The opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and many Nigerians have condemned the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) for erecting a gigantic statue of its logo at the Abuja city gate of the Federal Capital Territory, the city’s point of entry.
They also criticised the Federal Capital Territory Development Authority (FCDA) for permitting the party to use the site for the erection of the statue, saying the action defeats the unity purpose of the FCT.
Across many social media platforms, Nigerians described the party’s action as irrational and unconscionable.
They queried how the location would look like if all other political parties choose to erect the statue of their party symbols at the same site.
They also said the action could cause crisis among Nigerians “because it presents the city as if it belongs to a single political party”.
In his comment sent to PREMIUM TIMES, the spokesperson for the Atiku Campaign Organisation, Kassim Afegbua, said the action is a deliberate decision of the ruling party aimed at offending the sensibilities of Nigerians.
The statement reads: “This is the most unconscionable piece of idiocy by the APC-led Federal Government to betray the fundamental objective of citing the Federal Capital Territory in Abuja devoid of any shade of partisan colouration or affiliation.
“This must be a symbol of voodooism that is deliberately erected to offend the sensibilities of others and betray the very reason why the FCT logo is a symbol of unity. A party symbol, other than being a sign of voodooism, cannot be erected at such a location to deface the point of entry to a city that symbolises our unity.
“It is a huge joke taken too far, and the APC leadership should quickly direct the immediate removal of that poisoned chalice for the sake of our collective unity.
“That poisoned broom should be removed forthwith or we will direct FCT public gardens officials to remove it immediately.”
Similarly, a popular social media influencer, Japheth Omojuwa, on his twitter handle, @Omojuwa, called for the removal of the statue, saying it affects the beauty of the location.
He said; “Damn it. Why deface the capital city this way? And the FCT Minister approved this? How many votes will this giant broom get you? I bet zero. No sane person will decide to vote the APC on account of this giant broom. So, that makes it a pointless and stupid image. Take it down!”
Another twitter user, Rotimi Olawale, also condemned the action, urging President Muhammadu Buhari to order its removal.
“Just drove past the installation of a giant broom, the symbol of the ruling party, near the Abuja city gate, a national monument. This shouldn’t be allowed for whatever reason. Cc @ProfOsinbajo @MBuhari,” Olawale wrote.
Meanwhile, there are other Nigerians who think otherwise, saying it is a campaign strategy meant to impress the symbol on the minds of Nigerian voters.
Responding to the criticisms, the National Publicity Secretary of APC, Lanre Issa-Onilu, said the opposition party’s reactions in the recent time have become very petty and unacceptable.
He accused the political party of losing touch with its campaign messages to Nigerians, saying rather than focusing on attacking the ruling party, “PDP should let the voters know what it would do differently if given the chance to govern the country again”.
Mr Issa-Onilu said; “But has any other party gone there to erect their symbols and they are stopped? The same people who said APC was not ready to campaign and that we were relying on rigging methods are now still complaining that our campaign efforts are too much? I think we need to be more serious in this country.”
In his response to an enquiry on the matter, the Special Adviser on Media to the FCT Minister, Sanni Abubakar, said he was not in the best position to speak on the development.
He directed our reporter to the coordinator of the Abuja Metropolitan Management Council, Umar Shehu.
However, Shehu declined comment, saying he would rather not talk on the subject matter.