The Peoples Democratic Party has accused the All Progressives Congress of planning to stifle opposition in Nigeria.
The PDP presidential candidate, Goodluck Jonathan, lost to APC’s Muhammadu Buhari in the election held on March 28.
The spokesperson of the PDP, Olisa Metuh, who addressed a press conference at the party’s national secretariat in Abuja on Tuesday said the APC “rather than concentrate on how to manage the mandate they now hold, they have resorted to seeking ways to stifle opposition and impose a one-party system and complete totalitarian rule in our country”.
Mr. Metuh said the PDP has received reports across the country that the APC has been desperately seeking ways to destabilize its ranks and weaken its formations by approaching some senior members of its National Executive Committee “with phantom promises and threats ostensibly to use them to inject crisis in our fold and pave way for our elected members to cross over to APC”.
He also said part of the agenda of the APC is to intimidate and harass PDP members especially officials who served under Mr. Jonathan.
“Our nation and its citizens are facing a serious threat. We are at the verge of a quick slide into dictatorship and the personal freedom we all enjoy today is about to be obliterated,” he said.
We will not be cowed
The PDP spokesperson however maintained that the party would not be intimidated.
He said any attempt by the APC to witch-hunt officials who served in various capacities under the party “will be met with stiff resistance within the ambits of the principles of democracy”.
“We will do everything humanly possible within the rules to defend democratic principles and ethics, which we have successfully nourished in the past 16 years,” he said.
Mr. Metuh said Nigeria’s democracy got this far because of the open space that the party gave to all political players including the APC, adding, “We will not, even in the role of opposition watch our nation slide into dictatorship”.
He said the PDP will only be in opposition for four years.
He argued that the party has already started the process of rebuilding the party ahead the next presidential election.
Mr. Metuh said the APC has already begun showing its true colours by the way it is promoting impunity in Ekiti and Lagos states.
He also repeated the party’s strong exception to remarks credited to the Oba of Lagos, threatening Igbos against voting for the state’s PDP candidate in Saturday’s governorship election.
“The unfortunate outburst and death threats by the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, a supposedly apolitical royal father against non-indigenes should they vote for the PDP candidate is clearly part of the plot by the APC to use all means within its reach to intimidate and cow Nigerians to submission,” Mr. Metuh said.
“The onus is on the Oba to prove to Nigerians, especially Lagosians that his actions did not fall short of expectation of the royal institution through which his ancestors fostered justice, unity and harmonious living, making Lagos the most cosmopolitan city in Africa.”
PDP said by dragging a royal father into a partisan contest, the APC had further exposed its bigger heinous agenda to destroy the revered traditional institutions apparently to compromise and bring them under its control.
“We strongly believe that the Oba deliberately imported ethnicity and tribalism into the Lagos governorship election,” he said. “However, unknown to him most Yorubas are also solidly behind our candidate.
“What is at stake on Saturday is not ethnicity and tribe but the candidates can foster unity and harmonious living in Lagos state.”