‘How Lai Mohammed Struggles Satisfy Two Masters’

As war of words between the ruling All progressives Congress (APC) and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) continues, the PDP has called on the governing party to rather focus on burning national issues bordering on lack of transparency, abuse of power, dwindling economy, escalating insecurity and apparent failure of governance since it assumed power at the centre.

In its last Sunday’s statement, the PDP had highlighted alleged shortcomings of the APC and President Muhammadu Buhari, the party in power quickly dismissed the statement, saying it was a “compendium of beer parlour gossips and side talks rather than a serious criticism of a sitting government.”

Consequently, the PDP on Monday challenged the APC to stop dodging issues but make haste to respond to the allegations it raised in the statement.

Speaking through its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, the PDP asserted that while it understands the lack of experience and direction that are making the APC jittery, descending to insults and abuse cannot be a solution.

Vowing never to be cowed or distracted from providing robust and credible alternative views, which it owes Nigerians, Metuh noted that the resort to insults by the APC spokesman, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, was ostensibly to divert attention from issues and confirms the insincerity and emptiness of the APC even as a party in power.

The statement reads in part, “While 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.

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“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, Bourdillon 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 organised public harassment and humiliation against the immediate-past First Lady and wife of the former President, Mrs. Patience Jonathan at the Port Harcourt airport obviously organised and orchestrated by the Director of Protocol in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassado? 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.

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“Nigerians are still waiting for explanations on the embarrassments 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.

Metuh said the presidency and the APC were 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 agonising loss in the capital market, which has lost over N1.1 trillion in the last two months.

“The APC has failed to address our question on the handling of the nation’s resources in the last two months, where whereas the presidency is unliterary 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 centre.

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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 intimidations and harassments 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, 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.”

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