•It’s wishful thinking –APC
BY OMONIYI SALAUDEEN and CHUKS EZE
As supporters of the newly formed political party, All Progressives Congress (APC), continue to bask in the euphoria of successful merger of the major opposition parties, the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has dismissed its threats as unfounded and mere wishful thinking. A chieftain of PDP in Lagos State and former Nigeria Ambassador to Ghana, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, reacting to the merger in an interview with Sunday Sun, said, “PDP will be here for a long time and will continue to rule for as long as Nigerians are happy.”
He maintained that none of the parties in the merger arrangement had a record of performance that could support the claim they were making about rescuing Nigeria from the ruling party. “In all the states under the control of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), none of its governors has offered anything tangible in 12 years. ANPP is another shameless party that brought about Boko Haram. ANPP should tell us how many Nigerians have died under the insurgency of Boko Haram.
Are they coming to entrench insecurity in the country? Go to Borno State that is controlled by ANPP, there is no development there. Nassarawa State that is the only state controlled by the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) is even worse. When you look at the faces of APC governors, you will see that they are richer than the people they govern. I know these people individually; they are a bunch of power seekers.
A merger is not about the people; Nigerians are no fools,” he said. Obanikoro further stated that most of those parading as progressives are despots who do not believe in the principle of internal democracy and separation of power as it exists in a democratic setting. He said: “All Progressives Congress (APC) is not an alternative to PDP. And in all sense of it, PDP is more progressive than APC.
Their legislature does not exist; rather it is a one-man show. Unlike PDP, they lack internal democracy. It is only PDP that has strengthened and encouraged separation of power. No undue interference with the judiciary and the legislature under PDP. As powerful as OBJ is, he is constantly challenged within the party. Nobody can challenge other leaders who are coming together to form APC. The PDP is not a perfect party, but it is a party where members can express themselves without getting into trouble.”
He added: “They (opposition) are only good at using judiciary to frustrate the electorate. So, it is obvious that APC can’t offer Nigeria anything. All of us know that ACN is being run by a sole administrator. If we allow APC to work, it is like throwing Nigeria to the wolves and allowing one man to acquire the entire country. It takes time for a tree to grow. PDP is trying to put in place something that will endure. Once the power reform starts to yield result, there will be employment generation and Nigerians will be happier.”
Epressing similar optimism, the Chairman of PDP in Holland, Engr. Austin I Majajah, said PDP remained unperturbed by the threat of the new party, adding that “both the tangible and intangible achievements of the present administration of President Goodluck Jonathan would have become more glaring by 2015. The chances of PDP in 2015 still remains bright even with the formation of APC. We are still waiting to see the ingredients that make it mega as they claim.
Those who are saying that the PDP will not exceed 2015 will be disappointed to their marrow.” But in a quick response to the criticisms, Chairman of Ekiti State chapter of the ACN, Olajide Awe, said the primary concern of the progressives was to rescue the country from the looming danger of bad governance perpetrated by the PDP. “The merger of the progressives was not done at the instance of the PDP. It was done in accordance with the yearning and aspiration of Nigerians.
Except we want to deceive ourselves, Nigeria is in a great danger, and that is why the merger is rightly termed as a rescue mission.” According to Awe, something urgent has to be done to rescue Nigeria from her current hopelessness. “The PDP has crippled this nation and something urgent has to be done. We are unanimous in our assertion that Nigeria is under siege and PDP can no longer find a direction. We are all Nigerians and we have our reasons for coming together. It is primarily for Nigeria and not for PDP,” he posited.