The Peoples Democratic Party has described as a huge embarrassment to democracy, the ‘big show of shame that’ the All Progressives Party (APC) passed off, weekend as ward congress, saying “it is an irony that a party that daily claims it is on a mission to rescue Nigeria could not even conduct its own congress.”
A statement by the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Chief Olisa Metuh on Monday gave the APC a heavy knock for the mind-boggling tales of imposition, cronyism, thuggery and general disdain for the elementary principles of democracy witnessed at the congress.
The PDP said “the savagery witnessed in the exercise which came eight months after the registration of the party, offers a glimpse into the confusion and brutality that will be the order of the day if the APC is allowed to hold power in 2015.
“A passerby would have thought the so called APC congress was a meeting of thugs as detailed hooligans took over the process on the directives of their party overlords and dealt harshly with members who dared to contest for positions already appropriated to hand picked stooges of the owners of the party. From Lagos to Borno, Rivers to Zamfara, the story is consistently the same; a tale of cronyism, thuggery, violence and general disregard for the principles of democracy,” the statement said.
The PDP said the congress have not only exposed the APC as a disorganized party but also a “camp replete with political vampires ready to devour even their own.”
The party said it was now very clear to other members of the so called ‘Legacy Parties’ that ganged up with the now defunct Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN to form the APC that ‘all animals are equal but some are more equal than others’.
“Not only did those from the old ACN emasculate their so-called partners, but also they did so in the most uncivilized and barbaric manner, deploying thugs, and using official state apparatus to ensure that they had their way.
“In states where the owners of the party felt they could not have their way, the process was manipulated to create confusion resulting in the shelving of the exercise. For instance, while the National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Alhaji Lai Mohammed was announcing that the congress would go on nationwide as planned, the APC chairmen in Rivers, Plateau, Bauchi and the FCT announced the postponement of the exercise in their states.
According to the PDP, the situation was so bad that the congress was cancelled in Adamawa and Katsina while in Kano and Sokoto, there was no voting as both states chose their ward officials via a strange ‘consensus’ option. “These are the ‘progressives’ and ‘democrats’ that want to rescue Nigeria,” the PDP enthused.
Stating that the APC has no business in a democracy, the PDP said the opposition party should be honourable enough to commence the process of its own disbandment.
“This is the same party that called the Independent National Election Commission (INEC) names and asked for the resignation of its board over the conduct of the Anambra elections due to slight hitches experienced in that exercise. Will the APC now be honourable enough to call for its own disbandment seeing as they have experienced not slight, but massive hitches in their own congress? If the APC cannot manage its own internal affairs, how can it manage a country as complex as Nigeria?” the PDP queried.
The statement recalled that the PDP has held successful congresses and national conventions where party members were allowed level play ground to pursue their ambitions irrespective of sectional, religious and ethnic affiliations.
While urging Nigerians to disregard the APC in all elections, the PDP said it was ready to offer free technical assistance to the APC on how the organize itself in a democratic setting including the conduct of transparent and credible congress. “We know the history of this party and the pedigree of its leaders will hardly yield to democracy, but we are confident our assistance is handy here”, the statement said.