National Working Committee (NWC) of the ruling Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) has said that former vice-president Atiku Abubakar was keeping wrong company ahead of 2015 general elections.
The former VP had in a statement on Sunday accused the PDP and the Presidency of creating division and animosity in the country by linking chieftains of the major opposition party, All Progressives Congress (APC), with terrorism. Atiku added that such accusations by the ruling party was meant to divert Nigerians’ attention from the PDP-led Federal Government’s failure to deliver dividends of democracy.
But the national leadership of the PDP yesterday maintained its stand that the opposition party was made up of selfish individuals using religion to foster narrow political ambition.
A statement by its national publicity secretary, Olisa Metuh, stated that while it would not want to join issues with the former vice-president, it would not be cowed, nor relent in its insistence “that the APC is a party of selfish, religious and ethnic bigots pursuing a Janjaweed ideology.
“The APC and its leaders are embittered that the PDP machinery has been able to effectively expose and profile them as they truly are. They are in pains that Nigerians now know that the APC has no agenda, rather a platform for selfish individuals pursuing personal and parochial agenda using blackmail, propaganda and promotion of violence as means to achieve political control.
“The APC leaders are bitter because they have been confronted with a PDP that is not afraid to label them in their true colour despite personal threats, media attacks and character assassination to cow and deter us.
“On the issue of APC having an Islamic agenda, it is known to all and sundry that the PDP never labeled it as such. We merely, in our statement of January 7, 2014, drew the attention of Nigerians to the revelation by an Islamic cleric, Ambassador Yusuf Garba and the Religious Equity Promotion Council (REPC) that the APC was seeking to impose on Nigeria, an agenda akin to that of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.
“In any case, we insist that it is completely out of place for anybody to associate APC with Islam which is a religion of peace and does not preach violence, greed, destruction and lust for power which are the trademarks of the APC.
“On the other hand, the PDP has committed Muslims who are worshipping Allah in truth more than the APC. Many of the founding fathers and critical stakeholders of the PDP are Muslims. The leader of the administration of the PDP is a committed and dedicated Muslim. We have responsible and committed Muslims as ministers, state governors, legislators and among our leaders at the national, state, local government and ward levels across the country.
“In this regard, no party can be said to have better respect for Islam than the PDP. Our quarrel with the APC is its use of religion and ethnicity to canvass for votes and membership, a practice which is clearly inimical to the progress and development of our democracy.
“In spite of any personal interest, the PDP as a platform remains better than the APC. Indeed, the APC is not an alternative. It has no vision and is completely lacking in ideology. It is unfortunate that our former members have chosen to board the wrong vehicle, indeed, ‘a one-chance bus’”, Metuh said.
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