Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus, has condemned the alleged desperation by the federal government and its ruling party, All Progressives Congress (APC), to frame him up with some â€œblatant fabrications ostensibly to distract him from carrying out his responsibility of rebuilding his party.â€
The national chairman in a statement issued yesterday by his Special Assistant on Media, Ike Abonyi, said he would ordinarily not want to join issues with the government on a matter already in court, but noted regrettably that the administration has great contempt for the court and the rule of law, and has instead chosen to use blackmail and media persecution to defame and discredit their enemies.
Secondus described this as a gimmick which has failed because Nigerians have come to know the antics of the â€œdrowning government.â€
The statement quoted the PDP national chairman as saying that the federal government and its agency â€œin its desperation to forge documents and defame him, forgot to reconcile their lies; the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammad, and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) couldnâ€™t agree on the date of the purported money collection and whether it was collected by him (Secondus) or by a faceless fictional Chukwura that has no surname.
â€œWhile they may have embarked on a wide search since 2015 for the surname of the so-called aide of the national chairman, Mohammed claimed in his press conference on March 29, 2018, that Secondus collected the money on February 19, 2015, while the EFCC on its part, said it was collected on April 16, 2018, 18 days after the said money was collected on February 9, 2015, and in another version, still quoted the same EFCC claiming February 2, 2015.â€
Secondus maintained that not even the blackmail and intimidation lined up against the opposition by the federal government would be enough to stop him from carrying out the reform of his party, the PDP, as the programme is aimed at repositioning the party with a view to rescuing Nigeria from the â€œdisaster called APC administration.â€
He described as unfortunate and tragic the fact that anti-corruption agency like EFCC founded and nurtured by PDP administration to tackle the issue of corruption in the system had to turn itself into a pawn in the hand of APC administration to witch-hunt and harass perceived enemies of government just to impress and keep job.
He challenged the government and any agency that have anything against him, because he is trying to rebrand his party, to bring such evidence to the court and stop character assassination in the media.
â€œThereâ€™s no need to be talking about a case pending in court in the newspapers. If the government has anything to say, they should file it before the court as demanded.
â€The statement said the national chairmanâ€™s office is aware of a grand design by the government to tarnish his image,â€ adding that the move would fail.
Secondus challenged the government to come out with the vouchers with which he was said to have signed, adding that such signature would also be subjected to forensic analysis.
According to him, â€œI never collected any money from anywhere. I didnâ€™t ask anyone to collect money for me as well, and I didnâ€™t sign any voucher to collect any money.
â€œIt is pure blackmail which will never work. â€œIf they are cooking up anything, with the aim of blackmailing me, it will fail. I know that the task of uprooting this non-performing government would be horrendous. But God is always on the side of the people. â€œI can understand the frustration of a party that enjoyed enormous goodwill from Nigerians three years ago but got it squandered with its â€˜nepoticâ€™ and insensitive administrationâ€
â€œNo amount of cheap blackmail and treachery will return the APC from the exit gate where Nigerians already pushed them to, awaiting 2019.
â€œThe departure date for the APC has already been announced and the flight schedule would not be cancelled, because Nigerians cannot wait to see them off.â€
Finally, the media office of the national chairman said they are not oblivious of the fact that this government does not believe in court because they see rule of law as antithetical to their own agenda and understanding of democracy, but noted emphatically that truth must prevail over lies and propaganda especially as the populace has cried out to God for a rescue.