The ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) clashed, weekend, over the bomb blast which targeted a former head of state, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), in Kaduna.
Buhari, a top member of the APC, escaped by the whiskers, when his convoy was hit by the blast on Wednesday.
Another blast targeted a Muslim cleric, also in Kaduna, moments earlier.
An APC senator, Professor Olusola Adeyeye, was blunt in declaring that the PDP should take responsibility for what he called “the assassination attempt”on Buhari.
Ex-Niger-Delta militant leader, Alhaji Mujahid Dokubo-Asari, in a curious twist, pooh-poohed the alleged assassination attempt, saying it was stage-managed by the former head of state.
In the meantime, the Primate of the Anglican Church, Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh, said the attack on Buhari was an indication that nobody in the country was free from bombings by the Islamist Boko Haram group.
‘APC is culpable’
The PDP, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metah, said the APC had been promoting insurgency through the actions of some of its leaders on the grounds that the insurgents were after President Goodluck Jonathan and the PDP, adding: “If the APC leaders had joined other well-meaning Nigerians in condemning acts of terrorism at the early stage, those behind them would not have been bold enough to get to the current alarming level.”
The ruling party described as laughable and lame the attempts by the APC to use the Kaduna bomb attacks to absolve itself of blame for encouraging insurgency in the country.
According to PDP, the statements by the APC and its governors were failed attempts at image laundering. It claimed that APC’s true identity as a party supportive of violence and disunity in the country was already well known.
It said, “Nigerians will recall that when the news of the attack broke out, the PDP took the high moral ground of condemning the development and sympathized with General Muhammadu Buhari while at the same time calling for a thorough investigation to fish out the perpetrators of the dastardly act.
“We are therefore shocked, disappointed and disgusted that the APC leaders chose to use the ugly development to embark on image laundering. However, their hasty attempts to indict the Presidency and our great party while exonerating themselves from the widely held notion that they have been promoting insurgency have raised issues regarding what really happened, especially now that a suspect has been arrested.
“Nigerians now ponder; they ask, was the attack a setup aimed at scoring some political points? If indeed it was an assassination attempt, was it engineered by internal frictions and crisis of ambition within the APC? Has it to do with some other presidential aspirants in the APC seeing General Buhari as a threat and obstacle to their ambitions? Or could it be APC’s desperate strategy of trying to disentangle itself from the internationally acknowledged link with terrorists and possibly undermine the planned probe of their involvement by the United Kingdom?
“These questions have become completely pertinent considering the fact that General Buhari poses no threat whatsoever to any candidate that the PDP might project. He lost three times to our great party in Presidential elections and will lose the fourth time if he emerges the candidate of the APC. Our advice to APC is that they might as well consider looking inwards if they believe it was an assassination attempt.
”The PDP reaffirmed its commitment to peace and the welfare of all Nigerians and its leader, President Goodluck Jonathan remains a peace-loving, godly and humble man who has continued to reiterate that no political ambition is worth shedding of blood.”
Responsibility for bomb attack
Asking the PDP to accept responsibility for the attack on Buhari, the APC Senator representing Osun Central, Adeyeye said, yesterday, that no one else could have been responsible for the attack but the ruling party.
Speaking with newsmen in Osogbo, Osun State capital, Adeyeye, the Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Education, stated: “Boko Haram has not claimed responsibility for the attack on Buhari. From all indications, Muslims were not the ones who attacked him, neither were they Christians. I am sure those who attacked Buhari were sponsored by the PDP.”
He added: “Anyone who knows Buhari will know that he is a devout Muslim. So, Muslims could not have launched any attack against him. He was not attacked by Christians too. The only people that could be suspected are the PDP..”
Commenting on the killing of an APC member in Ilesa, Adeyeye, who is the Director General, Aregbesola Campaign Organization, alleged that some political thugs working for the PDP killed the APC member.
‘Buhari masterminded bombing’
Militant leader, Dokubo-Asari, who is also the leader of Niger Delta Peoples Salvation Force, NDPSF, yesterday, exploded, saying Buhari masterminded the attack on himself.
He lashed out at the former head of state, saying he plotted to kill many innocent Nigerians in the explosion.
The former President of Ijaw Youth Council, IYC, of the Niger Delta region, who spoke to journalists in Abuja, said Buhari and his group would fail in their conspiracy and desperation to take over power from President Goodluck Jonathan.
Claiming he knew the erstwhile Nigerian leader so well, the former militant leader said Buhari was not known to be driven in a bullet-proof car prior to the incident, alleging that the use of an armoured jeep in his motorcade started recently which confirmed his stand.
‘Nobody is safe’
Primate of the Anglican Church, Okoh, who also spoke on the bomb attack on Buhari, yesterday, said it was an indication that nobody was free from Boko Haram attacks.
Addressing the third session of the second Synod of Anglican Church, Diocese of Kubwa, he said the “attempt on the life of General Buhari sends signal of serious insecurity in the country.”
He added: “Again, it sends a signal which I think has an aspect of it that is positive.
That is to say, let everybody, whether from the East, the West, the North and South, Christian, Moslem, African traditional religionist, put hands together and stop this terrorism.
”Nobody is spared, nobody is free and nobody is safe.”