Warn of consequences of a repeat
As APC condemns attack
By Henry Umoru
ABUJA — The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and President Goodluck Jonathan Campaign Organisation have accused the All Progressives Congress, APC, and its Presidential candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), of allegedly masterminding the attack on President Goodluck Jonathan, Tuesday, in Katsina State and asked the APC and Buhari to call their supporters to order.
Addressing newsmen in Abuja, yesterday, Director, Media and Publicity, PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation, PCO, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, described the action of the APC supporters at Buhari’s home state as despicable, barbaric, shameful and highly reprehensible, warning that Buhari would be held responsible if anything untoward happened to Jonathan.
They also warned that the consequences of a repeat of such an act would be grave.
In his address, Fani- Kayode said: “Let us take this opportunity to also serve them notice that if anything untoward happens to our candidate or his supporters during the course of this campaign we shall hold Buhari and his party responsible and the consequences would be grave, unimaginable and far-reaching.
Despicable, barbaric and shameful
“Meanwhile, we call on our millions of supporters all over the country to remain calm and not to indulge in any form of violence or revenge attacks despite this massive and unwarranted provocation.
“We consider that action despicable, barbaric, shameful and highly reprehensible. It shows very clearly the violent nature, disposition and character of those individuals that were involved and the presidential candidate that they support.
“The Katsina show of shame was the first case of violence unleashed on our candidate by supporters of the candidate of the APC, General Buhari, after the signing of the historic Abuja Accord by the presidential candidates of all the parties participating in the election. The purpose of that accord was to discourage violence before, during and after the elections.
“The laudable intention of the accord has now been irresponsibly violated by a group of miscreants and vandals whose leader has proved to be wholly incapable of keeping them in check and restraining them from indulging in violence. It is worrisome that this kind of violent reaction would manifest when the election has not held and their candidate has not yet lost.”
Buhari’ll suffer crushing defeat
Speaking further, Fani-Kayode said Buhari and his party would suffer very serious defeat next month, adding: “We are taking this opportunity to serve notice today that by the grace of God and the support of the well-meaning Nigerian electorate, General Buhari will suffer a crushing defeat in the hands of our candidate, President Jonathan, at the polls.
“When we remember the post-election violence of 2011 after this same candidate lost, you must appreciate the reason why we are raising these concerns.
“Were it not for the gallant efforts of the security personnel, this small group of violent vandals would have harmed the President and caused damage to the vehicles in his convoy.
“It is pertinent for us to point out the fact that our candidate, our party and our numerous supporters have so far behaved reasonably and responsibly during the course of this campaign and the world can attest to this with the peaceful rally that General Buhari had in Bayelsa State, the home state of our candidate.”
APC was never committed to the Abuja accord
Also, the national leadership of the PDP in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh, while condemning the attack on Jonathan, said the attack was “a clear indication that the APC is not ready to dial back on its rabid desire to attain power through violence despite signing a peace pact a week ago in Abuja.
He said the party would “no longer tolerate such acts of violence on any of its members.
“This brazen attack on the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and our presidential candidate clearly shows that the APC was never committed to the spirit and letters of the Abuja peace accord which they signed in the presence of prominent Nigerians and international personalities.
“It is unfortunate that while the PDP and other parties are busy ensuring that their members and supporters remain committed to a peaceful electioneering, the APC has been hatching plots to unleash violence on our candidates and members.
“We invite Nigerians, friends of Nigeria and all lovers of democracy to rise in condemnation of this dangerous phenomenon. These early developments clearly demonstrate that the comments and declarations by the leaders of the APC that Nigeria would be thrown into chaos and bloodshed should it lose the February general elections were real.
“We commend the maturity and the ever peaceful disposition of President Jonathan and the leaders of the PDP even in the face of this unwarranted attack.”
APC condemns attack
Meanwhile, the All Progressives Congress, APC, has strongly condemned the reported stoning of the campaign convoy of President Jonathan in Katsina State, saying “violence of any kind is totally unacceptable to the party.”
In a statement signed yesterday in Lagos by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said Jonathan should be free to campaign anywhere in the country without hindrance.
It said: “Even though the attack on the President’s convoy took place a day after the provocative death-wish newspaper advertorial that was put out in the name of the President, nothing justifies the stoning of the President’s convoy anywhere in the country.”
The party restated its commitment to a continuous enlightenment of its members and supporters to eschew violence before, during and after next month’s general elections, and urged other parties to follow suit.”
‘’We consider election as a celebration of democracy, not a do-or-die affair. Whether or not one agrees with the campaign message of any party, engaging in violence negates the very essence of democracy and should be condemned by all,” the party said.