The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has challenged the All Progressives Congress (APC) to explain why the opposition party is so keen on having the Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega, stay in office to conduct the shifted general elections.
PDP National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, in a statement issued on Saturday, said the APC is showing signs of “feverish fixation and huge interest in his (Jega’s) stay in office” which it said, calls for concern.
Metuh, in the statement, said it is more than curious that the APC “has continued to fabricate stories and show undue interest on Prof. Jega,” adding that it raises a lot of questions for the opposition and the INEC Chairman.
“Undoubtedly, the frenzy, hysteria and spate with which the APC has been inventing stories regarding Prof. Jega’s stay in office even when nothing suggests that such was on the table, raise a lot of issues.
“We ask, is there any underlining issue or arrangement between APC and Prof. Jega which the opposition is hell-bent to protect, informing its anxiety and apprehension towards his stay in office?
“While it is noted that the APC is a party of one week, one lie, we in the PDP look beneath the surfaces to the deeper issues propelling the lies.
“We therefore challenge the APC to come out clean and tell Nigerians the real reason behind their false alarms and uncontrolled nervousness regarding Prof. Jega ahead of the 2015 general elections.
“Finally, we wish to remind the leadership of INEC that Nigerians are monitoring its activities and series of unfolding political events ahead of the elections, and will not accept anything less than the conduct of credible, free and fair general elections come March 28 and April 11, 2015”, the party said.
Meanwhile, the APC also on Saturday came down heavily on the PDP for alleging that one of its leaders, Bola Tinubu, was planning to become Nigeria President by default.
The opposition party said that the allegation raised by the ruling party at a press briefing by the Director of Media and Publicity of the PDP presidential campaign organisation, Femi Fani-Kayode, is an indication that the ruling party is “delusional”, having “descent to the abyss in its desperate bid to retain power.”
Fani-Kayode had on Friday alleged that Tinubu, in a bid to become president by default, has put the APC Vice Presidential candidate, Prof Yemi Osinbajo on oath to resign after six months in office so that he (Tinubu) can become the Vice President.
He said further that Tinubu wanted the seat of the Vice President on the belief that its presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, will die and he (Tinubu) will then assume office as president.
Buhari, Fani-Kayode said, is alleged to be terminally ill with Cancer, Asthma and is also suffering Dementia.
However, the APC in a statement by Garba Shehu, Director of Media and Publicity of the APC Presidential Campaign Organisation, said the allegation raised by PDP were all lies.
He said that the PDP had become “so delusional that it now fabricates outright lies to blackmail and denigrate the APC and its presidential candidate, General Muhammdu Buhari and Vice Presidential candidate, Prof Yemi Osinbajo to divert attention from the mess it has created in every facet of the lives of Nigerians”.
According to him, there are too many signs of desperation by the PDP to hold on to power, even when the elections are yet to be conducted.
Shehu reminded the PDP how the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), an appointee of the President, allegedly used his office to do a counter-affidavit and supporting written address in giving tacit approval to a nocturnal group’s desire at truncating the use of card readers in assuring on the transparency of the general election.
He said: “An online news blog, Sahara reporters, made copious public display of the two documents; the AGF, in doing a volte face, denied giving authorisation to the staff members of his Office in that ignoble service to the Nigerian state!
“A patriotic Nigerian soldier, Captain Sagir Koli, had done a painstaking and elaborate audio recording of the meeting in which the Presidential order for the rigging of the June 22, 2014 Ekiti governorship election in favour of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was handed down.
“Meanwhile, Ayo Fayose, Jelili Adesiyan and Musiliu Obanikoro had variously made statements in attesting to the veracity of the nocturnal meeting; President Goodluck Jonathan, pressured to probe the incident, peremptorily foreclosed such investigative check when he said, “If someone comes up with a spurious allegation that has no substance and the person disappears, of course, what do you want me to do?” Obviously, this President is not mindful of his oath of allegiance to the Federal Republic of Nigeria”
APC, in another statement, described as sickening and outlandish the claim by the Jonathan Campaign Organisation that Tinubu plans to become Nigeria’s President through the back door.
The party, in statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Lai Mohammed, said such allegation was designed to divert attention from the success of its presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, at the Chatham House in London last Thursday.
In a statement issued in London on Saturday, Mohammed said the PDP and the Jonathan administration still do not have any answer to what has now become an epochal moment that has separated the wheat from the chaff.
“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,’’ the party stated.
APC said the claim is the latest in a series of desperate moves by the PDP and the Jonathan administration since Buhari’s emergence as the APC presidential candidate.
“They have thrown everything imaginable at Gen. Buhari, but he has continued to wax stronger and stronger: They said he was not qualified, that he was too old, they then fabricated a medical report of an illness of their own choice, sponsored death wish adverts against him and instituted a myriad of court cases to stop him.
“After they failed to stop him, they went after the election itself, using the PVCs as a tool to launch a campaign for postponement and, when they realised that would not work, came up with the bogey of insecurity in the North East to force a postponement of the election, hoping they can buy enough time to revive their electoral misfortune.
“With everything working against them, they engaged in a show of shame at The Chatham House that backfired badly, on the heels of their bare-faced lies that Gen. Buhari was hospitalised in London.
“The preposterous claim of a secret oath is reminiscent of what they do in their own party,’’ the party said.
APC said in as much as it has so far refrained from engaging Fani-Kayode in his game of character assassination, abuses and irresponsible name calling, the party is becoming seriously concerned that he may be caving in under pressure.