Nigeria In Disarray Under APC—Metuh

Spokesman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Olisa Metuh, has accused the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government and his party, the All Progressives Congress, APC, of leading Nigeria to autocracy.

Metuh, in a press conference in Abuja on Monday, said this is coming based on “some disturbing political trends in our country since the emergence of Buhari-led APC administration at the centre which, if unchecked portends high risk for our hard earned democracy.”

He further noted that “in the last 120 days under the APC, some elements in the euphoria of their unexpected victory are now moving our dear nation from democracy to autocracy and attempting to impose a sole administratorship in all spheres of the polity, with its attendant consequences and embarrassments to the President and our national image.”

The party pointed out the “absence of Nigeria at one of the key listed meetings at the 70th United Nations General Assembly in New York, where the issue of humanitarian crisis arising from the insurgency in Lake Chad countries including our country was the main agenda, further asserts the ineptitude of the handlers of the President on national and international issues.”

Metuh said those around Buhari have displayed “ executive arrogance, flagrant abuse of power, constitutional violations, assault on democratic institutions, compromising of judicial processes, invasion of state government and personal houses, harassment of citizens and the deliberate suffocation of the middle class.”

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“Also, the stance goes a long way to show that the flip-flopped promise of our President to name a cabinet, a deadline which he shifted from two weeks of assumption of office to end of September, is actually a reluctant pledge and done under great duress,” Metuh further said.

The party feared that “Given this worrisome outlook, it is obvious that the Presidency would not attach any value or importance to the ministers under the ‘new sheriff’,” asking if this could also be “part of the reason for the relentless onslaught against the National Assembly, which must be weakened and prevented from playing its constitutional role of checks and balances in the system?”

Metuh further said, “Much more pathetic and shocking, but very revealing of the insincerity and ineptitude of those around the President was the disconcerting excuse by an aide of the President in trying to explain away this blunder.”

“Instead of admitting failure and apologizing to Nigerians, the Presidency sought to hoodwink the public by claiming that the meeting was not one of the official events for which the President and his delegation are in New York, only for the official brochure of the meeting tagged, ‘High Level Event on the Lake Chad Basin’, to show that ‘high level representation from the government of Nigeria’ was scheduled to make contributions at the meeting.”

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Metuh said with this, it is right to say the country’s “delegation to the UN General Assembly Meeting achieved nothing, reminiscent of the July much hyped visit to the US, which also brought nothing but diplomatic disagreements, also due to the ineptitude of the APC-led federal government.”

“We therefore use this medium to draw the attention of the Chief Justice of Nigeria to various complaints by PDP members regarding the application of undue technicalities to deny them justice in elections tribunals and relevant courts.

“The special case in point is the manipulation of the processes in the governorship elections tribunals in Plateau and Imo states, where APC stole our mandates and is now applying all manner of tactics to arm-twist the judiciary and manipulate the proceedings by wounding down the clock, thereby preventing the hearing of the merit of PDP cases in those states until the expiration of the stipulated 180 days.

“Our complaints derive from the fact that the APC is already boasting of being in control of the judiciary as a tool to take over states won by the PDP in the general elections especially, Akwa-Ibom, Rivers, Taraba, Delta as well as Imo and Plateau states.

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“We therefore hope that the recent decision of the Court of Appeal sitting in Jos, reversing the ruling of the Governorship Election Tribunal in Plateau State, admitting into evidence INEC-certified electoral documents, expert evidence and report, following a joint inspection of the documents by parties to the petition, as ordered by the tribunal itself, is not the direct result of the arm-twisting of the judiciary by the APC.

“This is especially so when the APC, who at the moment claims victory at the election, offered not a shred of evidence to contradict the INEC-certified documents and expert evidence and report emanating from it as presented by the PDP in the two states, Imo and Plateau.

“The most disturbing aspect of this perhaps is in Imo state, where the merit of the PDP petition in the tribunal was not heard but thrown out on technicalities and being frustrated from being heard,” Metuh said at the briefing.

He concluded that the PDP will continue to base its opposition on issues and urged “Nigerians to be on the alert and join us in resisting hawks around the Presidency from derailing our democracy through their divisive, parochial and anti-democratic actions and interests.”

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