PDP Accuses APC of Hawking 2023 Presidency

  • Rejects tenure extension for IG Idris

By Nseobong Okon-Ekong in Lagos and Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the presidency of insincerity by promising both the South-east and South-west 2023 presidency in exchange for votes in 2019, dismissing it as a desperate bid to hang on to power.

The main opposition party also rejected the possible extension of the tenure of the Inspector General of Police (IG), Mr. Ibrahim Idris, who is due for retirement on January 3, 2019, having served the Nigeria Police for 35 years.

In a statement yesterday by one of its campaign spokespersons, Prince Kassim Afegbua, the main opposition party wondered how the president could be promising South-east the presidency when his vice president is also promising the South-west the same position in 2023.

According to Afegbua, “In its desperation to hang on to power despite its abysmal failure so far, the APC and the presidency have resorted to trading with the lure of 2023 presidency, promising both the South-east and South-west the 2023 presidency in exchange for votes.”

Afegbua added, “This has exposed the insincerity and dubious intention of the Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government with his empty promise of bequeathing the presidency to the people of the South-east and South-west geopolitical zones in 2023.”

He noted that this is why Nigerians cannot take the APC and the Buhari presidency serious any longer as the country prepares for the 2019 election.

Afegbua noted that the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Boss Mustapha, had told the APC campaign in Owerri, Imo State, while speaking on behalf of Buhari that the president would hand over the reins of power to the South-east, while calling on the people to support the president.

He added that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had also told leaders of the South-west last week to support the re-election of Buhari so as to get the presidency in 2023.

Afegbua stated, “Two principal officers of the same government cannot be fooling Nigerians with vain glorious promises all in the name of re-election. Such discordant tunes by the first and second citizens of our dear country have exposed lack of synergy, and display of double standard and double-speak by chieftains of a government that has continued to display wanton desperation to hold on to power at all cost in the face of monumental failure.

“How can the president be promising South-east the presidency when his vice president is also promising the South-west same position in 2023, all in the name of 2019 re-election?

“This is a clear show of deceit, desperation, crass insincerity and hypocrisy of the highest order.”

PDP Rejects Tenure Extension for IG Idris

In another development, the PDP has rejected the possible extension of the tenure of Idris, who is due for retirement on January 3 next year, having served for 35 years.

Idris, who joined the police in 1984, was appointed IG by President Buhari on March 21, 2016, replacing Mr. Solomon Arase, who retired from the police force on June 21, 2016.

National Publicity Secretary of PDP, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, told journalists in Lagos yesterday that the main opposition party had rejected any attempt to extend the tenure of the IG, describing it as another ploy by the APC-led government to scheme the 2019 general elections in its favour.

Ologbondiyan said Idris, who has been widely criticised for the perceived biased role of his men and officers in the 2018 governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun States, might be retained “to continue the dirty jobs for the APC government during the elections scheduled to hold in February and March, 2019.”

Ologbondiyan, who was accompanied by a colleague in the PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation, Mr. Umar Sani, revealed that the PDP was mindful of other moves by the APC to rig the elections.

“PDP rejects any attempt to extend the tenure of the Inspector General of Police. Our party is aware that the IG has surrounded every commissioner of police with informants and these informants are also to attend political meetings where the commissioners are to participate. They are also to monitor the movement of the various commissioners,” he explained.

The main opposition party urged the IG to insulate the Nigeria Police from partisan politics, adding that from the body language of the president, it was manifestly clear that he was not interested in a free and fair election.

“Look at the way the police commissioners in Akwa Ibom and Rivers States are being transferred, at the least complaint from the opposition APC in those states. We know that those relocation are at the prerogative of the Inspector General of Police, but there is more to it than meets the eye. Why is it that police commissioners in PDP-controlled states, who insist on applying the law without favour are quickly replaced?” he queried.

Buhari had exercised a similar discretion last year when he extended the tenures of all service chiefs pursuant to the powers conferred on the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria by section 218(1) and (2) of the 1999 Constitution as amended.”

The current service chiefs were appointed on July 13, 2015.