The national leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has given a word of advice to the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) to face the cold, hard reality that its fortunes have since plummeted and that is in now in opposition instead of being a cry baby.
The APC made this known in a statement issued in Abuja on Wednesday and signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.
APC the party said the fact that the PDP devoted a substantial part of the communique, issued after the inaugural meeting of the its National Working Committee and Governors/Senators-elect, to complaining about alleged harassment and intimidation by the APC, when it should be strategising about the daunting task ahead of it, shows that the erstwhile ruling party still does not understand the enormity of the challenges awaiting it as an opposition party.
It said the truth of the matter is that the PDP is scared stiff of being in opposition, adding: ”We don’t blame them as they have neither the capacity nor the commitment to be in opposition. A party that stood for nothing but looting and rent collection will naturally be afraid of being in opposition, where there is nothing to loot or rent to collect.”
APC advised the PDP to understand that it is not by repeating obvious lies that an opposition party can be effective, but by being creative, knowledgeable, resourceful and above all credible. It is not by cheap blackmail, but by being resilient.
”This is why we wish to extend to the National Working Committee of the PDP a free orientation, just as we have offered the party’s spokesman a free crash course in how to be an opposition party spokesman. The theme of the orientation for the PDP NWC members will be ‘transiting from the ruling party to an opposition party’
”In the first instance, there is no substitute for experience. Also, we believe that democracy will be deepened only when there is cooperation between the governing party and the opposition, hence the offer,” the party said.
APC slammed the PDP for daring to complain of harassment and intimidation by the APC, saying if any party is guilty of harassment, intimidation and impunity before, during and after the 2015 general elections, it is the PDP.
”Have they so soon forgotten the reckless show of shame by their OPC lackeys with the full support of the Nigeria Police Force in Lagos or the mindless bombings and killings of APC members in Rivers and Gombe states, among others? Only on Monday, APC supporters were again reportedly killed in Rivers and Kaduna states.
”Haven’t the folks in the PDP seen the pictures being circulated of their (PDP) supporters brandishing machetes in broad daylight during the party’s campaign in Aba on Tuesday (21April)?” it queried.
APC also described as laughable the allegation by the PDP that the APC is trying to turn the country into a one-party state by luring and making irresistible offers to the leadership of the PDP.
”The truth of the matter is that the leadership of the PDP is not even waiting to be approached before fleeing to the APC. PDP leaders and members are falling over themselves shamelessly and swearing undying allegiance to the APC. Well, in case they did not get the message of the President-elect and our National Chairman, we want to repeat it in very blunt terms: PDP leaders and members, you are not welcome in APC. Please stay in your party, but if – as we suspect – you cannot survive in opposition, then take a walk, quit politics,” the party said.
APC also reacted to the whining of the PDP concerning alleged plan by the APC to use the Election Petition Tribunals ‘to truncate and subvert the freely given mandate by the people in the states and constituencies’, saying it amounts to blackmail.
”No amount of blackmail from the PDP will dissuade us from seeking redress in the Election Petition Tribunals, especially in states where the whole world knows there were no elections. Since we don’t believe in self-help like the PDP, we see a recourse to the Tribunal as a lawful means of giving vent to our rejection of the massive electoral malfeasance and the resort to violence in some states
”In case the PDP, beaten and battered by electoral pummeling, has forgotten, the recourse to the Tribunals to seek redress is the only lawful means of resolving electoral disputes. Anything else amounts to self-help, which is not our forte,” the party said.