PDP, APC In Messy War Of Attrition

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• Ruling Party Insists On Tinubu Presidency Deal

• APC Alleges Plot To Freeze Bank Accounts, Ground Aircraft

• Group Dares Buhari To Chatham House Debate With Jonathan

THE battle for the Presidency between the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) is getting tougher and unregulated, as  both sides  begin to throw all weapons onto the battlefield.

    Femi Fani-Kayode, the Director, Media and Publicity of the PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation (PDPPCO) is unrelenting, insisting that the APC has failed  to assertively debunk allegation of a secret deal to replace its Vice Presidential Candidate, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, with the party’s National Leader, Senator Ahmed Bola Tinubu, should the APC win the March 28 Presidential election. The APC fired back, maintaining that the ruling party was jittery over success of the Chatham House, London speech delivered by its Presidential Candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd). 

  A statement issued and signed by Malam Garba Shehu, director in the General Muhammadu Buhari Campaign, alleged that President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration had perfected plans to freeze banks accounts and ground aircraft belonging to stalwarts of the opposition. Persons on the  PDP hit list, according to the APC, include Tinubu and Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State.  

   Also yesterday, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the National Publicity Secretary of the APC, in a separate statement, said that, in spite of various ‘plots’ — ranging from allegations of certificate saga and fabricated medical report against Gen. Buhari, to those of election postponement, disproportionate Permanent Voter Cared (PVC) distribution/collection and excuse of insecurity in the Northeast — Buhari’s campaign has actually waxed stronger. 

   But, Fani-Kayode, described Lai Mohammed’s response to the alleged Tinubu Presidency plot as feeble. He said that, rather than respond to the reported “conspiratorial plot,” Lai Mohammed claimed that the issue was meant to “divert attention from the runaway success of the APC presidential candidate, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, at the Chatham House in London last Thursday.” 

   According to Fani-Kayode, “From the APC response, it is clear that they have something to hide.  They clearly cannot deny this dangerous plot.   We are not surprised by the denials of the APC in this matter. They are and will always be a party that is built on lies and that is headed by liars.”

   Fani-Kayode also decried what he called a consistent attack on the President and PDP leader, Goodluck Jonathan by the APC.

  Expressing shock at the reasons for the attack on the President, Fani-Kayode said: “The APC are now throwing stones and hurling baseless allegations and insults at our President, our leaders and our party. They forget that those who live in glass houses should not throw stones. 

  “It is not the PDP whose de facto leader was involved in an out-of-court settlement with the American Department of Justice for dealing in heroin. It is not the PDP whose Presidential candidate killed people by the application of retroactive legislation and that sent innocent men to their early graves by sending them to jail unlawfully for hundreds of years without any recourse to due process. It is not the PDP whose leader has cornered 90 per cent of the contracts in all APC-controlled states in Yoruba land and that runs the affairs of the party as if it is his personal state.”

   He continued: “It is not the PDP whose leaders play religious politics and who cannot make a distinction between a political party and a cult. It is not the PDP whose leader went running to Paris; prostrated before those he met there and asked than to drop all criminal charges against him.  We stand by our claims and the only thing that is outlandish in this matter is the bizarre and insatiable lust for power of the APC and those that are premising their presidential ambition on someone else’s demise.”

On the heels of Fani-Kayode’s statement yesterday, came another call from a PDP group challenging Buhari, as APC candidate, to a debate with incumbent President Jonathan of the PDP in Chatham House, London.

A statement signed by Onoriode Akpe, the National Coordinator of Wind of Hope group in Abuja, said the call for a debate was in the “quest to deepen democracy which thrives on robust and constructive deliberations, that aids the electorate in making informed decisions”.

 Still on Chatham House speech, yet another group, Move on Nigeria, through its National Coordinator, Mr. Clem Aguiyi, said “the Chatham House speech by Buhari would have passed for a well-crafted speech if he was a first timer in Nigeria’s corridor of power and we were ignorant of his antecedents.  Whatever is the pretense, Buhari has ruled this country as a military dictator. Nigerians are fully aware of his reputation no matter how tried to run away from his past.” 

 But the APC spokesman, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the claim by the Jonathan Campaign Organisation that Tinubu plans to become Vice President through the back door was designed to divert attention from the issues raised by the APC presidential candidate, Gen. Buhari, at the Chatham House in London last Thursday.

    He maintained that the PDP and the Jonathan administration had not responded to the salient issues raised by the presentation of its presidential candidate and “still do not have any answer to what has now become an epochal moment that has separated the wheat from the chaff.” 

   “Our presidential candidate’s globally-acclaimed outing has presented Nigerians, and indeed the global community, with a choice between a bumbling, ineffective, incoherent, clueless, visionless and incompetent president and an assertive, knowledgeable, dignified, purposeful and principled President-in-waiting.

 “Having failed to discredit that outing with a rented crowd, some of whom confessed to have been paid to carry placards they do not even understand, the PDP and the Jonathan administration have now resorted

to making nauseating claims that are totally untrue, absolutely incomprehensible and nothing but sheer bunkum,” he said.

    APC added the claim of Tinubu’s secret moves to supplant Osibanjo is the latest in a series of desperate moves by the PDP and the Jonathan Administration to divert focus since the emergence of Gen. Buhari as the APC presidential candidate, and the clearest indication yet that they have no answer to the unstoppable momentum of a man of history.



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