The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has criticised Lai Mohammed, spokesman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), for his reaction to the issues raised by the party in its statement on Sunday.
According to the opposition party, Mohammed has elementary knowledge of his new role as spokesman of the ruling party, and is torn between two masters: President Muhammadu Buhari and Bola Tinubu, national leader of the APC.
In its earlier statement, the party had demanded that President Buhari give account of all expenditures since his inauguration on May 29, and accused him of scamming Nigerians with empty promises.
But the APC swiftly responded, flaying the PDP for not appreciating the hard work of Buhari’s government. It also said the PDP was reacting to “beer-parlour gossip” and constituting a nuisance.
Consequently, Olisa Metuh, PDP spokesman, issued a statement on Monday to say that the resort to insults by Mohammed, ostensibly to divert attention from issues, further confirms the insincerity and emptiness of the APC even as a party in power.
“Whilst we understand the desperation of Lai Mohammed to remain relevant even without any influence of electoral success in his political career, at any level whatsoever, he and the APC must understand that being in government comes with demands of accountability, civility and decency,” he said.
“We appreciate the elementary knowledge of the APC spokesman in his new role, especially against the backdrop of his struggling to impress two masters at a time, Bourdellion and the President, who distributes the largesse at the moment, but Nigerians expect that in his search for job, he should be decorous, mature and on the side of truth and accountability.
“However, going through the hurried response by the APC, it is clearly noted that the party did not address any of the issues raised by the PDP in its widely reported press conference on Sunday.
“The APC failed to address the issue of the recent organized public harassment and humiliation against the immediate-past First Lady and wife of the former President, Dame Patience Jonathan at the Port Harcourt airport obviously organized and orchestrated by the Director of Protocol in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Husseini, who cited ‘order from above’ in his direct threats and insults to the former First Lady on phone.
“Furthermore, the nation is still waiting for the APC and the Presidency to address the issue of the divisive and tendentious statement by President Buhari who declared to the world that he would run a discriminatory government based on voting pattern in the last general elections, in clear violation of his oath of office and the provisions of the constitution.
“Nigerians are still waiting for explanations on the embarrassment that characterized the President’s US visit, which instead of bringing gains, yielded only disagreements, accusations and exchanges between the presidency and their American hosts.
“The presidency and the APC are yet to address the issue of the disgraceful treatment meted out on some Nigerian bankers and captains of industries by the president during the visit, as well as the absence of an economic team in an important meeting with US officials, thereby robbing the nation of the benefits of the discussions.
“Nigerians are still waiting for answers on the issue of resort to sole administratorship by the President in managing of the affairs of the nation without proper recourse to statutory arms and organs of government as stipulated by the constitution. They are still waiting for explanations for the lack of policy direction that has left the nation’s economy in tatters with continued fall of the naira and agonizing loss in the capital market which has lost over N1.1 trillion in the last two months.
“The citizens are still awaiting clarifications on the important issue of the $2.1 billion loan the presidency is taking from the World Bank for purposes yet unknown to the public and relevant arms of government.They want explanations on what the loan is for, what the terms are and who decides on how the money will be spent.
“The APC has failed to address our question on the handling of the nation’s resources in the last two month, where whereas the Presidency is unilaterally depleting national resources in the name of bailout for states, state governors are on air announcing that they have not received any form of bailout whatsoever from the center.
“We restate our call for this government to come out clear on this loan as well as publicize details of its expenditure in the last two months. Instead of addressing the matter, the APC resorted to insults, which will never sway Nigerians from demanding for explanations.
“We had also raised the issue of intimidation and harassment of members of election tribunals in Rivers and some other states by the Director of DSS, ostensibly to secure judgments against the PDP. We expect answers from the APC on the fact of nepotism in the appointment of the Director of DSS and that of Mrs. Amina Zakari as Acting Chairman of INEC. Does it mean that appointments under the APC administration are now based on a nexus with the President or APC leaders either by consanguinity or affinity?”
“We demand for direct answers on issues. In this regard, we charge the APC and especially its spokesman, Alhaji Mohammed to settle down and strive to partner with us in elevating the national political discourse from the domain of insults to that of issues, so that the public, especially the younger generation of Nigerians would be adequately informed on national issues.”