APC’s ‘Block Budget Directive’ Will Not Work – Metuh

Channels Television  
Updated January 27, 2014

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says the All Progressives Congress’ ‘block the budget‘ directive to its members in Nigeria’s National Assembly will not work, as there are some responsible and reasonable lawmakers of the opposition party that will not uphold the directive.

Expressing the ruling party’s confidence that the directive will not be applied, the National Publicity Secretary, Mr Olisa Metuh, described the directive as cruel and wicked, saying that a party that claims to mean well for Nigeria should not issue such a statement.

The All Progressives Congress (APC) had issued a directive to its members in the National Assembly, asking them to block proceedings on the budget and the ratification of the list of Service Chiefs sent to the Legislature by the Executive.

Mr Metuh, on Monday, called on the APC to be as open and as transparent as the PDP and accept that it had made a mistake by issuing the directive, an act he said was against democracy and Nigerians.

“When we make mistake, we come on national television, we face Nigerians and say we have made mistakes. But here, APC has committed a big blunder, an act against democracy in this country and yet they are trying to justify it. That is sad.

“What I expected Lia Mohammed- APC’s Interim National Publicity Secretary – and the APC to be telling Nigerians is that; we made a mistake. What they have done is a simple thing of attempting to divide the child, insisting that the child should be divided.

“We have a democracy in Nigeria and it is the longest time we have had democracy. And what do you tell people? You attempt to stop that democracy because you believe that you are scoring a political point that will definitely boomerang,” he said on Channels Television’s programme, Sunrise Daily.

Consider Economic Principles Not Sentiments

The PDP member pointed out that in developed democracy, the issue of the passage of the budget or delay of the budget was discussed by considering economic principles and not sentiments.

“The focus should be on; what do we adopt, how do we put more money and what is the economic principle that we should adopt in defending the budget or in attempting to pass the budget.

“But here, you are bringing something that is definitely unconnected with issues at stake and you are telling your members to block the passage of the budget. Well, it will not work. Thank God that the APC is really exposing themselves to Nigerians for what they are,” Mr Metuh stressed.

He also accused the APC of trying to truncate democracy after the election, saying there is no way the party can win the election. “They are trying to insight Nigerians to turn out and cause unrest and mayhem after the election,” he claimed.

Mr Metuh also said that the PDP was not worried about the APC members effecting the statement in the National Assembly.

“We are more worried that they are attempting to cause disaffection among Nigerians. They are attempting to make sure that things do not work in an election year.”

On whether the number of the APC members in the National Assembly, which had gown due to defections of PDP members to the APC, will have any influence on the directive, Mr Metuh insisted that the true nature of things would unfold in the coming weeks.

He said that the fact that the PDP had been able to resolve its leadership challenges was beginning to restore member’s confidence.


Rivers’ Crisis

Several rallies organised by the Save Rivers Movement in Rivers State have been disrupted by the police and hoodlums on different occasions and the APC had cited the development as one of the reasons for the directive.

But Mr Metuh said that the crisis in Rivers state was political, peculiar to the state and caused by agitations over the leadership of the state.

He also said that the police had tried to maintain peace, law and order in the state.

“I know that there is a lot of noise in Rivers State and I don’t think there is any violence in Rivers, or mayhem or death of individuals to necessitate the blunder by the APC,” Metuh stated.

He insisted that the state government was dramatizing the issues and accused the Save Rivers Movement of not sending a request for security to the Police.

“They should always ask for police protection in a peaceful manner and engage the police in maintaining law and order when they are holding rallies. If they act normally they will have the protection that they need,” he emphasised.

The PDP spokesman debunked claims that the presidency does not care about the crisis in Rivers State, saying “there is no way the presidency will not care about what is happening in Rivers State because we are seeing a governor of a state that is engaging in unlawful act and issuing all kinds of statement that could threaten the nation’s democracy”.