DSS DG: APC, PDP Brickbats Escalate
THE war of words between the All Progressives Party (APC) and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over the recent appointment of Alhaji Lawal Daura as Director General of the Department of State Services (DSS) is getting dirtier, with both parties trading accusations and counter accusations.
The PDP is sticking to its claim that Daura is a member of the APC, and could, therefore, not hold the sensitive office of Director General of the DSS equivalent of Nigeria’s secret police. The APC has denied this.
But the PDP, yesterday, berated the APC for sticking to its “empty denials”, despite “overwhelming evidence” that the new Director General is an APC member.
PDP National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, in a statement said the desperation by the APC and its spokesperson, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, to suppress the truth is not only reprehensible but also symptomatic of lack of character.
“When the matter first came up, the APC spokesman hurriedly went on air on RayPower where he stated categorically to the nation that he never knew or met “the man”, and that “the man” has never had any contact or dealing whatsoever with the APC, as a party, before his appointment as DSS Director General.
“When we came up with the newspaper advertorial sponsored by the APC wherein it announced Alhaji Daura as a member of its Campaign Intelligence Committee, a very important position vested on him by virtue of his membership of the party, as well as pictures of him with other members of the committee, Lai Mohammed started singing a new tone, insulted PDP leaders as hallucinating out of poverty and asked PDP to produce Daura’s membership card and evidence of registration.
“We ask: is APC demanding that the PDP invade Daura’s house to get his personal card? Or that we should go to Daura to get the APC ward register? How on earth does the APC spokesperson want us to go and ask a man in charge of arresting and detaining people, who hold views contrary to those of his party and government, to give us his party membership card? How on earth can the PDP request and get the APC membership register in Daura’s ward? Who do Lai Mohammed and the APC think they are fooling? Nigerians?” the PDP queried.
But reacting, the National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the party has answered adequately and as responsibly as it can to the charges of the PDP regarding the appointment of Daura, reiterating that at no point was Daura a card-carrying member of the APC.
“We won’t descend to the gutter level of Chief Metuh. We deal with issues and not persons. We have made our point and have since moved on,” the APC spokesperson said.
Mohammed insisted that 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 to be in the news.
According to the APC spokesperson: ‘’The PDP’s statement is the most tortuous yet by the party and, honestly, it sounds more like a compendium of beer parlour gossips and side talks than a serious criticism of a sitting government.”
He added: “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.”
‘’We can only say that we have been justified, and indeed prescient, in our earlier offer to organise a crash course for Mr. Metuh, so that he can more effectively perform his role as 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,’’ the APC said.
Mohammed flatly denied the allegation by the PDP that Daura is a card-carrying member of the APC, and challenged the PDP to publish any evidence it may have to confirm the allegation, adding: “After all, it is trite that he who alleges must prove. In the absence of that, the PDP must call another press conference to publicly apologise to all Nigerians for engaging in bareface lies.”
The PDP in its statement noted that in attempt to defend his party, Lai Mohammed either intentionally failed to tell the truth or exhibited ignorance by trying to equate the DSS with the National Orientation Agency (NOA), the Police Service Commission (PCC), or the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) where a Democrat, Mr. Leon Panetta, was named as head by President Obama.