Says itâ€™s a recipe for anarchy Ruling party, opposition trade accusations over Jonathanâ€™s visit to Ekiti
Chuks Okocha in Abuja and Toba Suleiman in Ado-Ekiti
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Sunday accused the All Progressives Congress (APC) of unnecessarily attacking the judiciary, stating that the APC current onslaught against the judiciary and its officers is part of the larger plot by the opposition party to destroy all national democratic institutions in the country.
According to the party, APCâ€™s quest borders on â€œthe negation and destruction of constitutional and democratic institutions in quest for an order whose promise is doom for the nation.â€
Besides the squabble at the national level, the two parties were also engaged in a quarrel in Ekiti State over the proposed visit of President Goodluck Jonathan to launch the campaign of PDP governorship candidate in the state, Mr. Ayodele Fayose.
A statement by the PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, said the ceaseless attacks and denigration of the presidency, the legislative gerrymandering embarked on by the opposition party with the aim of causing confusion in the National Assembly and the renewed battle by the party on the judiciary were concrete elements of political nihilism.
It said: â€œWhy is weird anarchism an option for the APC? Consistently, this party has attacked and denigrated the executive and Nigerians excused it on the desperation of a political party that claims an alternative. It then took on the legislature where its crisis recipe in gerrymandering has yielded no result. Now, the APC is on a renewed aggression on the judiciary. Why is nihilism the APC preferred option?â€
The statement said it was unfortunate the APC was waging a battle whose tragic consequences on the institutions of democracy were well known while at the same time jamming the political space with its pretensions to democracy. â€œWherever the APC is drawing this inspiration or motivation is surely far from the continent of democracy and right within the conclave of dictatorship. The APC is doing everything to scuttle democracy,â€ the PDP added.
The ruling party expressed worry that the frequent penchant of the APC to blackmail judicial officers, paint them as inept and compromised when judgments do not favour the opposition party and turns a defender of the same institution when the reverse is the case, has been a running streak in the APC whose component metamorphosis, the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) was accused of influencing verdicts in the disputes over two governorship seats in the South-west .
The PDP added that the rush by the party to castigate the ruling of a Federal High Court, presided over by Justice Adeniyi Ademola on the defection of some PDP members in the House of Representatives to the APC, as well as its scathing criticism of the National Judicial Council(NJC) over the suspension of the Chief Judge of Rivers State, Justice Peter Agumagu, showed its impatience with the democratic order.
â€œNigerians had expected the acclaimed champions of democracy to quietly exploit the appeal option instead of resorting to statements meant to promote civil disobedience and lawlessness.
â€œBut the APC can still turn a new leaf by borrowing from the PDP. It is not late. Our great party shall continue to uphold the sanctity of our democratic institutions as it is incumbent on all who genuinely believe in democracy to defend and promote it. The alternative is anarchy, the route the APC appears decided on,â€ the ruling party said.
Meanwhile, the Ekiti State chapter of the PDP has accused the state government of denying the party of the use of the Oluyemi Kayode Stadium, for the launch of the campaign of Fayose, a charge the government denied.
The party, which has therefore announced the postponement of the presidentâ€™s visit to the state, criticised the APC-led administration in the state for what it described as naked use of power by disallowing them access to a facility constructed with tax payersâ€™ money.
Director General, Ayo Fayose Campaign Organisation (AFCO), Chief Dipo Anisulowo, told journalists yesterday in Ado-Ekiti that the party had written to Jonathan for the postponement of the governorship campaign and was now awaiting the president to give a new date for the event.
He said if the state government failed to allow the use of the stadium, the organisation could hold it anywhere in the state, including a major street.
According to him, the party had on March 28, 2014 written a letter to the state government for permission to use the stadium to host the president , but he expressed disappointment that the government in a reply dated April 2 and signed by P.O. Dada of the Sports Council, refused PDP the right to use the stadium.
He said: â€œThe Ekiti State stadium belongs to Ekiti people. The public
utility is being funded by the peopleâ€™s money. It is therefore surprising that the people of Ekiti, who are members of the opposition party, are being denied the use of public utility.
â€œWe are using this medium to draw the attention of Ekiti people and the whole world to the reckless and naked use of power by the ruling government under Governor Kayode Fayemi.â€
But the state Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Mr. Kayode Olaosebikan, faulted the PDPâ€™s claim, saying the stadium was already booked for a league match for that same day, hence the inability of the state government to approve it for the PDPâ€™s campaign.
Olaosebikan, reacting to the PDP allegation, said there would have been no problem if the event had been fixed for a date that did not clash with the league match.
â€œAnybody could ask for the use of the stadium, if available it will be released. The public property is primarily meant for sporting activities,â€ he said.