After years in prison on corruption charges, former National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olisa Metuh, has said that despite his ordeal, he has no regrets over the role he played as the spokesman of the party.
Fielding questions from reporters in Abuja, on Wednesday, he affirmed that he carried out patriotic duty to nation in his capacity as the megaphone of the then ruling party.
According to him, it has since become clear that his arrest, detention, multiple prosecutions, and alleged media trial were politically motivated.
The former party spokesperson stressed that his utterances as the National Publicity Secretary of the PDP were to caution on wrong policies as well as proffer alternative ideas for the progress of the nation.
He said if the submissions were heeded, Nigeria would have been better than it is today.
The former party spokesman said: “it is clear that my travails and ordeals were politically motivated to suppress the voice of the opposition, which I represented then, but I don’t regret anything I did as opposition spokesperson.
“All I did was in line with my patriotic duty in defending democracy and its tenets which were being assaulted; alerting the nation and cautioning on wrong policies while providing alternative ideas that would help move our nation forward.
“Moreover, my role, not only as a spokesperson but also as a famed party administrator who was prominent in holding our party together, restoring hope in our members and Nigerians in general as well as checking the movement of people from the PDP and the rebuilding of our party after the setback of the 2015 elections.
“Of course, there were forces who were not comfortable with my activities and sought to stifle our party. So I was arrested, labelled, handcuffed and paraded like a common criminal; denied access to medical treatment while lies, fabrications and falsehood were published against me.
“In fact, the unproven charge of money laundering was deliberately brought against me solely to tarnish my image, bring me to disrepute in the eyes of Nigerians and divert attention from the issues at stake.
“If you look around today, you will notice that all the issues we cautioned on are happening now. Our nation would not have been in the sorry state if our alternative ideas were considered.”
While harping on his commitment to the advancement of democratic culture in Nigeria, Metuh noted that no society can make progress without embracing the contestation of ideas, urging Nigerians not to be deterred in defending democracy.
He also urged the media to remain bold and professional in defending the tenets of democracy even as he cautioned that harsher times are ahead for the media in the country.
Speaking of his time in the Correctional Facility, he regretted that there are too many inmates being held in it.
He hinted that he would set up a free legal scheme to provide services for people detained for lack of legal representation.
Despite my ordeal, no regrets on role as PDP spokesman ― Metuh