The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) caucus in the Senate has accused the Muhammadu Buhari-led government of selective anti-corruption campaign.
Specifically, the opposition lawmakers accused the Department of State Services (DSS) of harassing and intimidating officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as well as PDP members in Rivers, Abia and Akwa Ibom states.
But the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) cautioned that the moves of the intelligence agency should not be politicised, saying those found culpable of corrupt tendencies should face the full wrath of the law.
Speaking with newsmen in Abuja on Thursday, Godswill Akpabio, Senate minority leader, argued that no provision in the nation’s laws allowed the agency to meddle in partisan politics.
He tasked the security agency to focus its energy on nipping Boko Haram in the bud.
While calling on the president to treat all Nigerians equally, irrespective of political affiliation, he harped on the need for the president to call the DSS to order, explaining that a committee had been set up to report the matter to the Abdulsalam Abubakar-led Peace Committee.
Expressing PDP worries, Akpabio said: “The PDP caucus is worried, alarmed, and shocked by recent development in our polity where the DSS is now involved in electoral matters. A situation where officials of INEC in Rivers State, Akwa Ibom and Abia sates – (all PDP states) are daily being arrested, detained and questioned on politically-motivated corruption allegations, is worrisome and spells doom for our democracy unless the trend is reversed.
“No democracy survives without a viable opposition in any part of the world. INEC is supposed to be an independent commission and its officials ought to be shielded from partisanship.”
The PDP has 49 lawmakers in the Senate, in contrast to APC’s 59.
Also, at a courtesy call on the PDP National Working Committee (NWC) on Thursday in Abuja, the legislators passed a vote of confidence on the NWC on the moves aimed at reducing the workers by 50 percent and slash the salaries of those left by another 50 percent.
But in a swift reaction, Dino Melaye (APC, Kogi West), chairman, Senate Ad-hoc Committee on Publicity, described the allegations as baseless, insisting that those without skeletons in their cupboard should not be afraid.
He described the actions of the DSS so far as legal and constitutional.