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Group Cautions Metuh Against Instigation, Undermining Judiciary

By Niyi Adeyi

The opposition PDP National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh has been cautioned to stop instigating the public against the government, as well as denigrating the country’s judiciary.

A group, Governance Watch Initiative (GWI) indicated Monday in a statement issued by its National Coordinator, Rotimi Ogunwuyi, that it read with great shock the Press Release issued by Metuh, Sunday, in which he attempted to instigate its members and supporters to rise up against the government of President Muhammadu Buhari and his party, the ruling APC.

GWI stressed it was horrified that a party which was until six months ago the ruling party in the country, and previously in control of 27 states, could so brazenly seek to prompt anarchy in the country simply because a duly constituted tribunal upturned the governorship election in Rivers State.

“We have also noticed a series of unwarranted attacks against our nation’s judiciary by Chief Metuh and his party, an attack that was carried to a disturbing level in Sunday’s statement” Ogunwuyi, noted.

The group recalled that when Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi, while still in the PDP, was pronounced as the Governor of Rivers State by the Supreme Court in October 2007, despite not contesting the governorship election as his name was illegally substituted, the PDP did not think the judiciary was being used by the PDP-led Federal Government of the time.

“We also recall that under the present dispensation, all the APC National Assembly candidates in Rivers, who took their cases to the election petition tribunal, lost and heavens did not fall. We note that Chief Metuh has always been quick to say that his party will provide a credible opposition, and wonder what is credible in the kind of subversive statements that have been emanating from the PDP spokesman in recent times.

“If indeed Chief Metuh and his party believe in the rule of law, as they have often trumpeted,
they would have realized that it is better to appeal any judgment they do not like than to threaten to bring the entire country crashing down on everyone” the group offered.

The group wondered why a true democrat would resort to self-help to resolve an electoral dispute when there are clear constitutional channels to resolve such issue, stating it was an interesting irony that the same Metuh, who has been raving at the judiciary, was the one calling on the Chief Justice of Nigeria to ‘note the looming danger and save the nation’s democracy and the institution of the judiciary’.

GWI warned Metuh and the PDP, not to plunge the country into crisis through “inciting and careless statements” that have no place in any democracy, adding that they must realize that every statement they issue was read within and outside Nigeria, hence their new-found pastime of denigrating the judiciary “will have consequences far beyond politics”.

However, the association called on the leaders of the PDP, in particular, the progressives “to rein in Chief Metuh before he blacklists the party and instigates chaos in the polity with his unconstrained recklessness”. It advised the opposition’s Spokesman be educated that there were better ways play opposition than the issuance of crude and irreverent statements.

The group stressed “We note that being in opposition is not synonymous with abuse of the institutions of government and a frenzied wolf crying, especially for an opposition party that has barely spent six months in that capacity”.

It argued that the country was bigger than individuals, irrespective of the grievances; therefore, the PDP must avoid putting the country’s democracy in danger just because a tribunal has nullified an election.

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