The national leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party has said that the anti-graft war of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government is targeting its members.
It, therefore, said that the government at the centre must do everything to convince Nigerians that the war against sleaze was not aimed at weakening the opposition political party.
The National Publicity Secretary of the main opposition party, Chief Olisa Metuh, made the allegation at a press briefing in Abuja on Sunday.
Metuh was reacting to the arrest and questioning of the former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Godswill Akpabio, by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
Akpabio, who is the minority leader of the Senate, was questioned over allegation of corruption, as contained in petitions sent to the commission by an Abuja-based lawyer, Mr. Leo Ekpeyong, and some indigenes of the state.
Besides, he said the action was also aimed at forcing members of the PDP to join the All Progressives Congress.
“This clearly explains why the so-called fight against corruption has been selective and focused against PDP members, despite counsel by stakeholders that it should be holistic and in accordance with the due process of the law.
“The best example of the curious nature of the war against corruption is the fact that former PDP governors and ministers are being hounded and arrested over apparently orchestrated petitions while their APC counterparts, who have more damaging petitions, are being nominated for ministerial positions.”
Metuh added that even other APC former governors who have on-going corruption cases in court were being rewarded with the APC tickets for the forthcoming governorship elections in Kogi and Bayelsa states.
He was referring to the nomination of Abubakar Audu and Chief Timipre Sylva as the APC governorship candidates for Kogi and Bayelsa states respectively.
But when Metuh was asked whether the former governors could be deemed guilty when their trials were still ongoing, he said no.
He was asked whether the cases of Audu and Sylva were different from that of Mr. Ayo Fayose, who was also being prosecuted for corruption by the EFCC before he was nominated as the PDP governorship candidate and eventually won the election, he said the APC should do things differently.
He said, “The PDP is no more in government. If we did well when we were there, we wouldn’t lose power. What we are saying is that the APC promised change and should therefore do things differently.”
On the issue of Akpabio, Metuh alleged that there were petitions against former governors of Lagos and Rivers states Babatunde Fashola and Rotimi Amaechi respectively and wondered why they were not invited for questioning by the EFCC.
He said whereas “the former APC governors of Lagos and Rivers were rewarded with ministerial nominations, their Akwa Ibom PDP counterpart and the current Senate Minority Leader is being hounded by the EFCC.
“This is in spite of the common knowledge that Akwa-Ibom, under the Senator Akpabio is arguably the least indebted state in Nigeria, where the governor appropriately applied available resources to effectively transform the state.”
But the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, on Sunday said it appeared that the opposition PDP had run out of ideas.
He said the manner in which the party had been repeating itself daily showed that it needs help.
Adesina said this in an interview with one of our correspondents when asked to react to a Metuh’s allegation that PDP members were the target of President Buhari’s ongoing anti-corruption war.
The presidential spokesman said the statement further proved that the party should be pitied.
He said, “The opposition seems to have run out of ideas so soon. Daily, we hear the same jaded, hackneyed allegations from them. I think they really are to be pitied. They need help.
“A broken record that repeats itself ceaselessly is of no use than to be thrown away.”
But the spokesperson for the APC, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, didn’t pick his call.
He also didn’t respond to a text message sent to him as of the time of filing this report.