Don’t Harass National Assembly Clerk, PDP Warns APC
The PDP has asked the Presidency and the APC not to intimidate or harass the Clerk of the National Assembly, Salisu Maikasuwa, and the National Assembly Service Commission for their roles in the controversial elections of the leadership of the National Assembly.
The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Olisa Metuh, in a statement on Thursday, said that any attempt by the APC to transfer its frustration to Maikasuwa and the commission would amount to victimisation.
He said the undertone of the statement by Buhari’s spokesman, Shehu, that the Clerk was notified of a meeting between the President and the APC lawmakers “amounts to putting undue pressure on civil servants in the National Assembly for performing their legitimate duties and sends a serious signal which should not be ignored.”
Metuh described as unfortunate, the fact that the APC displayed its “arrogance and disrespect for the dictates of the constitution” by attempting to adjust the President’s promulgation order on the National Assembly and seeking to put their interest over and above the supreme law of the land.
He added, “It is a clear mark of disrespect to the constitution for the President and his party to fix a meeting for him to address their legislators the same time he had directed the Assembly to be inaugurated in line with the constitution.
“For 16 years that PDP nurtured democracy in this country, there was never a day it attempted to arm-twist or intimidate the bureaucracy of the National Assembly to do its bidding given our recognition and respect for the independence and sanctity of the legislative arm.
“The National Assembly is the citadel of democracy and represents the collective voice of all Nigerians. The PDP, even in opposition will continue to protect its sanctity and will therefore resist any attempt by the APC to undermine its independence and those of other democratic institutions in our country.”
Metuh noted that the position of the APC and the Presidency clearly negated Buhari’s well-received and praised assertion in his inaugural speech that he belonged to everybody and not to anybody.
He said, “By the last minute attempt to shift the inauguration time for party interest, the President violates his Presidential oath to defend the constitution and serve the nation without fear or favour and irrespective of party, religion and tribe, as he did not consider the interests of other political parties and the generality of Nigerians.”
Metuh added that emerging events have continued to justify PDP’s position that the APC was ill-equipped and unprepared for the challenge of ruling the country.
According to him, these became glaring in the way and manner the APC handled a very vital issue like the inauguration of the National Assembly.
He said, “From March 28, 2015 to June 9, the APC had about 74 days within which it was expected to put its house in order and present its leaders for the 8th National Assembly, but it could not because of the greed and selfishness of its so-called godfathers who instead chose to fix their party meeting the same time the President was scheduled to inaugurate the National Assembly.”
Metuh advised that rather than vilify the Clerk, the APC should commend him for his patriotic and courageous stand that had helped minimise the embarrassment the shifting the inauguration would have brought to the country internationally.
He therefore charged the Presidency and APC to apologise to Nigerians for the embarrassment their ineptitude and inexperience had been causing the nation since they came into office.