OrderPaperToday – The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has condemned the hand-cuffing of its National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Olisa Metuh while he was brought before the court in Abuja Tuesday, saying the action smacks of totalitarianism by the Muhammadu Buhari government.

But in a swift reply, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) said the opposition should blame itself for the woes befalling it instead of seeking to blame everyone else.

In a statement by its National Secretary, Prof. Wale Oladapo, the PDP said it condemned “ in totality the brazen display of authoritarianism demonstrated by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC Government in handcuffing its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh even when the court is yet to hear his case.”

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The party said the development “clearly betrays an extra-judicial, top political witch-hunt policy of the APC, carefully designed to humiliate, embarrass and portray PDP leaders as common criminals and set the stage to cow and decimate opposition and perceived foes of the government.”

The PDP said further: “The question remains, if not to mortify, dehumanize and break our National Publicity Secretary, who has been very vocal against the APC administration, and of course to send a signal to others critical of the government, what else would have informed the decision to produce him in court in handcuffs, even when his case does not border on security threat?

“Is this an attempt to sway the court and ambush the judicial process against our National Publicity Secretary, all because of his stance against observed ineptitude and dictatorial tendencies of this administration?

“The PDP invites all Nigerians and the international community to note the emerging barefaced abuse of state power and violation of constitutional provisions regarding the arrest, detention and eventual arraignment of our spokesperson.

“Nigerians by now, should be extremely scared that our country is fast drifting into a police state where being in opposition or holding views divergent to that of the government makes one a criminal and an enemy of the state.

“For now, the target of the on-going lopsided war against corruption is the PDP and its leaders. All APC members, including those with known corruption issues are immune from investigation, arrest and prosecution.

“More worrisome is the fact that institutions of government, especially security and corrective agencies have now fallen victims of dictatorial abuses. Our fear now is that in no time, ordinary citizens of Nigerians, who in the last 16 years have lived under the rule of law and constitutionally guaranteed personal liberty, would begin to suffer brutality and oppression.

“Under PDP administration, some Nigerians, including APC leader and former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu were tried but never humiliated; now we see security operatives under this regime being used to crush and humiliate the opposition.

“While we study the bail conditions, we urge all PDP members to remain calm, united, focused and continue to pray for the nation and her people. We also urge the media to remain on the side of justice, fairness and rule of law and resist the pressure of being used as a tool to promote arbitrariness and abuse of process in the so-called fight against corruption.”

But the APC in a statement by its National Secretary, Mai Mala Buni said the PDP should blame no one but itself because it should have expected a day of reckoning to come after pillaging the country in the last 16 years of its misrule.

“The PDP now sounds like a broken record with its daily conspiracy theories blaming external forces and unseen hands for its electoral misfortunes, in-fighting and mind-boggling corruption charges and on-going probe of some PDP leaders and the immediate-past PDP-led administration,” the ruling party said.

The statement read further:  “The question begging for answers is: Why does the PDP choose to grope in the dark while reality stares it in the face? Did the PDP not know that it will one day pay for the impunity, recklessness and shocking mis-management of the country’s common wealth perpetuated under its watch for 16 years?

“For the record, the APC has no hand in the in-fighting and resultant implosion being witnessed in PDP’s hierarchy. Perhaps the wind of Change has blown through the PDP camp and many PDP members realise the need to embrace and enforce change.

“The APC reiterates that PDP members who are genuinely inspired by the APC-led administration are welcome to the APC fold. It is their right to abandon a sinking ship and join one that is smooth-sailing.”

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