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Friday, January 1, 2016

DRAMA: PDP, APC in face-off over Buhari’s media chat

President has exposed himself as a tyrant— PDP
You are ranting — APC
ABUJA — The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and the All Progressives Congress, APC, were, last night, locked in a verbal conflict over President Muhammadu Buhari’s Wednesday Media Chat with the opposition party claiming the parley exposed the President as a dictator.
The PDP said the parley showed the president’s “undemocratic character as an unrepentant tyrant who has no regard for the rule of law and the self-worth of Nigerian citizens.”

The PDP was immediately dismissed by the APC which accused the PDP of ranting as it accused the party of insulting the personality of the President.

The PDP, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, yesterday, also said the President confirmed his partisanship in the much-vaunted war against corruption by openly absolving his ministers and party members of corrupt practices.

Metuh said: “Whilst we restate our respect for the person and office of the President, we note that President Buhari bared his true colours to the world as an unrepentant tyrant. Today, the world is no longer in doubt as to who is behind the prevailing recklessness, abuse of rights of citizens and outright flouting of judicial pronouncements by security agencies.

“A situation where the President openly pronounced persons facing trial guilty and sanctioned their continued incarceration despite being granted bail by the courts, presents a dangerous fascist practice obtainable only in totalitarian societies like Mussolini’s Italy, Hitler’s Germany, Idi Amin’s Uganda and General Than Shwe’s Burma.

“This extremely shocking dictatorial tendency being brazenly exhibited by the President in total disdain for our laws and judicial institutions portends great danger for our democracy and constitutionally-guaranteed rights of the people, and should be resisted by the citizens before it festers.

“The scorn for the principle of separation of powers, especially the independence of the legislature, is further manifested in the declared craving to regulate the funding and running of the National Assembly, a matter constitutionally vested outside the jurisdiction of the executive. We are most uncomfortable about his attempt at trying to whip up public sentiments against an independent arm of government, especially the one vested with the constitutional power of appropriation.

“Following from the foregoing, therefore, it may be necessary to suspend the application of our constitution and allow the President to operate as maximum ruler for four years after which the nation can return to a democracy.

On Chibok girls

Media Chat 4: L-R Premium Times Editor Mr. Ibanga Isine, Anchor/Media Practitioner Mr Kayode Akintemi, President Muhammadu Buhari, Dr Ngozi Ayaegbunam, Daily Trust Editor Mannir Dan-Ali during the Presidential media chat at the State House in Abuja on 30th Dec 2015

“On the issue of the Chibok girls, President Buhari’s embarrassing declaration of seeking information on the whereabouts and state of the girls betrays an obvious insincerity which is in total conflict with his campaign promises in that regard. Thus by this declaration, our dear President has accepted failure on this issue and should, therefore, apologise to Nigerians for all the insults, abuse and aspersions cast on the past administration by himself and the leadership of his political party.

“On the issue of devaluation of the naira, there is an obvious conflict between the budget speech wherein the President stated that the government is assessing the foreign exchange rate with a view to attracting foreign investments and his categorical pronouncement during the media chat that the Naira would not be devalued. We invite Nigerians to note that the President obviously does not understand the currency that applies in the devaluation of the Naira (laugh out loud).

‘Difficult lot’

“Furthermore, Nigerians were shocked by the President’s labelling Nigerians as ‘very difficult lot’ while responding to questions on the strategy to be adopted in implementing his promised N5,000 social welfare package.

“This unhealthy portrayal of the citizens by the very father of the nation, who has remained unrelenting in de-marketing his country through unguarded statements, is indeed a great disservice to Nigeria and its international image. Consequently, we reject this negative labelling of our citizens and reiterate our confidence in them, especially the millions who remain honest, hardworking and credible.

“Finally, Nigerians must take copious note of the fact that the President gave no inspiring answers to questions pertaining to his campaign promises, the fight against insurgency and rescue of the Chibok girls, the poor state of the naira, sudden plunging of the economy under his watch, and the gradual loss of democratic rights and freedom.”

You are ranting — APC

Reacting, the APC took exception to what it referred as the unwarranted abuse on President Buhari by the PDP and its members, warning that it may not condone such act anymore.

The party specifically told the opposition party and its members that being in opposition or critic was not a licence to denigrate the President or his office.

APC National Chairman, John Oyegun, in a statement, through the party’s Assistant Director, Media and Publicity, Edegbe Odemwingie, condemned what it called the “Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) unprovoked insults and unguarded statements on President Muhammadu Buhari and other members of the APC.”

The statement, released to newsmen, read: “In the aftermath of Wednesday’s widely-acclaimed presidential chat, PDP’s spokesman, Olisa Metuh, in a statement issued on Thursday amongst others called President Buhari an “unrepentant tyrant” and “fascist.” In other baseless allegations, the PDP accused ministers and APC members of corruption while further accusing the president of a selective anti-corruption fight.

“The APC is worried by PDP’s inciting statements. Respect for the office of the President or heads of government in any clime is not a matter of choice but a civic obligation sanctioned by laws. Being an opposition party or critic is no licence to issue abusive, intemperate and slanderous statements on government officials; most especially the President of the country.

“The PDP has proven that it is not a party to be trusted or taken seriously. Only recently, the PDP said in a December 24, 2015 statement: ‘we urge that Nigerians should not recourse to hauling insults on the President’.

“For the umpteenth time, the APC urges Nigerians, who see merit in the war that the President Buhari-led administration is waging against corruption, not to be distracted by the PDP and their agents of corruption to discredit the war. For the records, the ongoing war against corruption is not selective. Anybody guilty of corrupt practices will face the law.

“If the PDP has any proof of corruption against any APC member or minister as alleged, we advise that they approach any of the anti-graft agencies constitutionally mandated to handle such cases.

“PDP’s rant suggesting a selective anti-corruption fight by the present administration should be seen as a plot meant to distract the citizenry from the successful ongoing war against graft.

“The PDP does not have the luxury of dictating how the present administration carries out its legitimate duty of catching looters, as long as it conforms with the rule of law.”

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