The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has warned that the growing anti-democratic behaviour of the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC), if not checked, could undermine the entire democratic structure.
The party therefore advised all lovers of democracy still in the APC to immediately quit as they are not likely to enjoy any democratic tenet under despotic leaders who are not disposed to divergent views.
The PDP said the APC has shown itself to be “nothing but a party of ill-bred, frustrated and intolerant politicians; bad losers for whom resorting to personal attacks, blackmail and mudslinging, in addition to promoting violence, has become an ideology.”
The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, in a statement on Saturday, also described APC leaders as “incurable despots who have since instituted a reign of impunity characterized by brazen dictatorship, imposition and victimization within the APC.
He cautioned “those expecting free and fair primaries for the selection of APC candidates for the 2015 general election to wake up to reality before it becomes too late.”
Mr. Metuh added, “That the APC is a party of self-centered and dictatorial politicians with no regard for democratic principles is well known to all. However, we have noted a disturbing pattern, wherein the APC leaders now resort to personal attacks on people when they dump their party.
“The vitriolic attacks, insults and threats on former Kano Governor Ibrahim Shekarau, his Sokoto state counterpart, Attahiru Bafarawa, former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani Kayode and several others who were labelled ‘traitors and political misfits’ by APC leaders when they left the party easily come to mind.
“Nigerians ponder. Why is it that the APC only realizes that their members are traitors and misfits when they exercise their freedom of association and leave due to its undemocratic, destructive and anti-people agenda?
“One notable example is the recent attack by the APC’s unelected Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu against their former member, Chief Tom Ikimi, who he branded a ‘sellout’ and ‘unreliable’ personality because he left their fold.
“How come Tinubu did not realize that Chief Ikimi was unreliable and a sell-out who cannot be trusted with the leadership of the APC until when he decided to leave? Did Tinubu not know all these when Ikimi was selected to lead the negotiation for the merger agreement that resulted in the formation of the APC?
“The APC has refused to address the issues of lack of internal democracy, religious and ethnic segregations, promoting of violence and other entrenched anti-people tendencies raised by those who left its fold. Instead, it has resorted to cheap blackmail, propaganda and character assassination to divert attention. This shows the APC as a party of frustrated politicians attempting to use their mastery of the act of deception to hoodwink Nigerians.
“However, the recent confession by Tinubu that the APC National Convention was manipulated to stop Chief Ikimi, from emerging as the National Chairman clearly underscores the party’s undemocratic stance; the hollowness of its selection processes and the readiness to stifle democratic quest among its members,” the PDP said.
The ruling party noted that “it is on record that the APC is a party where individuals crown themselves national leaders without recourse to appropriate democratic process,” adding that such is “a clear manifestation of the fact that the APC is merely a private estate; a vehicle through which selfish politicians pursue their personal interests”
It also berated Tinubu for boasting that he will produce his party’s presidential candidate in the 2015 general election, an action that exposes his contempt for democratic due process and the worthlessness of any selection process that may be organized by the APC.
“We urge all lovers of democracy to note Tinubu’s anti-democratic actions. This unelected APC leader, without recourse to due process barred a member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Bamidele Opeyemi, from contesting the June 2014 governorship election in Ekiti State on the platform of the APC. In the same vein he barred the former Senate Deputy Minority Leader, Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora, from re-contesting for the Senate in 2011 only to impose his wife, Oluremi Tinubu, on the people.
“This is in addition to the imposition of his son in-law, Hon. Oyetunde Oladimeji Ojo, as a member representing Ijero/Efon/Ekiti West in the House of Representatives, his sister-inlaw, Lola Fibisola Akande as a member of the Lagos state House of Assembly and his daughter, Mrs. Folashade Tinubu-Ojo, to replace his late mother, Abibatu Mogaji as President-General of the Association of Nigerian Market Women and Men”, the ruling party said.
Noting that those who resist the impunity in the APC are continuously victimized, thoroughly insulted and branded, the PDP however urged all well-meaning Nigerians and lovers of democracy still in the APC to be bold and leave before it becomes too late.
It also advised the APC leaders to learn to be more decorous, eschew bitterness in their dealings and understand that in a democracy, citizens must at all times be allowed to freely exercise their constitutionally guaranteed rights.
“The PDP would not relent in its effort in putting it right before the APC because our democracy needs a virile opposition, but like Adlai Stevenson campaign statement in 1952 wherein he said, “I offer my opponents a bargain: if they will stop telling lies about us, I will stop telling the truth about them”, the statement said.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This post has been updated to reflect corrections sought by the PDP after the statement was published.