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Nigeria’s Ruling APC in War of Words With Opposition PDP

FILE - Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari.
FILE - Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari.

It appears a war of words between the spokesmen of Nigeria’s ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) party and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has intensified. APC national public secretary Lai Mohammed reportedly told the PDP to stop whining, rebrand itself or go down.

This came after the PDP accused President Muhammadu Buhari of continuously making negative comments about Nigeria’s economy, which the PDP said is driving away potential investors. Lai Mohammed said the PDP is the architect of its own downfall.

But Olisa Metuh, national publicity secretary of the PDP, said President Buhari should come up with his own programs how to fix what the president said is Nigeria’s bankrupt economy instead of continuously criticizing former president Goodluck Jonathan’s government.

“We cannot be whining when we provide alternative and options to the federal government; we cannot be whining when we are pointing to the government what they are doing that is not proper; we cannot be whining when we are telling the government that they are not doing anything to grow our economy; we cannot be whining when we tell the government that they are de-marketing the economy of the country and are scaring away potential investors,” he said.

Metuh said President Buhari’s government lacks programs and ideas on how to develop the Nigerian economy and sustain the gains of the past 15 years by the PDP.

On the other hand, Lai Mohammed reportedly said the PDP’s endless put-down of government agencies and the demonization of everyone but itself would fetch the party nothing but political grief.

“The 16 years of the PDP – which the party has continued to shamelessly celebrate – are nothing to celebrate, either for the impunity that characterized the party’s governance, the massive looting of the national treasury that is still being assessed or the bastardization of all the values that the nation holds,” Mohammed said in a statement.

President Muhammadu Buhari has accused former President Goodluck Jonathan’s of virtually emptying the Nigerian treasury and leaving the country in debt. Buhari has promised to crackdown on corruption and cross-border financial crimes which he said are some of the evils undermining the well-being of the Nigerian society.

“They ran amok. They were just emptied the treasury, whether lawfully or unlawfully. That’s what we found,” Buhari spokesman Garba Shehu told VOA recently. “And so, questions are being asked and definitely something will have to give, and the president isn’t going to allow this to continue,” he said

The PDP's Olisa Metuh said President Buhari should be encouraging investors to come to Nigeria rather than discouraging them by disparaging the economy in the international media.

"I think whenever our president meets with foreign investors, he should concentrate on telling them potentials are abound in our country and areas of possible development. But this is not what we are seeing; what we are seeing is whenever our president meets with the international community, he misinforms them that our countrymen are very corrupt, our countrymen are broke and that we cannot even pay salaries of ministers," he said.

Metuh said it is not the primary responsibility of President Buhari to recover Nigeria’s stolen wealth. He said Nigeria has a number of agencies including the Anti-Corruption Bureau whose job is to recover all stolen money.