The leadership of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has accused its main political rival, the All Progressives Congress, APC, of planning a violent overthrow of President Goodluck Jonathan’s government should it lose the forthcoming presidential elections.
The PDP premised its allegation on the availability of evidence in its possession, which indicates series of nocturnal meetings held outside the shores of the country in furtherance of this ignoble objective.
The ruling party was reacting to an earlier statement by the spokesperson of the APC, Lai Mohammed, who said Mr. Jonathan was not being criticized by the opposition because he is from a minority tribe.
Mr. Mohammed said, before Mr. Jonathan, the country had leaders from minority ethnic groups such as the late Premier, Sir Tafawa Balewa and former military heads of state, Generals Sani Abacha and Yakubu Gowon respectively. The APC spokesperson said what differentiated the incumbent from the other leaders was his gross incompetency. The APC’s statement was also a reaction to one by the PDP, which claimed that Mr. Jonathan was being attacked by the opposition because he was from an ethnic minority group.
In its response on Thursday, the PDP accused the APC of planning to destabilise the government and balkanise Nigeria.
“APC had planned to use insurgency which ranks high in its Janjaweed ideology to overthrow a democratically elected government of President Jonathan but has been put under an effective check,” the PDP said in a statement issued in Abuja by its spokesperson, Olisa Metuh.
It alleged that having exposed the opposition as sponsors of the insurgency in some parts of the country, the plan B of the APC was to use the same insurgency to unleash unimaginable mayhem on the country and forcefully take over power. It added that the APC has been confused and disorganised since its “connection with insurgency as part of its janjaweed ideology in the country was exposed”.
Though the PDP admitted that it was common knowledge insurgency in the North predated the present administration, it was not by chance that the attacks escalated each time the president moved notches higher in his transformation programme. This, it said, betrayed the efforts by those in the masks and their sponsors to frustrate the efforts of government.
“In spite of this well planned distraction, the steady delivery of the transformation programme goes on. It is incontrovertible that pound for pound, no previous administration compares to President Jonathan in quality delivery within the first three years of governance”, Mr. Metuh said in his statement.
The PDP spokesperson further accused the APC of comparing a democratically elected presidency to defunct military dictatorships. He said the comparison by the APC was a confirmation of the opposition party’s plan to take Nigeria back to dictatorship.
His words: “The APC has never left the nation in doubt of its preference. It wants a return to barefaced tyranny, to dictatorship as previously unleashed on the nation by a hue in its top leadership. But Nigerians have handed the party a shocker – we have crossed the red sea and shall never go back to Egypt”.
The ruling party said it was a distortion of facts and history to compare the Jonathan presidency to either Gowon’s or Abacha’s even though the three of them come from the minority ethnic group because the two former military rulers were unelected and operated a purely undiluted military dictatorship that brooked no opposition.
It argued that under the current administration of President Jonathan, the wheel of democracy together with its immense benefits has turned full circle, giving Nigerians all liberties.
“Therefore, each time the APC barks ‘incompetence’ like a rabid dog or hoots ‘clueless’ like a devouring night owl, the PDP and well-meaning Nigerians know that the opposition party whose agenda of destabilization has been exposed and unhorsed is licking its wounds. We wish to again challenge the APC to a public debate on the leadership and successes of President Jonathan and we verily hope it will this time pick up this challenge that any opposition worth its name would clinch with two hands,” the PDP said.