The All Progressives Congress on Wednesday formally shut its doors against members of the Peoples Democratic Party wishing to join its ranks. The party also enjoined members and leaders of the ruling party to stay put where they are and rebuild their party to play its new found role as the main opposition party. It admonished the PDP to come to terms with the cold, hard reality that its fortunes have since plummeted and that it is now in opposition. The APC made its position public in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, in Abuja. According to the APC, the leadership of the PDP is not even waiting to be approached before fleeing to the APC. Mohammed said
“PDP leaders and members are falling over themselves shamelessly and swearing undying allegiance to the APC. Well, in case they did not get the message of the President-elect and our National Chairman, we want to repeat it in very blunt terms: PDP leaders and members, you are not welcome in APC”.
“Please stay in your party, but if – as we suspect – you cannot survive in opposition, then, take a walk, quit politics.”Mohammed was reacting to a communiqué issued by the PDP, in which it alleged that the APC was harassing its members and that it was trying to turn Nigeria into one party state.
The APC said the fact that the PDP devoted a substantial part of the communiqué, issued after the inaugural meeting of the its National Working Committee and Governors/Senators-elect, complaining about alleged harassment and intimidation by the APC, instead of strategizing, shows that it was yet to come to terms with the reality on ground.
It also observed that the out-going ruling party still does not understand the enormity of the challenges awaiting it as an opposition party. Mohammed said:
“The truth of the matter is that the PDP is scared stiff of being in opposition. We don’t blame them as they have neither the capacity nor the commitment to be in opposition.
“A party that stood for nothing but looting and rent collection will naturally be afraid of being in opposition, where there is nothing to loot or rent to collect.”The APC also admonished the PDP to stop whining over an alleged plan by the APC to use the Election Petition Tribunals ‘to truncate and subvert the freely given mandate by the people in the states and constituencies’, saying it amounts to blackmail.