The ruling party said Mr. Buhari lacks the wherewithal to preach democracy.By Sani Tukur
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described former Head of State, Muhammadu Buhari, as a liar and asked him to show statesmanship in his assessment of the Federal Government’s performance.
In a statement on Sunday by its National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, the Party said that political differences notwithstanding, it expected Mr. Buhari, as an elder statesman and a former Head of State, to acknowledge the significant progress Nigeria has made in internalising democratic culture since the return of democracy in 1999.
“There is still room for improvement no doubt, but Nigeria under the PDP has recorded tremendous gains in terms of advancing the rule of law and the fundamental rights of Nigerians,” the statement said.
While on a visit to Kano, last week, Mr. Buhari had said of the PDP led Federal Government that “under normal circumstances we are supposed to work strictly within the provisions of the constitution, but this is Nigeria and nothing is perfect and the only thing they (PDP) have not tampered with between 1999 to date in Nigeria is the Holy Quran.”
The ruling party said it is shocked by the utterances credited to Mr. Buhari, the leader of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), who is seen as an elder statesman, but whose democratic credentials still remain in doubt.
“We are shocked that an elder statesman could paint such an ugly picture, tissue of lies, of his dear nation just to advance his political fortunes. We shudder that a former Head of State under whose watch freedom of expression landed many Nigerians in detention on account of his obnoxious decrees, and who now enjoys such freedom, is utterly ungrateful to the efforts of our great party in advancing the cause of democracy,” the party said.
Buhari knows no rule of law
The PDP’s statement said Mr. Buhari lacks the moral standing to preach to it what the rule of law is, and that the opposition leader should channel his energy preaching the principle of internal democracy to his party and others.
“Today, criticisms, even destructive ones are hurled at the PDP led federal government and no one is harassed because we uphold the inalienable rights of the people which is at the heart of democracy,” the party said.
“Today, the PDP loses elections and winners are sworn in and we do not use our incumbency at the centre to truncate the democratic wishes of the people. However, in the states held by the opposition parties, local elections are massively rigged as witnessed recently in Lagos and Ogun States and where we defy the odds to emerge victorious like in Imo State, machinery of government is used to frustrate the expressed wish of the people.
“The rule of law if we must state further is that in our drive for transparency and accountability, some leaders of our party have been caught by the long arm of the law and we never obstructed the course of justice,” the party said.
The ruling party also trumpeted the Freedom of the Information Act as part of the achievements of the Federal Government led by it. The party said the absence of factions in its party, unlike Mr. Buhari’s CPC, was a testament to its practise of internal democracy.
“And for General Buhari, the evangelist of rule of law, Nigerians wish to know if unlawful incitement of the populace to violence and attack on the institutions of democracy is part of the rule of law,” the party said.
“Is the imposition that marked the congresses of the CPC in 2011 which is still hunting the Party till date an act in rule of law?” It added.
The ruling party said it advises “General Buhari to concentrate in giving Nigerians his alternative ideas and plan of action to what the PDP has at present or even engage us in a public debate on the values of good governance.”
“However, we wish to remind the former Head of State that Nigerians are not fools and that they know what Nigeria was yesterday especially under regimes like his and what obtains today,” the PDP claimed. “There is no doubt that even the blind can distinguish between the daylight it is today and the deep dark night it was hitherto.”