The All Progressives Congress (APC) has described critics of its directive to its National Assembly members to block all legislative proposals as those who are either ignorant of the workings of democracy or those who have chosen to play to the gallery for pecuniary gains.
‘’Either way, these critics have rushed to judgement without even taking time to study the directive, without understanding that governance is about people, and without caring about the principles of fairness, justice and equity; and they should cover their faces in shame,’’ the party said in a statement issued in Lagos yesterday by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.
‘’We hereby reiterate the directive, which is a product of deep thinking and robust debate within our party’s NEC, to save our democracy, and we commend our members in the National Assembly for their unequivocal support for our stand, and for understanding that filibustering or legislative non-cooperation are veritable tools of democracy,’’ it said.
APC noted that the directive was already yielding result as members of the Save Rivers Movement (SRM) were able to stage a peaceful rally on Saturday for the first time in a long time without being attacked by hired ex-militants, because the Inspector-General of Police directed the police to provide protection for the rally.
‘’This is exactly what we are saying: that Nigerians, irrespective of their party leaning, who wish to stage a peaceful protest anywhere in the country must be able to do so without the police looking away while hired goons attack them. It is all about justice, fairness and equity, without which democracy will not thrive. We will be watching to see if what happened on Saturday represents a paradigm shift in Rivers or it is just a flash in the pan,’’ the party said.
APC said there is nothing anti-democratic, anti-people or inciting about the directive, which is aimed at ending the reign of impunity in Rivers State before its spreads to other parts of the country and truncates the nation’s democracy, just as it wondered why it was so difficult for the president to act for almost a year as a part of the country he was elected to govern was unsettled.
The party said already, the intimidation of APC members has been launched by the government and the police in Gombe, having seen the impunity being committed in Rivers.
‘’All over Gombe, our party flags, billboards and posters are being vandalized by hoodlums aided and abetted by the police. Our youth supporters are being arrested while our members are being threatened by the police and the state government officials.
‘’From Rivers, this reign of impunity has spread to Gombe. Who knows where the train of impunity is heading to next. Yet, some so-called fickle analysts, some chameleonic activists who willingly pit their tents with the highest bidder, some increasingly irrelevant organisations and some political parties who are content with the crumbs that fall off the table of the ruling party have the temerity to condemn a directive they do not understand,” it said.