The unimaginable happened on Saturday when the All Progressives Congress (APC) warned Nigerians in general and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in particular against insulting President Muhammadu Buhari and officials of his administration.
The warning, the party said, became necessary due to what it called the PDP’s “unprovoked insults and unguarded statements” on President Buhari and other members of the APC.
A statement signed by APC national chairman, John Odigie-Oyegun, said: “The APC is worried by PDP’s inciting statements. Respect for the office of the president or heads of government in any clime is not a matter of choice but a civic obligation sanctioned by laws. Being an opposition party or critic is no licence to issue abusive, intemperate and slanderous statements on government officials; most especially the president of the country”.
APC’s warning comes as a rude shock to many Nigerians who have not forgotten how the party and its chieftains while in opposition rained all manner of insults on former President Goodluck Jonathan and then ruling PDP.
The party on many occasions denigrated the office and person of former President, depicting him as clueless and incompetent. Many chieftains of the party also poured invectives on Jonathan and officials of his administration.
Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, for instance, while in serving as interim Deputy National Secretary of the APC, in a post on his twitter page during the Jonathan administration, described Jonathan as “lazy, docile, incompetent, clueless, hopeless and useless leader.”
The Interim National Chairman of APC, Chief Bisi Akande, on one occasion, described Jonathan as a kindergarten president. Several other leaders of the party also took to raining abuses on Jonathan and his administration at every turn.
Fact is that if the APC and its chieftains did not see anything wrong in raining insults on Jonathan and officials of his administration, then the party need not warn the PDP and Nigerians against so-called “unprovoked insults and unguarded statements” on President Muhammadu Buhari and other members of the APC.
Whether such insults and unguarded statement come from the PDP or other Nigerians, the APC must learn to live by it, after all, what is good for the geese, is good for the gander. The party set the pace in abusing the former President and ridiculing his office while it was in opposition. Now that it has found itself in power, the APC and President Buhari should be mature enough to soak in the ‘insults’ as the former occupier of the office of the President and his party did.