The All Progressives Congress has said the Peoples Democratic Party’s sponsored sabotage of its ongoing membership registration in several states of the federation and its rush to the media to condemn the process have shown the ruling party as a cog in the wheel of democracy.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Monday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said since one of the ways to truncate democracy is by stifling popular participation, the PDP as a party stands accused of working to truncate Nigeria’s democracy by its campaign of lies against the APC membership registration, which is aimed at giving as many Nigerians as possible a chance to be part of their country’s constitutional democracy.
It said the only reason the PDP called a hurried press conference to spew out lies on another party’s membership registration exercise is because the ruling party has seen the handwriting on the wall, since the registration started, and has consequently become overly jittery.
The statement said: “The PDP is wrong about its claim that the APC is engaging in phantom registration. The party should know that while anyone can manufacture numbers, no one can manufacture human beings. Therefore, in the fullness of time, any party that gives a fake number of its membership will get its comeuppance.
“The truth is that within the first three days of our registration exercise, we had met and exceeded the target we set for ourselves. Nigerians have flocked to our party, which they have come to see more as a mass movement than just a political party. This explains why we have extended the registration period by two days. The PDP is aware of the widespread acceptability of the APC and has started quivering.”
The party said instead of splitting hairs over the phenomenal APC registration exercise, the PDP should go out there and launch its own membership drive if it wants to know what Nigerians think of it.
The APC said: “PDP officials should not just sit in their Abuja offices and make phantom allegations about some party engaging in phantom registration, They should go out there and see for themselves what is going on, and how Nigerians are streaming aboard the train of change that the APC has become.”
The APC also asked the PDP to stop trying to sabotage its membership registration by sponsoring attacks on registration officials and hijacking registration materials in Abia and Rivers States, bribing some fifth columnists to sabotage the process in Delta State, and burning down its secretariat in Gombe State.
The party denied getting any assistance whatsoever from the Independent National Electoral Commission or using any material obtained from the commission, “except of course if the public spaces we are using for the registration are now being seen by the PDP as INEC’s property”.
It added: “The PDP accused the APC of trying to truncate the country’s democracy simply because the party (APC) is giving Nigerians the opportunity to exercise their constitutional right to associate freely. It is now clear to all discerning Nigerians that it is indeed the PDP that is working hard to truncate our democracy by blocking popular participation and preventing Nigerians from exercise their rights.”