The Peoples Democratic Party alleged on Thursday that President Muhammadu Buhari’s responses at the Wednesday’s Presidential Media Chat were not only embarrassing but also further exposed him as an unrepentant tyrant who had no regard for the rule of law. The party, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, also said the President confirmed his alleged partisanship in the much-vaunted war against corruption by openly absolving his ministers and party members of corrupt practices.
Metuh said that the President’s attitude showed his true colours as an unrepentant dictator. He also said that it was wrong for the President to have condemned those undergoing trial for alleged corruption. He 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.”
Metuh added that with the pronouncements by the President, it might be necessary to suspend the application of the constitution and allow the President to operate as a maximum ruler for four years after which the nation could return to a democracy. He added:
“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.”
Also, in his New Year message, the acting National Chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus, alleged that President Buhari was on a vengeance mission. The party also charged Nigerians to remain focused in the new year.
But reacting, the APC cautioned the PDP against inciting Nigerians against government through unguarded statements. The APC National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, said the APC was disturbed by PDP’s unprovoked insults and unguarded statements on President Buhari and other members of the APC.
He noted that in other baseless allegations, the PDP accused ministers and APC members of corruption while further accusing the President of a selective anti-corruption fight. Odigie-Oyegun said:
“The APC is worried by the 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 license 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.”
He challenged the PDP to go to any of the anti-graft agencies if it had any proof of corruption against any APC member or minister as alleged.