Nigeria needs a more vibrant opposition party than the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has said.
It challenged other opposition political parties to fill the gap the PDP is allegedly not fulfilling.
In a statement yesterday in Abuja by its National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, APC said: “This is exactly our fear. Is this not a confirmation of APC’s earlier position that Nigeria was fast becoming a one-party state as a result of the rudderless and soulless PDP, Nigeria’s supposed main opposition party?
“No doubt, our country deserves a strong and vibrant opposition to play its conventional role in the polity and to deepen democracy. The PDP has shown crass and shocking incapacity to perform that role. As a party that believes in democracy and progressive politics, we are worried by this obvious vacuum.
“No rigorous and intelligent interrogation of the current administration’s policies and programmes by the PDP. Just idle chatter, propagation of fake news, post-election delusions and other unpatriotic conducts. This is dangerous for our democracy. The APC hereby invites other registered political parties to step up and perform the crucial opposition role the PDP has failed so woefully to play.
“On the governance side, the PDP is reminded to compare its past administrations, which enjoyed record earnings, yet frittered our commonwealth. With limited resources, the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC administration continues to achieve several visible milestones.
“The governing APC recognises the importance of a vibrant opposition, which the PDP has failed woefully to play. Of the several other registered political parties, we challenge any of them to step up and play this important role.”
The PDP yesterday urged security agencies to question APC leaders on the violence and killings that characterised the November 16 governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states.
The party said its call for action followed emerging revelations that some APC leaders were behind the violence that marred elections in the two states.
In a statement by its spokesman Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP said demand came on the heels of “shocking attempts” by the APC to dismiss nationwide calls for electoral reforms, with allusions by its spokesperson Lanre Issa-Onilu, that “no amount of reform” can help PDP’s outcry and demand for violence-free election in Nigeria.
Issa-Onilu said on Monday that what the PDP needed was internal reform.
The statement said: “By gloating and interpreting national and international concerns over bloodletting and violence in our elections as PDP’s ‘malady’, the APC has further confirmed apprehensions that it is the mastermind of the horrific violence and forceful invasion of polling units to aid their rigging plots…”
“Our party invites Nigerians to note that only a mastermind and beneficiary of a crime would seek ways of dismissing, covering or diverting attention from the crime.
“It is now no longer strange that APC leaders have been trying every means to frustrate investigations into the bloody brigandage … unleashed in the elections, in which about 10 Nigerians were reportedly beheaded in Bayelsa while over 22 others were felled in Kogi, including an innocent mother, Mrs. Salome Abuh, who was burnt alive in her home by APC agents.”