Olalekan Adetayo, Abuja
The Presidency on Friday warned Nigerians to be cautious of the recent apology offered by the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Uche Secondus.
It said the “less-than-honest apology” was borne out of the opposition party’s desperation to regain power.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said this in a statement made available to journalists.
Shehu said just like the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, had said, there are heavy moral duties that go with apologies if the culprits want to be taken seriously.
He said, “The PDP is desperate to recapture power because it no longer has unhindered access to national resources for private uses and its apology should be seen in this context.
“The PDP has not even acknowledged the fact that it plundered the national economy, and for a party that dismissed the anti-corruption war as a political witch hunt, it is impossible to believe that its public apology comes from the bottom of the heart.
“Even desperate thieves apologise because they are caught and not because they are incapable of repeating the crime if they had another opportunity.
“We believe that the PDP should not only apologise for the imposition of candidates, and the culture of impunity, but must also come clean and acknowledge that they participated in large scale corruption and massive diversions of public funds to private pockets while poverty was ravaging the ordinary Nigerians.
“We challenge individual PDP leaders to publicly and voluntarily tell Nigerians how much they stole and then agree to cough up their illegal acquisitions of wealth if they want their apology to be taken seriously.
“Apology borne by desperation to recapture power without a desire to admit how much they stole and the reluctance to return the loot is morally hollow.”
While saying the apology should go beyond rebranding, the presidential spokesman said Nigerians were interested in brands but they want their money back.
He said for such apology to gain acceptance, the offenders must first of all show remorse; then return that which was unlawfully taken or restore the damage caused the nation.
Thereafter, he said such offenders should commit to never doing the wrong they did again.
He said the PDP had done none of these for the party to be taken seriously by anyone.
Instead of addressing the issue raised by the Mohammed, the presidential spokesman noted that the PDP veered off to accuse the present administration of borrowing money.