Nigeria: 'APC, Buhari Jittery Over Collapsing Defence At Tribunal'

Buhari's receiving his certificate (file photo).
1 August 2019

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described the warning by the All Progressives Congress (APC) to its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, to refrain from making comments on the state of the nation as clear indication that the party is jittery.

The PDP stated that Atiku's comments on national issues have been patriotic and within his constitutional right of freedom of speech, not only as a citizen of this Federal Republic, but also a former Vice President, as well as a leader and Presidential candidate of the PDP, the party that commands the followership and solidarity of overwhelming majority of Nigerians.

The national publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said "as a responsible political party, we boldly state that none of the statements made by our presidential candidate falls within the realm of felony in anyway whatsoever.

"However, intelligence available to the PDP largely posits that the threats against Atiku Abubakar emanated from certain persons around the Buhari Presidency who are jittery that President Muhammadu Buhari's defence is collapsing at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, for which they have become desperate to use underhand methods to stop Atiku Abubakar.

"The PDP invites Nigerians to note that the renewed allegations against Atiku Abubakar came after a witness told the court, as has been publicly reported, that the Army never required any enlisted officer to submit his WAEC certificate, in total contradiction to claims that Mr. President's certificates were in the custody of the Army.

"Our party counsels the APC to rather get ready for justice instead of seeking ways to frame Atiku Abubakar on flimsy and unconstitutional grounds.

"Moreover, the APC is reminded that while the PDP was in power, it never gagged the APC and its leaders, including President Buhari, from exercising their freedom of speech and freedom after speech, in line with our laws.

"We note that General Muhammadu Buhari issued over 160 statements while he was in the opposition, including inflammatory remarks like the one that called on his supporters to take their fate in their own hands. It is instructive to note that none of the PDP administrations threatened General Buhari over such comments.

"Furthermore, it is quite disturbing that the APC is attacking Atiku Abubakar for commending British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, for appointing 39 years old Nigerian, Kemi Badenoch, as a minister in his cabinet.

"Contrary to President Buhari's projection to the world that Nigerian youths are lazy and should not be given active role in governance in our country, other nations are finding accommodation for our youths. Atiku Abubakar cannot but commend such world leaders, no matter whose ox is gored.

"It is also instructive to note that the APC has further shown its disdain for the Nigerian youth as being demonstrated by President Buhari, whose cabinet has no place for our youths.

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