensive nomination and urged President Buhari to send a replacement to the Senate, the APC is rather seeking to set up the president and further pitch him against already agitated Nigerians and the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
“Our party finds it ludicrous that the APC in its wicked and anti-people enterprise, sought to divert attention from its atrocities by laying a false claim that some INEC members, including Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, had links with the PDP.
“Such poorly scripted piece of fiction cannot sway Nigerians as they know that Prof. Yakubu, was never a member of the PDP and that no member of the PDP has been appointed a Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) while being a card-carrying member of our party.”
The PDP, however, informed the APC that its failed diversionary tactics would never diminish the determination by the PDP and other well-meaning Nigerians from using every means possible in a democracy to stop Onochie from being confirmed as INEC commissioner.
Moreover, it said it is the belief of the PDP that some voice of reason has reached President Buhari, who would not want to worsen the already tensed situation in the country, not to dance to the evil tone being played by the APC.
PDP, therefore, counseled a few credible Nigerians left in the APC to call the leadership of their party to order, particularly over its use of impostors as spokespersons to fan the embers of crisis and political tension in our country.