The Peoples Democratic Party has condemned what it described as a show of shame and national embarrassment, Thursday’s fracas in the House of Representatives.
It said the ugly development brings to question President Muhammadu Buhari and his party’s commitment to democracy, unity and the stability of the country.
The PDP said “the disgraceful act” was a direct consequence of President Buhari’s lack of democratic credentials to respect the independence and sanctity of the legislative arm of government, the very citadel of democracy, as enshrined in the nation’s constitution.
PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, in a statement in Ahuja on Thursday said “the barbaric attempt to physically assault a duly elected Speaker, seize the mace, the authority of the House, is a direct attack on the Nigerian parliament which embodies the supremacy of the people and our freedom as a democratic nation.”
Metuh said what Nigerians witnessed in the House on Thursday clearly underscores the fact that the All Progressives Congress has exhausted its excuses and has now imported its internal contradictions into an independent arm of government as a way to further cover its lack of ideas for governance.
He added that intelligence available to the PDP showed that “the brawling APC lawmakers ostensibly acted on instructions from the Presidency, an obvious indication that President Buhari is largely an interested party whose involvement is beyond mere body language.”
Metuh said the dishonourable conduct from the unruly lawmakers in acting out the script did not come to the opposition party, alleging that the affected lawmakers were bred and nurtured under a political platform that it described as lacking discipline and thrives on violence as an unwritten manifesto.
He said, “We state unequivocally that the onus lies on President Buhari to ensure that all democratic institutions are harnessed for effectiveness, a responsibility he has apparently abdicated by allowing his personal interest to instigate division in the parliament, a tendency that poses great threat to the survival of our democracy and the stability of the nation.”
Metuh said the continued confusion in the APC-led government was a confirmation of its earlier stand that the APC “lacks the capacity and democratic discipline to effectively steer the ship of the nation and face the challenges of governance at the center.”
“If a party that has since March 28, 2015, when it got its victory, about 90 days ago, cannot resolve a basic issue of selecting its leadership in the National Assembly, clearly, their competence for national governance comes to question,” Metuh added.
He applauded the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara, for “his comportment, especially his statesmanly remarks after the unfortunate incident and urged him to continue to display maturity and not yield any ground in his duties to protect the independence of the legislature.”