The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday upbraided the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie Oyegun, accusing him of engaging in a fruitless image laundering exercise for his party.
In a statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Olisa Metuh, he said Oyegun cheapened his office and person by attempting to use an unempirical statement by Australian negotiator, Dr. Stephen Davis, to absolve his party of blame for promoting insurgency in the country.
According to PDP, “While it recognises the right of citizens to hold and canvass opinion in a democratic setting such as guaranteed under the PDP-led administration, we hold strongly that such rights must be properly and respectably exercised.
“It is therefore shocking and worrisome that the APC national chairman, in a frenzied effort to extricate his party, could issue a statement completely lacking in validity, character and intellectual content.
“Oyegun’s statement rather than exonerate the APC, has however reinforced and underscored its true identity as a party of desperate politicians
supportive of violence and disunity through their utterances and body language, a fact that is already well known to all Nigerians.”
PDP said Oyegun, in an attempt to stand the truth on its head, had succeeded in further exposing the desperation of the APC to launder its image through renewed propaganda and blackmail, a project which had already failed.
According to the PDP, “If not to achieve the self-serving purpose of exonerating the APC, why would Oyegun’s statement choose to be silent on the revelation by Davis that some people opposed to President Goodluck Jonathan used their connections to Boko Haram to frustrate his efforts?
“We also wonder why the APC has chosen to ignore some of the revealing aspects of Davis’ interview concerning Boko Haram’s funding and sponsorship. Is it because they are not favourable to them?
“While not holding brief for anybody, it is clear to every discerning mind that Oyegun’s statement, with all intent and purpose, is yet another decoy to frustrate genuine effort at finding solution to the security challenges we face as a nation to the advantage of the APC whose penchant to promote violence as tool to achieve political control is well known to all.”
The PDP therefore urged Nigerians to recall the frenzy with which the APC fought against moves by the British Parliament to investigate its involvement with terrorist elements as well as to divert attention from it meetings outside the shores of the country in their bid to promote insurgency in Nigeria.
It further said: “For the avoidance of doubt, we wish to restate that we stand by our statements that the APC as a party with a ‘Janjaweed’ ideology has been promoting insurgency and acts of terrorism through the actions and utterances of its leaders. Indeed, no amount of blackmail or propaganda can erase this truth.
“Nigerians have since noted the pattern and timing of violent attacks against our people which betray a trend tailored against the PDP and the federal government as well as provides impetus for the APC to find a voice and thrive. They know that it has become a recurring decimal that whenever the PDP or the federal government records or is about to record a major milestone, insurgents would launch attacks on the people.
“Oyegun must understand that Nigerians know the APC for what it truly is and can no longer be hoodwinked by propaganda, blackmail and tactical misrepresentation.”
The statement added that: “He should therefore stop debasing his office by struggling for media space with his national publicity secretary.
“It is indeed disheartening that the APC national chairman has continued to disparage his office and age by making series of unguarded and inflammatory utterances, issuing statements laced with fabrications and wild allegations while leading his party like a frustrated rebel group desperate for political control, whose understanding of opposition is crass unruliness and a culture of irresponsibility.”
Accordingly, PDP said: “Our advice to the opposition is that they should learn to properly comport themselves, eschew bitterness, desperation and divisive tendencies, and think of how to make meaningful contributions to tackle the challenges facing the nation.
“On his own part, Oyegun, as a former state governor should retrace his steps, and strive to be nationalistic and statesmanlike as well as comport himself as an opposition leader. For now, he is a little more than a glorified media assistant. A word is enough for the wise.”