The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) have continued to betray their inner aversion towards the candidacy of Muhammadu Buhari and have indeed abandoned his campaigns for the February 14, presidential election.
The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh, said in a statement on Saturday that most leaders of the APC do not believe in the personality of Mr. Buhari, resulting in flip-flops and double standards that have been the fate of his presidential campaign.
The PDP said while key APC leaders such as former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Kano State Governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso, presidential aspirant, Sam Nda-Isaiah have since abandoned Mr. Buhari and his rickety campaign to an inclement fate, Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola has not been able to hide his preference for a younger, more educated and more articulate President who is able to connect with the current generation of citizens as embodied in President Goodluck Jonathan.
“Recently, in his failed attempt to discredit the PDP Lagos state governorship candidate, Jimi Agbaje, Governor Fashola betrayed himself by stating that Agbaje, who is only 57 years was too old to govern Lagos state. This is indeed the height of hypocrisy considering the fact that the same Governor Fashola is on the other hand campaigning for a 73-year-old Buhari to become the President of Nigeria.
Hear Fashola, “If you put an old man there, he cannot do it. If you call him in the night, he may not pick your calls”.
And we ask, who better fits into this picture than General Buhari who could not remember the name of his running mate at his campaign rally in Owerri and nearly fell while trying to climb up the stage in Calabar.
“It is instructive to note despite his later attempt to remedy the situation, deep inside his heart, Governor Fashola harbours an aversion to a Buhari Presidency as evidenced in his earlier statements.
“Recently, while speaking to journalists, Fashola said, ‘When 40-year-olds are now leading nations and our 40-year-olds can’t even get to the Senate, they can’t even become governors. Are we really preparing this generation for the future? Those are the issues really. We cannot point to success in other countries and refuse to do what those people are doing to get things right’.
“Is this not as many Nigerians put it, a coded way of saying Buhari is now way too old for Aso Rock?” the PDP said.
The ruling party however said it is not surprised at the double standard being displayed by APC leaders describing such as “one of their stock-in-trade”.
It recalled that the former APC Interim Deputy National Secretary and now its Kaduna state governorship candidate and Buhari’s seeming supporter, Nasir El-Rufai, had described him as “perpetually unelectable”.
“He was explicit: ‘Mallam El-Rufai wishes to remind General Buhari that he has remained perpetually unelectable because his record as military head of state, and afterwards, is a warning that many Nigerians have wisely heeded. His insensitivity to Nigeria’s diversity and his parochial focus are already well known’.
“In a related press interview, the same El-Rufai said he was 25 years old when Buhari was head of state and wondered why he will not allow the younger generation as symbolized in President Jonathan to have a shot at the position.
“According to him ‘I don’t understand that at all and I call on young people of Nigeria to take their future into their hands and ensure that in the next election, they vote for a new generation of leaders. The whole world is now being ruled by young people”.
The party also recalled that the APC leader, Bola Tinubu, has a masked repugnance for Buhari informing his questioning of his integrity over their botched power sharing deal in 2011 when he said of Buhari “I don’t believe a man running for the president of Nigeria and not the Emir-ship of Katsina should not have the needed flexibility. To be a good leader, you have to be flexible and accommodating”.
The PDP then described the current sojourn between Buhari and Tinubu as a marriage of strange bedfellows driven by a very selfish cabal led by Tinubu for whom Buhari is a mere pawn in their quest for access to the economic and political interests of the nation.
The PDP said the APC has remained a party of deceitful persons who specialize in treachery, lies and cheap blackmail. It recalled that the APC, a party which descended so low to lie about the age of its 53 years old youth leader, had also in June last year issued a statement wherein it alleged that a plane carrying Kano state Governor Rabiu Kwankwaso to attend an APC rally in Ekiti to support former Governor Kayode Fayemi’s re-election bid was denied landing permission in Akure, only for Kwankwaso’s Director of Press Affairs, Baba Dantiye, to announce that his boss was at another event in Kano and had no plans to travel to Ekiti state.
It also recalled that in August last year, the APC queried the presence of officials of the Department of State Service (DSS) in Osun state ahead of the August 9, 2014 governorship election, when in actual fact, the APC governor of Osun state also formally requested for their deployment.
“Lately, this same party devised means to hack into INEC’s data-base, clone the Permanent Voter’s Card and ultimately compromise the outcome of the elections yet has continued to deny even in the face of clear proof of culpability”, the PDP claimed.
Calling on Nigerians to note that the APC is a party of dubious and unreliable persons pursuing narrow and parochial interests, the PDP urged them to continue to rally round President Jonathan, who has consistently shown his sincerity and forthrightness on all national issues.