Chris Steven, Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Sunday lamented the arrest of former governor of Akwa Ibom state and Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio by Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) describing it as part of plot by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to weaken the it ahead of 2019 general elections.
Akpabio was on Friday and Saturday invited by the commission to answer questions bordering on alleged corruption.
While speaking to journalists, PDP National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh said that President Muhammadu Buhari was still a dictator even as he tagged his anti-corruption crusade a sham, hypocrisy and double standard.
“Whereas the PDP has over time restated its support for a credible, holistic fight against corruption, unfolding events have confirmed our position that this administration is only using the anti-corruption posture as a tool to witch-hunt PDP members and perceived political opponents of APC government,” Metuh said.
He said that the APC government has further intensified the witch-hunt because it is mortally afraid of the on-going rebuilding in the PDP to take over power in 2019, and is as such,
“applying every negative means to decimate our great party, including the relentless victimization of our key members.”
He said: “It is clearly manifest that the same dictatorial tendencies manifested during the military regime of 1984 is being presently applied in the polity in the attempt to discredit PDP members and weaken our great party ahead of 2019.”
Metuh further said that the party has verifiable reports from key members that agents of the APC have been approaching them to join the APC with threats to use the EFCC to victimize them should they refuse.
“The APC and its agents have been
boasting that they have the powers to deal with or spare any person, depending on the party such person belongs to. This clearly explains why the so-called fight against corruption has been selective and focused against PDP members, despite counsels by stakeholders that it should be holistic and in accordance with the due process of the law,” he said.
On the issue of Senator Godswill Akpabio, Metuh said, “we invite Nigerians to note that in the three rich states of Akwa-Ibom, Rivers and Lagos states, there were petitions against their former governors. Whereas the former APC governors of Lagos and Rivers were rewarded with ministerial nominations, their Akwa Ibom PDP counterpart and the current Senate Minority Leader is being hounded by the EFCC.
“This is in spite of the common knowledge that Akwa-Ibom under the Senator Akpabio is arguably the least indebted state in Nigeria, and where the governor appropriately applied available resources to effectively transform the state. We challenge the APC to show Nigerians any of their governor that matched the feats achieved in Akwa-Ibom under Senator Akpabio, whose only building in Uyo is uncompleted and being built with verifiable bank loans.
“The PDP therefore state categorically that the orchestrated investigation of Senator Akpabio is politically motivated and targeted at weakening the PDP for 2019 elections, by virtue of his being the face of opposition in the National Assembly.
“As we speak, no APC member, despite the public petitions of corruption and squandering of state funds, has been invited or questioned by the EFCC. We challenge the EFCC, as an anti-corruption agency, to show Nigerians any member of the APC it has so far questioned, not to talk of being arrested since the emergence of this administration, despite petitions against them.”