APC, PDP clash over Nigeria’s drift into one-party state

January 28, 2020

4.5 min readCategories: Politics

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) got a knock from the All Progressives Congress (APC) over the former’s allegation that the ruling party was railroading the country into a one-party state.

The opposition party said the APC attempt will fail.

According to the PDP, the deliberate muzzling of the judicial and legislative arms by the executive is a recipe for dictatorship.

But, the APC chided the PDP for failing in playing the role of a formidable opposition. The PDP, the APC National Publicity Secretary, Lanre Issa-Onilu, said, should blame no one else, but itself.

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Taking an exception to the PDP claim, Issa-Onilu said: “As far as we are concerned, the PDP has become a joke of a party. So, if they also realised that Nigeria is becoming a one party state, they should remember that we have alerted Nigerians to this before. It’s up to them to rise up and be sensible and play patriotic politics and be proper opposition party. We will be so happy to have them play that role.”

At its National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting in Abuja on Monday, PDP’s National Chairman Prince Uche Secondus accused the APC of laying landmines for democracy.

According to him, “the landmines are already exploding and the consequences are confronting everybody”, alleging that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government has intensified the muzzling of key democratic institutions.

Secondus said: “When President Buhari and his party began the process of muzzling the other arms of government, our party cried out and alerted the nation and indeed, the international community of the brewing dictatorship.

“Here, we are watching helplessly as the legislature and the judiciary are kept, right in the pocket of the executive. An anomaly in a democracy that makes nonsense of the separation of powers that is beautifully enshrined in the rule book to check the excesses of each arm of the government.

“We are witnesses to the emerging dictatorial tendencies in our dear country. As we all can see, a dictator is not just on the way, but has arrived the scene already. They have rolled out the process of establishing a one party state so as to pave the way for a full blown dictatorship.

“To allow them have their way is to abdicate our responsibility as an opposition party, who has made enormous sacrifice for democracy to blossom in our country.

“At the NEC meeting 10 days ago, we briefed you about the judicial abracadabra where the apex court in the land, the Supreme Court, delivered a bizarre judgment on Imo State (governorship dispute) where it took our PDP’s governorship victory and handed it over to the APC candidate that came fourth.

“We are using this medium to reiterate our earlier call on the Supreme Court to tell the world where and how it got the unaccredited ghost votes it awarded to APC.

“Leaders of our great party, all of these should worry us because no democracy thrives if the legislature and the judiciary are caged as we can see.”

The party called for critical deliberation on the political situation in the country and urged the National Assembly to speed up the process of the amendment to the Electoral Act in such a way that will engender free, fair and credible electoral process.

It said that a committee had been set up to review what transpired in the 2019 general elections to identify key areas for electoral reforms. It added that members of the panel would be nominated from the six geo-political zones.

The PDP dismissed calls in some quarters for the party to change its name, saying the PDP brand remained the best in the country’s political space.

The party unveiled Sokoto State Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal as the Chairman of the PDP Governors Forum (PDPGF).

Tambuwal will be replacing Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, who will bow out of office next month will At yesterday’s NEC meeting were:  former Anambra State Governor Peter Obi and Senate Minority Leader Eyinnaya Abaribe. The duo spoke at the meeting.

Seven of the party’s 14 governors attended the meeting. They were: Nyesom Wike (Rivers); Bello Matawalle (Zamfara); Ahmadu Fintiri (Adamawa); Seyi Makinde (Oyo); Benedict Ayade (Cross River); Bala Mohammed (Bauchi) and Tambuwal (Sokoto).

Dismissing the opposition party’s claim, Issa-Onilu said the PDP has become a joke of a party and should be tired of repeating themselves.

He said the proper thing to do was for the PDP to rise to the challenge “if they realised that the country was turning into a one-party state. They should rise up and play the role of a proper opposition.

Issa-Onilu said: “The APC does not want the party transformed into a one party state”, adding that it is in the interest of the governing party to have a multi-party state.

He said the PDP must play matured opposition politics.

Issa-Onilu added: “The PDP loved repeating itself. We are tired of repeating ourselves. We have called on them to be proper opposition parties because it is not in our interest to have a one party state. So, we also agree with them that the country is becoming a one party state. But, the way they are going, they are actually going to turn Nigeria into a one-party state.”

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