The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) says Nigeria is becoming a one-party state as a result of the irresponsibility of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
In a statement issued on Sunday, Lanre Issa-Onilu, APC national publicity secretary, said the PDP has become a joke because it failed to act as the main opposition party.
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He said the ruling party recognises the relevance of intellectual interrogation of government policies, which the PDP has failed to offer.
“Sadly, Nigeria is becoming a one-party state. As a party that believes in democracy and progressive politics, we cannot pretend any longer. Democracy cannot be said to be fully operational in a situation where the supposed ‘main’ opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party has become a joke, irresponsible and rudderless,” the statement read.
“Even as the governing party, we recognise the importance of rigorous and intelligent interrogation of our policies and programmes by the opposition.”
Issa-Onilu said opposition parties must engage government policies at an intellectual level for democracy to thrive.
“There is a lot to gain by our democracy and our country in an atmosphere of robust engagement by responsible and patriotic opposition. The political system we practice has important roles for the political parties outside of power. The system envisaged that such parties would provide alternative viewpoints and put the governing party on its toes,” he said.
Reacting to the statement, Kola Ologbodiyan, PDP national publicity secretary, described the claim by the APC as “totally unacceptable”.
Speaking at a press conference in Abuja on Sunday, he said the PDP is relating with the Nigerian people, adding that it is working to ensure that democracy is well practiced across the country.
“It is strange and totally unacceptable, 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,” he said.
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“The PDP does not accommodate certificate forgers; our party is relating directly with Nigerian 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.”