The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Senate caucus yesterday announced its withdrawal of cooperation with the All Progressives Congress (APC)- led Federal Government.
The caucus said the resolution would subsist until the government “ceases the belligerent attitude towards PDP members.”
A communiqué read by Senate Deputy Minority Leader Emmanuel Bwacha, endorsed by Senate Minority Leader Godswill Akpabio, Minority Whip, Philip Aduda and Deputy Minority Whip, Mrs Biodun Olujimi, said the resolution was adopted at a meeting of the caucus on Tuesday.
The opposition lawmakers said they examined their position “on the unwarranted threats to the legislative arm of government, particularly to the Senate leadership by the executive arm, as well as the on-going intimidation/persecution of the opposition party (PDP) by the ruling party (APC).
“The deployment of state instrument of coercion to intimidate an independent arm of government like the legislature, is now a major threat to the survival of our democracy.
“The glaring witch hunt of perceived opposition elements in the polity is invitation to anarchy.
“The war against corruption should not be selective, must be fought with sincerity and not with the politics that is being played now with ‘war against corruption’.
“We therefore condemn in strong terms the sentiments displayed in fighting corruption. e.g. freezing of account of the Ekiti State Governor, is clearly a political witch hunt.
“Since the war against corruption has devolved into probing campaign funds, it should be extended to all parties, APC inclusive.
“The PDP Senate Caucus therefore wishes to warn the Executive arm of government to act with caution on matters that have the potency to subvert our democracy.
“The Executive must therefore desist from these acts of lawlessness that are only typical in a military dictatorship.
“The caucus therefore wishes to advise the APC led government to concentrate on the existing economic and security challenges that are threatening our survival as a nation.
“Finally, the PDP Caucus wishes to reiterate that we will no longer support the APC government until they cease the belligerent attitude towards PDP members.”
The APC criticised the decision in a statement by its National Secretary Mallam Mai Mai Buni. It wondered why the PDP caucus would quarrel with the “administration’s hugely successful war against corruption.”
The statement said: “The PDP Caucus must be reminded of their primary responsibility of lawmaking and representation of their constituents at the National Assembly. The APC advises the PDP Senate Caucus not to allow political shenanigans to becloud overall national interest.
“The PDP Caucus allegations of a selective anti-corruption fight and “belligerent” stance of the current administration is hogwash and baseless. If the PDP and its agents have proof of corruption against anybody, the APC advises that they approach anti-graft agencies constitutionally mandated to handle such cases instead of declaring innocence on newspaper pages and other media outlets.
“For the umpteenth time, the PDP and their agents do not have the luxury of dictating how the current administration and anti-corruption agencies carries out its legitimate duty of investigating and prosecuting cases of corruption, as long as it conforms to the rule of law.
“The APC urges anti-corruption agencies not to be stampeded and blackmailed by this new plot and continue to employ all legitimate avenues in investigating and prosecuting ongoing corruption cases. The generality of Nigerians clamour for all looters of public funds to be brought to book. The APC assures Nigerians that the political will and sincerity of purpose of the current administration to tackle corruption remains resolute. “