Iyobosa Uwugiaren in Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) reacted to the barrage of attacks by presidency officials on its presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, saying it was evidence that President Muhammadu Buhari’s were jittery and afraid he would lose to its candidate in the 2019 general elections.
All Progressives Congress (APC) governors, who met with Buhari wednesday in Abuja, however, replied the PDP and said they were ready to take on Atiku, stating that Buhari was sure to win the impending contest.
The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, while addressing a press conference yesterday in Abuja noted several comments and personal attacks by the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, as well as other officials of the Buhari presidency, and said they had been making deliberate efforts to attack the character of the party’s presidential candidate.
Ologbondiyan said the PDP was aware of how the unnerved and intimidated Buhari presidency had unleashed its officials, spin doctors and hack writers with billions of naira, siphoned from the national treasury, to fabricate lies, spurious allegations and smear campaign against its candidate.
It warned that the president and the APC, in their desperation, should not attempt to confuse personal economic prosperity that comes from hard work, as in the case of Atiku, with corrupt enrichment.
The PDP said that it is only in an administration like the Buhari’s that thrives on lies and deception that characters like Mohammed, could become a minister.
It stated, “It is, therefore, a heinous perversion for Lai Mohammed, who has earned himself a notoriety for lying, to the extent Nigerians now replace his first name, ‘Lai’ with ‘lie’, to attempt to suggest that the choice of Atiku Abubakar is a return to era of corruption, whereas President Buhari is internationally reputed to be presiding over the most corrupt administration in the history of our nation.
“Since the successful conduct of our presidential primary and the popular emergence of Atiku Abubakar, the Buhari presidency and the All Progressives Congress (APC) have become intimidated; gone into panic mode and ignobly resorted to trading on rumour and spurious allegations, having failed in their evil machination to scuttle our presidential primary ab initio.
“While it is understandable that President Muhammadu Buhari is discomfited and afraid to face a popular candidate in any elections due to his incompetence, for which Nigerians earnestly seek his replacement, engaging in smear campaign, as a means of survival, is completely reprehensible and cowardly.
“That President Buhari failed in leading a successful personal economic life does not mean that others cannot succeed without being corrupt.”
PDP said unlike Buhari, who had failed in managing both private and public enterprises; who also confessed his failure to successfully manage his own farm and has made no personal contribution to the national development, its presidential candidate, is internationally known as a hardworking, resourceful, versatile and successful private entrepreneur, and “vast employer of labour; an ingenious citizen”, who had made immeasurable contribution to national development both in public and private lives.
The PDP pointed out that Nigerians were aware that while its candidate has never been indicted for corruption or facing any corruption charge, President Buhari is now overburdened by indictments and allegations of humongous corruption, for which he has failed to provide explanations.
The party noted, “Since Lai Mohammed is talking about era of corruption, we charge him to speak up on the leaked memo detailing the stealing of N9 trillion ($25billion dollars) through underhand oil contract at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Ministry of Petroleum, under President Buhari’s direct supervision.
PDP further stated, “Lai Mohammed should speak up on the alleged siphoning of N1.4 trillion through sleazy oil subsidy regimes and those benefitting from the alleged N58 hidden tax per litre which Nigerians have continued to bear since the fuel price increase from N87 to presumably unsubsidized cost of N145.
“Lai Mohammed should speak up on why the Buhari Presidency is suppressing investigation into alleged use of 18 unregistered companies to lift and divert N1.1 trillion worth of crude oil in 2017 and the President’s alleged link with the beneficiaries of this fraud.
“Can Lai Mohammed tell Nigerians how the Buhari era allegedly presided over the stealing of over N18 billion from the funds approved for rehabilitation of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and rebuilding of six northeast states ravaged by insurgency?
“Can Lai Mohammed tell Nigerians how over N25 billion meant for health needs of Nigerians was stolen by the Presidency cabal from the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), and how the same cabal siphoned the $322 million repatriated by Switzerland, under the guise of sharing the funds to the poor?”