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Metuh raises alarm over attempt to tarnish Gbajabiamila’s image

By Cross Udo, Abuja

The erstwhile spokesman of the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olisa Metuh, has raised the alarm over an alleged attempt to tarnish the image of the Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila.

Metuh also commended the presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the February 25 elections, Mr Peter Obi, for always speaking his mind in constructive criticism of government policies.

The erstwhile PDP spokesman warned Nigerians against peddling lies and blackmail against public officials for political gains.

In a statement in Abuja yesterday, Metuh said, “I have just read the clarification by the Chief of Staff to the President, Rt. Hon Femi Gbajabiamila on the widely circulated and very damaging report alleging the allocation of N10 billion to renovate his official residence.

“From all indications, there appears to be a clear and present plan to attack, vilify, and tarnish the image of the Chief of Staff to the President.

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“It is indeed alarming that our democracy has descended to the realm of gossip, lies, and outright falsehood machinated by anti-democratic forces seeking to further breed resentments, bitterness, and division disagreements in the polity.

“While not holding brief for any interest, I believe, especially from my standpoint as a non-partisan advocate for the deepening of participatory democracy and its tenets of social justice and good governance, such participation must be devoid of falsehood, political, creed, and ethnic undertones. It must be guided by the demands of truth, justice, and patriotism at all times.

“Targeting a government official such as the Chief of Staff to the President with gossip, lies and outright falsehood is not the way to go. No matter how strongly one feels about any issue, lies cannot yield the desired result for nation development we all yearn for; only the truth will.

“Having suffered from one of the worst media trials and persecution, albeit State-sponsored, I know what it means to be confronted with a web of lies built on conspiracy.

“In my days of partisan politics, I never shared the same political ideology with Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila but I have always known him to be from a very respectable pedigree with family values, way back in Mercy Eneli Street, Surulere, Lagos and we know him to be from a wealthy background.

“Just a few months ago, Mr President himself made a clear confirmation of confidence in his Chief of staff in the light of the rumours and falsehood of his demanding money from people.

“I do not know whether Femi’s attacks are sponsored internally as a case of intense rivalry or externally as a way of disorganising the government, but I know that our present style of pull-him-down politics is too destructive and does not add any value to nation building.

“The idea of mostly young Nigerians to embrace and feast on destructive engagements may ultimately destroy our democracy. I hope this is not the intention of the sponsors.

“To deepen our democracy, we need to engage in constructive opposition built on facts and offering of alternatives and options to government policies and programmes. I will always appreciate the style of the Presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Mr Peter Obi, in always offering his own opinions on major policies.

“I strongly believe that this is the time for all Nigerians, irrespective of partisan affiliation to embrace best practices in participatory democracy by proffering and focusing on solutions for the unity, cohesiveness and economic prosperity of our nation.”



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