The All Progressives Congress and the Peoples Democratic Party on Monday chided former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Attahiru Jega, for calling on Nigerians to ditch both parties in 2023.
The governing APC and the opposition PDP, in separate statements in Abuja, dismissed Jegaâ€™s calls as misguided.
They were both reacting to an interview granted the BBC Hausa Service by the former INEC boss, monitored in Abuja, on Monday.
In the interview, Jega enjoined Nigerians not to trust either party with power come 2023 because they both failed when given the opportunities to serve.
He said that both political parties had been tried and had failed to deliver over the last 20 years.
Jega likened both parties to Siamese twins on the issue of corruption, noting that the Nigerian nation would be better off with a credible alternative platform which the Peoples Redemption Party offers.
The former INEC helmsman said, â€œThe bad things these parties committed in those past years, Nigerians should never give their trust to the parties again. It is now very clear that these parties would never change, even if they are given another chance.â€
He pointed out that the two parties were two sides of the same coin because persons hitherto vilified as corrupt within the PDP, simply slid into the APC and continued business as usual.
Jega said, â€œThe APC and PDP have formed governments; we were all witnesses. They did not come with a good intention to make amends. If you look at the fight against corruption, all these corrupt people that were supposed to be prosecuted, they sneaked into the APC.
â€œWe are hearing nothing. That is why Iâ€™ve since registered with the Peopleâ€™s Redemption Party. I am now a PRP member looking for ways to help Nigeria.
He said, â€œSince 1979, Iâ€™ve been teaching in the university, for 40 years now. So, from what I read and observed, when I was chairman of INEC, honestly, the way I see our politicians conducting elections and from the manner they represent their people when elected, honestly it is something to be afraid of.â€
In response, the APC in a statement titled, â€œJegaâ€™s outbursts on APC wrong, untenable,â€ signed by the party Secretary, Senator John Akpanudoedehe, described Jegaâ€™s prognosis as wrong.
He said, â€œWhile the PDP failed to meet the expectations of Nigerians as a government and opposition party, the APC is thriving, healthy and assiduously cleaning the massive mess left behind by the PDP which failed to deliver democratic dividends to the people of Nigeria after being in charge of the country for 16 years.
â€œWhile Professor Jega is right about the PDP, a party under which he served as the chairman of the nationâ€™s election management body, we reject his comparison of the APC with the PDP.â€
The PDP in its statement titled, â€œPDP to Jega: APC and Buhari Failed Nigerians, Not PDPâ€¦ says comparison a provocative disservice to Nigeriansâ€, and signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan.
â€œThe PDP cautions former chairman of the INEC, Prof. Attahiru Jega, not to further infuriate Nigerians by trying to dry-clean the rudderless, inept and debauched APC, despite the unbearable devastation the APC has brought to our nation in a space of six years.
â€œThe PDP asserts that trying to compare the incompetent and decadent APC to the highly productive and development-oriented PDP is an unpardonable disservice to our nation and calls to question the sense of judgment of Profession Jega.â€