Our party is very much alive ― PDP

• Says Nigeria can never be a one party state

The leadership of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on Sunday, declared that the Party was not dead and that Nigeria would never become a One-Party State as being claimed by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

Addressing newsmen in Abuja, the National Publicity Secretary of the Party, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan debunked the claim, describing it as the wishful thinking of the failed ruling Party, saying that the PDP remained the only for Nigerians as clearly expressed in the last Presidential election but which the APC robbed it of the victory.

The APC in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu had on Sunday officially announced the obituary of the PDP, lamenting that though a democratic Nigeria needed a vibrant opposition to hold the ruling party accountable, it was unfortunate that the PDP and its “comedy theatre group”, the Coalition of United Political Parties CUPP, have become a joke, irresponsible and rudderless.

Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu noted that democracy cannot be fully operational in a situation where Nigeria’s “supposed main opposition” has become a crude joke.

But in a swift reaction to the claim, the PDP said, “our political party is seeking for good governance for our nation. The PDP does not accommodate certificate forgers, it is not a party or people who are contrivance. Our party is relating directly with Nigeria people and we are working assiduously to make sure that the democratic tenets of our nation is not only enshrined but seen to be practiced.”

According to him, “as such we do not have space to respond gimmicks of former democrats who went around the nation and brought in despot into a democratic order. Neither do we have space to engage in verbal discussion with characters who are known to be stealing directly from the patrimony of our nationhood.

“As such, we are not going to concern ourselves with the innuendos that such characters are binding. All we know is that the PDP remains the pillar of democracy in our nation.

“The PDP is in the Supreme Court to ensure that the mandate of Nigerians willfully given to Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and had been stolen, is restored in the Supreme Court.

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“What I do know is that, when the PDP took the decision to ensure that we create alternative government, ours was to make suggestions on how good governance can be entrenched in our nation. And the PDP has been carrying out that responsibility. And as far as APC needs to know that our nation, Nigeria has in the past survived detectors. We have succeeded as a people to ensure that those who seek to rule us without our consent will not succeed.

“And as such, it is strange and totally inacceptable, that the APC or the Buhari Presidency within its wishes and thinking claimed that Nigeria will become a one-party state.

“This country is a resilient nation and no individual no matter how highly placed, in the past had succeeded in reducing us to a nation of cowards.”

This came just as the Party rejected the moves by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led All Progressives Congress (APC) Federal Government to further gag the media, subjugate Nigerians and curtail their constitutionally guaranteed freedom of expression.

Ologbondiysn told newsmen that the decision by President Buhari to impose stringent regulations on online media and broadcast organisations as recently announced by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, was completely “obnoxious, anti-democratic and a direct violation of statutory rules governing media practice and freedom of expression in Nigeria.”

He stated that Party also rejected the Presidential declaration of political comments as “Class A” offence, insisting that such was designed to “undermine the nation’s constitutional democracy, exterminate the rights of citizens to dissenting public opinion, emasculate the opposition and foist a dictatorship and one-party system on our nation.”

According to it, ” our party alerts that such moves amount to an attempt to amend our constitution to take away the rights of citizens and undermine our democratic institutions; a development that has the capacity to destabilize our dear nation.

“The PDP invites Nigerians to note that these dictatorial pathways which the Buhari Presidency seeks to impose if allowed, will herald the gradual emasculation of freedom of expression, repression of free press, infringements on the rights of citizens and foisting of siege mentality on the people.

“Nigerians are already apprehensive that the directive is geared towards clearing the ground for the introduction of certain harsh policies in our country.

“The party insists that our constitution has made enough provisions to guide media practice as well as the exercise of freedom of expression, adding that the foisting of unconstitutional and suppressive regulations is not acceptable under any guise.”

The Party, therefore, called on the members of the National Assembly, as the representatives of the people, to reject this Presidential directive in the interest of the nation.

It also cautioned President Muhammadu Buhari and his advisers not to derail the nation with such undemocratic policies.

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