The National Working Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party on Wednesday warned the All Progressives Congress against any attempt to frame up the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar over his comments on national issues.
It said it has taken note of the statement by the APC warning Atiku against making comments on the state of the nation and that his “patriotic reactions” to pressing national issues amounted to a felony.
The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan in a statement emphatically stated that Atiku’s comments on national issues had been patriotic and within his constitutional right of freedom of speech, not only as a citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria but also as a former Vice President, as well as a leader and the presidential candidate of the PDP.
He said that as a responsible political party, PDP boldly stated that none of Atiku’s statements fell within the realm of felony in anyway whatsoever.
Ologbondiyan added, “However, intelligence available to the PDP largely posits that the threats against Atiku 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.
“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.”
Ologbondiyan said that while the PDP was in power, it never gagged the APC and its leaders, including Buhari, from exercising their freedom of speech and freedom after speech in line with the laws.
According to him, Buhari issued over 160 statements while he was in the opposition, including alleged inflammatory remarks like the one that Buhari called on his supporters to take their fate in their own hands.
He said it is instructive to note that none of the PDP administrations threatened Buhari over such comments.
He also stated that it was quite disturbing that the APC alleged was attacking Atiku for commending British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson for appointing 39 years old Nigerian, Kemi Badenoch, as a minister in his cabinet.
He said, “Contrary to 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 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 Buhari, whose cabinet has no place for our youths.”
Ologbondiyan said that instead of attacking Atiku for standing for the nation’s energetic and focused young men and women, the expectation of Nigerians is that APC will accept its perceived failures and advise Buhari against total disregard for young Nigerians.
He said, “Furthermore, the PDP notes the reference by APC to President Buhari as a “sitting” President. Our party, however, states that what Nigeria needs at a time like this is a working President, not a President that sits down while our country becomes the world headquarters of poverty; not a President that relaxes in an arm-chair while insecurity festers and our economy continues to nosedive to the extent that Ghana has overtaken our nation as the number one recipient for Foreign Direct Investment in West Africa.
“This is why the PDP stands with Nigerians in their determination to retrieve Atiku’s stolen mandate at the tribunal and no amount of threats by the APC can detract from this resolve.”