The leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, yesterday took a swipe at the All Progressives Congress, APC, for alleging that the Presidency has bluntly refused to cooperate with it in ensuring a successful transition of power on May 29.
The PDP in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, asked APC to put its house in order and stop being boastful and arrogant.
He said that APC was already in trouble over sharing of political offices and repeatedly asked them to “put your house in order.”
Metuh’s statement came against the backdrop of reports about simmering dispute over the sharing of political offices in the APC which could tear the party apart.
According to the sources, the leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is said to be battling some powerful northerners over the zoning of political offices in the party.
Sources said that the crises in the party began as soon as the result of the last presidential election was announced adding that the choice of Alhaji Ahmed Joda instead of the Vice President-elect Prof Yemi Osinbajo, as chairman of the the party’s transition showed the depth of the problems in the party.
President Goodluck Jonathan and Gen. Muhammadu Buhari
However, Metuh described the allegation that his party was not cooperating with APC to ensure a successful transition, describing the statement as not only diversionary but also unnecessary, false and tendentious. He also asked the APC to, as a matter of urgency, come out straight and tell the nation the confusion in its camp instead of trying to divert attention by shifting blames.
Explaining that meetings of the transition and inauguration committees of both parties had been going on smoothly and successfully, the PDP, however wondered where the alarm was coming from if not as a result of the confusion in the APC camp.
Metuh further cautioned the APC that Nigerians would not accept any excuse for failure, saying that the outgoing administration had laid a very strong foundation for rapid economic growth in addition to the successes recorded in the fight against insurgency in the north east.
The statement read, “Whilst we understand Alhaji Lai Mohammed’s (his APC counterpart’s) excitement in the euphoria of his party’s unexpected victory, we view the APC’s provocative statement, especially the unguarded invectives on the Presidency and PDP as an unfortunate display of arrogance and falsehood ostensibly aimed at heating up the system and creating room to cover for its inadequacies thereby inventing excuses for any failure in office.
“We can confirm that the APC Transition Committee led by Mallam Ahmed Joda has met at least twice with the Presidency team led by Vice President Namadi Sambo while the Timipre Sylva-led APC Inauguration Committee has been meeting almost on daily basis with the PDP team led by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim. It is therefore most uncharitable for the APC to attempt to mislead the people by claiming that the PDP-led Presidency was not cooperating in the process.
“Although the ruling party suffered some electoral set back, Nigerians are witnesses to the fact that the PDP has remained humble in defeat while focusing on rebuilding and reinventing itself. Such should not in anyway warrant the unnecessary attacks, vituperation and insults from the APC.
We fell to the lowest level
“As we look up from the lowest level we have fallen, we are fully determined to start the process of ascending back to an acceptable level in earnest. The APC must therefore learn to be decent and cease to be arrogant as that would amount to taking the goodwill of the people for granted.
Equivocations of President-elect, General Buhari
“What should be of more concern to an in-coming government like APC is the negative signals and the rising worries by Nigerians over its flip-flops and apparent nervousness of its President-elect who has started reneging on his campaign promises.
“Nigerians were bewildered when they heard General Buhari renege on his messianic posture and told them in clear terms not to expect him to rapidly fix the problems of nation as he had promised during the campaign.
“The same President-elect who boldly stated in his campaign manifesto that ‘I, Muhammadu Buhari have resolved that the task ahead of me is that of securing our nation and prospering our people, not looking backward to the failed policies and promises’ had on May 5, 2015 in a meeting with APC governors -elect reneged and announced that he has started nervously to explain to people that Rome was not built in a day.
“Furthermore while the APC in a statement on April 3, 2015 denied that the President-elect pledged to end insurgency in two months of being sworn in, the video clip of his interview with Christiane Amanpour on CNN on April 2, 2015 is clear on the promise made by Buhari.
“General Buhari in answering a question on how to deal with the divisions in the country said then that the actual division which is worth bordering about, I think in terms of social instability, that is insecurity in the north east and in the delta area, which I think they have been with the country long enough that we know how they started and what stage they are now, therefore we are confident that we will rapidly give attention to security in the country and I believe we will effectively deal with them in two months when we get into office.
“When asked how he would achieve this, General Buhari said I think firstly we have to register the cooperation of the neigbouring countries, Cameroon, Chad and Niger; although some efforts were made by this administration but it was not good enough and it was too late.
“Only recently, the President–elect barred a television house, the AIT, from covering his activities over unexplained security and family issues. Following public outcry the APC reversed the directive only for the President-elect to release a statement denying the ban and blaming overzealous aides.
“Instead of engaging in shadow-chasing and dwelling on insults and unnecessary display of arrogance, the APC leaders should be worried that Nigerians are increasingly becoming apprehensive that their party has already started going back on the promises it made to them.
“Nigerians are not in a hurry to forget that the APC promised to rapidly fix the economy, generate, transmit and distribute electricity on a 24/7 basis; pay N5,000 monthly to 25 million poor Nigerians; provide allowances to the discharged but unemployed Youth Corps members for 12 months; create additional four million new homes, provide free education and meals for school children and bring the Naira to the same value with the dollar.”
The party however assured Nigerians that having done much to nurture the nation’s democracy to a globally acknowledged level, it would even do more by offering the most constructive and credible opposition as it repositioned to regain power in 2019.
Lai Muhamed the APC National Secretary in a statement responding to PDP said as usual the PDP has not addressed the issues raised and that he stand by his statement.
”I have read it (the PDP statemet) but as usual it has not addressed the issues I raised. I stand by my statement that as of today, there has been no meeting between members of Jonathan’s Transition Committee and the President-elect’s. Yes we do not deny that the Alhaji Ahmed Joda in the company of two or three members of our committee met with the Vice President and the Secretary to the Federal Government.
However, there are 19 members of the President-Elect’s Committee of which I am privileged to be one and as of today, we have had no formal meeting with Jonathan’s team. We don’t even know who the members are. Or is Jonathan’s Transition Committee made up of only the Vice President and the Secretary to the Federal Government? If Vice President and SGF have met with four members of a 19-man team, does that constitute a meeting with the President-Elect’s Trnsition Committee?
As a matter of fact, we have formally requested in writing for a meeting with the Jonathan’s Transition Committee and have received no reply.
Mr. Olisa Metuh has also failed to controvert our claim that the Federal Government has refused to give us one page of handing over notes. As a matter of fact, they told our chairman, Mr. Ahmad Joda in one of their informal meetings that we should not expect any handing over document before the 14th of May 2015. We challenge Olisa Metuh and Mr. President to deny this. Is this Metuh and Presidency’s understanding of smooth transition?