PDP, APC In Verbal Battle Over Buhari's US Trip


Nigeria's opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Sunday described President Muhammadu Buhari's trip to the United States of America as a journey in futility.

But in a reaction Sunday evening, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) fired back at the PDP and its spokesman, Olisa Metuh claiming that the opposition party had constituted itself into a nuisance.


Metuh had, at a press conference on Sunday said Buhari only ended up disappointing Nigerians with his US trip as the trip had no direction and that the President did not learn anything meaningful from his four-day stay in the US.


Metuh, who declared that his party had promised to support the President on his fight against corruption, insurgency and other policies that would better the country, said the PDP had waited anxiously to see how Buhari would begin to put to bear what he learnt in the US, but that upon his return, things had not changed


"Now that the visit has come and gone, our fear is that nothing whatsoever has been learnt or gained.


"What we continue to receive as a nation have been embarrassing disagreements, accusations and counter accusations, blames and denials on very important issue due to lack of tact and skill in the management of state matters by the APC-led administration.


"It is disheartening that rather than secure any sort of tangible gain for the fight against terrorism, which has lost steam under the APC watch, with insurgents, who were pushed to the verge of surrender by the Goodluck Jonathan administration, now surging back and spreading into the country, we get nothing but exchanges and disagreements between the Presidency and their American hosts," Metuh said, adding that this was not only embarrassing but also a worrisome indication of crass ineptitude in the handling of international affairs on the part of the present administration.


He also lamented that the government had refused to settle down for serious business, noting that Buhari had failed in his promise to end insurgency within two months if elected.


Metuh, who also slammed Buhari for reportedly saying preference would be given by his administration to areas of the country which delivered massive votes for him during the election, further lamented the alleged disgrace Buhari meted out to some top bankers who trailed him to the US.


Buhari had said some of these people were not invited, but Metuh lamented the President would exclude National Assembly leaders, economic experts and woman from his entourage.


Metuh said these Nigerian businessmen were rejected by their President only for them to be valued by other Presidents of African nations who led them into a meeting with President Barrack Obama in their own countries on account of their investments in those nations.


Metuh said while President Barack Obama attended the meeting with Buhari with top economic experts, Buhari was at the meeting with governors who have not been able to pay workers salaries.


He added: "we make this demand because since the APC took office, the nation’s financial system in the absence of statutory functionaries has been enmeshed in confusion, controversy and fertile atmosphere for financial sleazes."


Metuh, who said the PDP was aware of a World Bank loan of $2.1 billion being sought by Buhari without recourse to due process, added: "what is the loan for? What are the terms and who are those working the papers?


"Who are the people to decide on how the money will be spent? Is it true that the $2.1 billion loan is meant to pay back huge contributions for the APC Presidential campaign expenses?


"If truly this government is transparent, it should come out clear on this loan as well as publicise details of its expenditure in the last two months."


He also tongue-lashed the presidency over an incident in Port Harcourt where the former First Lady, Patience Jonathan, was denied the use of the VIP session of the Port Harcourt Airport on her way to the burial of one of her former aide.


In reaction, the APC said the PDP as a party cannot provide any worthwhile opposition to the APC-led Federal Government if its spokesman continues to issue convoluted and fustian statements just so that he can be in the news.


"Today's statement is the most tortuous yet by the PDP and, honestly, sounds more like a compendium of beer parlour gossips and side talks than a serious criticism of a sitting government," the APC said in a statement issued in Lagos on Sunday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.




"To be in opposition does not mean you have to constitute yourself to a nuisance by rushing to the press with all sorts of hot air statements. It is the quality, rather than the frequency, of your interventions that makes you relevant as an opposition in a democracy," the party said


It said that in the light of the above, the APC will not dignify the latest in a series of confused statements by the PDP with any response. 


"We can only say that we have been justified, and indeed prescient, in our earlier offer to organize a crash course for Olisa Metuh so that he can more effectively perform his role as the spokesman of the main opposition party. 


"Those who thought we were joking with that offer can now see that indeed, Mr. Metuh is seriously in need of some form of coaching on his new role," APC said.


The party said for the record, no government in Nigeria's recent history has been as focused and systematic as the one headed by President Muhammadu Buhari in restoring good governance, especially coming after the worst stretch of governance, lasting all of 16 years, by the immoral and reckless PDP.


It is worth noting that even the leader of the world's foremost democracy, President Barack Obama, said that much during the recent visit to the US of President Buhari, when he described him (President Buhari) as a man of integrity with a clear agenda.


"President Buhari is working hard every day in the priority areas of tackling security and corruption, rebooting the economy to provide jobs for our teeming youths and generally to restore good governance. We are sorry for those who are too blind with hatred to see this.


"We know that the PDP is terrified by the expose of how the Federal Government it led has looted the treasury and created an environment for impunity to thrive, as well as the fate that will befall those who were part of the show of shame and disgust. 


"But we assure Nigerians that this government will not interfere with the work of the security and anti-corruption agencies, and also that under the Buhari Administration, only the guilty needs to be afraid.


"In the meantime, no amount of mumbo jumbo from the PDP will stop the Buhari Administration from its tough but inevitable task of restoring Nigeria's lost glory," APC said.