The Peoples Democratic Party on Tuesday cried out that the ruling All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government under President Muhammadu Buhari had been treating members of the main opposition party as ‘criminal and prisoners of war.’
The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, accused Buhari’s government of engaging in witch-hunt of PDP members under the pretext that it was probing acts of corruption.
A statement by the Kogi State government on Tuesday quoted Metuh as speaking while addressing PDP stakeholders in Lokoja, the state capital.
The PDP spokesman condemned the Federal Government’s alleged arrests, intimidation and denial of PDP members who served in the ex-President Goodluck Jonathan administration their fundamental human rights.
He said regardless of the alleged intimidation and victimisation of PDP members by the Buhari government, PDP would win in the forthcoming governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states.
Metuh said the APC administration had been busy victimising public officials in the Jonathan administration rather than provide a policy direction for Nigerians.
Metuh said, “We are being treated as if we are criminals or prisoners of war. We are being treated as if we are refugees. We are not afraid; we have faith in our strength and unity. We have faith in the peace, unity and progress of Nigeria.
“If the ruling party believes that there is anyone who has served in the Federal Government and is guilty of corruption practices, they are free within the law to investigate as long as they go through due process and observe the rule of law.
“PDP is not afraid of the intimidation, harassment and arrest of its members by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, if the arrest is done within the confines of the law.”
In another interview with one of our correspondents in Lagos, Metuh said the opposition PDP had left Nigerians to judge the activities of Buhari’s administration in the management of the country’s affairs.
It said that Nigerians would soon confirm if the government of the APC has brought any change to their national life.
Metuh, who spoke on the 33-man delegation that followed the President to his current four-day state visit to the United States of America, said the opposition party would leave the huge presidential entourage for Nigerians to judge “whether indeed there is a change in that aspect.”
Former President Goodluck Jonathan had been criticised for embarking on foreign trips with large numbers of people in his entourage.
The Punch had reported exclusively on December 7, 2012, how Jonathan spent billions of naira of taxpayers’ money on foreign trips despite his promise to cut down on such trips earlier in January.
While Metuh stated that the PDP would not comment on the number of people on the trip with Buhari, he said as the President of Nigeria, Buhari knew the reason for “that large crowd.”
The PDP spokesman also said Nigerians would soon know whether the change was “moving forward or moving backward.”
Metuh said, “Let Nigerians judge. We will not be guided by the misinformation, misdirected attacks, insults and abuses bequeathed by the former opposition party.
“Now that that they are the ruling party, we intend to educate them on the proper way of being in the opposition. We will restrict ourselves to constructive criticism of government policies and programmes, wherein we will offer options and alternatives.”
On Buhari’s entourage to America are Governors Umaru Tanko al-Makura (Nasarawa State), Adams Oshiomhole (Edo), Kashim Shettima (Borno) and Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo), among others.