The All Progressives Congress has denied the allegation of browbeating members of opposition parties to join it.
The APC’s comment is in reaction to the outcry by northern governors elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who alleged the former of intimidating two governors from the latter into defection.
The governor of Cross Rivers, Ben Ayade and that of Zamfara State, Bello Matawalle, dumped the PDP late May and June respectively.
“All governors of the PDP who have joined the ruling APC in recent times, did so because of intimidation. Most of our members are also being intimidated persistently. We want the intimidation stopped because we are not comfortable with it,” the Governor of Taraba State Governor, Darius Ishaku, said on Wednesday, after a meeting with colleagues in Abuja.
However, the ruling APC, in a counter-statement released on Friday, by its interim National Secretary, John Akpanudoedehe, described Mr Ishaku’s allegation as “comical, laughable and devoid of truth.”
The APC reiterated that the defected governors and members of the PDP did so because of President Muhammadu Buhari multi-sectoral achievements and pro-people social interventions.
The party accused the PDP of exhibiting similar traits when it was in power.
“Nigerians will recall how the PDP government, in 2003, muscled and eventually collapsed the main opposition party, Alliance for Democracy (AD) by illegally deploying state machinery, aided by security services then at their disposal to capture five of the six states in the Southwest geo-political zone under the control of AD.
“The PDP mastered and weaponised the undemocratic and devious strategy in the well-reported inducement of National Assembly members in the then PDP government’s rejected and failed bid to amend the constitution for tenure extension aka Third Term Agenda.
“From Ekiti, Anambra, Plateau, Oyo and Bayelsa states, democratically-elected governors were unconstitutionally removed from office by the then PDP government through manipulation of state assemblies and other gestapo tactics. Elected governors were jailed and some forced into exile,” the APC said.
It also accused the then ruling PDP of overpowering All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) into forming a ‘Government of National Unity’ and literally crushed the Progressive People’s Alliance (PPA) as leaders of the latter defected and joined its forces.