The All Progressives Congress (APC) has strongly condemned the sponsored disruption of Gov. Adams Oshiomhole’s presentation during a meeting of the Presidential Advisory Committee on National Dialogue in Benin on Monday, saying the despicable action has vindicated the party’s decision not to be part of the proposed conference.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Tuesday by its Interim National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said the Committee must thoroughly be ashamed of itself that one of its members led the show of shame that was put up in Benin on Monday.
It therefore demanded an unreserved apology from the Committee to Gov. Oshiomhole, while the member who acted so unruly and irresponsibly must be publicly cautioned at the least or be excused from the Committee.
”The truth is that in proposing the conference, the government has no sincerity of purpose, does not believe in engaging in any dialogue with anyone but itself and has only used it to distract the attention of Nigerians from the total absence of governance and sense of direction by the Jonathan Administration.
”This is why we refused to participate in what is nothing but a sheer deceit. We have already been vindicated even before the start of the conference,” APC said.
The party said since the essence of democratic discourse is for all sides to be allowed to have their say, it was wrong to have shouted down anyone because his stand does not tally with that of the committee or the organizers of the meeting.
”Worse still is that a member of the committee led the thugs who so rudely and irresponsibly shouted down a Governor. What a contradiction, that a member of a panel set up to help forge national discourse does not even believe in the plurality of opinions. Does anyone need any further evidence that the committee has already made up its mind on the direction their so-called assignment will take? How can you sincerely hope to midwive a dialogue with Nigerians when you cannot even oversee a dialogue in a town hall meeting?” it queried.
APC expressed total shock and disgust that the Governor of a state hosting a meeting of the advisory committee could be so primitively treated by hired thugs, led by no other than a out-of-control committee member.
”Even if they have no respect for the person of Gov. Oshiomhole, couldn’t they have at least shown respect for the office he is occupying? If a person in the calibre of Gov. Oshiomhole, with his antecedents and prominent role in the national political discourse, cannot be allowed to air his opinion on any issue, what then will happen to ordinary citizens?” the party further asked.
It commended Gov. Oshiomhole for his maturity and decency, which showed through in his handling of the whole situation despite the indignity meted out to him.
”By his comportment, from which his security and other aides apparently took a cue, Gov. Oshiomhole averted what could have been a violent confrontation and left no one in doubt that he is a true democrat. In the end, those who conspired to humiliate him have unwittingly played up his tolerance, his decency and his democratic credentials,” the party said.
Alhaji Lai Mohammed Interim National Publicity Secretary