OrderPaperToday – The All Progressives Congress (APC) has taken strong exception to the labeling of President Muhammadu Buhari as a tyrant and fascist by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Both parties have squared up to each other in the aftermath of Buhari’s maiden media chat held Wednesday.
The PDP in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Olisa Metuh, on Thursday said the president “bared his true colours to the world as an unrepentant tyrant” by supporting the flouting of court orders by institutions of state.
The opposition party also said “the President confirmed his partisanship in the much-vaunted war against corruption by openly absolving his ministers and party members of corrupt practices.”
In reference to Buhari’s comments that judicial orders on the former National Security Adviser (NSA) Sambo Dasuki and leader of the pro-Biafra movement, Nnamdi Kanu may be disregarded because of the gravity of the alleged offences, the PDP said:
“Today, the world is no longer in doubt as to who is behind the prevailing recklessness, abuse of rights of citizens and outright flouting of judicial pronouncements by security agencies.
“A situation where the President openly pronounced persons facing trial guilty and sanctioned their continued incarceration despite being granted bail by the courts, presents a dangerous fascist practice obtainable only in totalitarian societies like Mussolini’s Italy, Hitler’s Germany, Idi Amin’s Uganda and General Than Shwe’s Burma.
“This extremely shocking dictatorial tendency being brazenly exhibited by the President in total disdain for our laws and judicial institutions portends great danger for our democracy and constitutionally-guaranteed rights of the people, and should be resisted by the citizens before it festers.
“Following from the foregoing, therefore, it may be necessary to suspend the application of our Constitution and allow the President to operate as maximum ruler for four years after which the nation can return to a democracy.”
But the APC in a statement by its National Chairman, Mr. John Odigie-Oyegun accused the opposition of disrespecting the person and office of President Buhari.
Oyegun said “the APC is worried by PDP’s inciting statements. Respect for the office of the President or heads of government in any clime is not a matter of choice but a civic obligation sanctioned by laws.
“Being an opposition party or critic is no license to issue abusive, intemperate and slanderous statements on government officials; most especially the President of the country.”
The ruling party also accused the PDP of supporting corruption and seeking to undermine the anti corruption war of President Buhari, saying “the PDP does not have the luxury of dictating how the present administration carries out its legitimate duty of catching looters, as long as it conforms with the rule of law.”
The APC said: “For the umpteenth time, the APC urges Nigerians who see merit in the war that the President Buhari-led administration is waging against corruption, not to be distracted by the PDP and their agents of corruption to discredit the war. For the records, the ongoing war against corruption is not selective. Anybody guilty of corrupt practices will face the law.
“If the PDP has any proof of corruption against any APC member or minister as alleged, we advise that they approach any of the anti-graft agencies constitutionally mandated to handle such cases.
“PDP’s rant suggesting a selective anti-corruption fight by the present administration should be seen as a plot meant to distract the citizenry from the successful ongoing war against graft.”