By Olayinka Ajayi
Against the backdrop of the drama acted by former President Olusegun Obasanjo in the course of quitting PDP, Malam Garba Shehu, the Director of Communications of the APC presidential campaign, in an encounter, enjoined other members to leave the PDP and openly shred their membership cards.
How do you describe the alleged moves by the ruling party, PDP, to disorganise the APC ahead of the postponed elections?
PDP leaders know they are losing this election, they have seen the handwriting on the wall.
How do you mean?
We are aware that they commissioned opinion polls conducted by some outfits domiciled in Israel, UK, US and even Nigeria and the verdict shows they are losing the election. So it is very clear that they just want to hold us down. They decided to employ all antics to hold and slow us down, so that they can do a catch up. Basically, that is their trick and Nigerians fully understand it and that is what is playing out presently.
We learnt that armed security agents besieged your residence recently as well as that of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. How do you take that?
Well, is it intended to distract and intimidate our party leaders. The PDP does not want anyone to discuss corruption, the economic degradation and the unspeakable foul play in the NNPC. Neither do they want anybody to discuss the insecurity in Nigeria. If you observe very well, anytime they talk about insecurity in Nigeria, they tend to generalise it as a global phenomenon. What they want is to take away our minds, from these critical issues, to inconsequential issues.
They have been on it since. They started with inconsequential age of Gen. Buhari, later they called him (Buhari) a religious bigot, they later turned into the inconsequential certificate issue; they also went too far to discuss the health of Gen. Buhari; now they are using armed security agents to intimidate our leaders. We know their tricks. It won’t change anything. Nigerians are simply sick and tired of this government. That is the truth.
They are tired of unemployment, their acclaimed fastest growing economy that has no effect on the lives of average Nigerians and in a tailspin. Nigerians are tired of a government that has made corruption a culture and a government that cannot protect lives and property. We must continue to talk about them even when they surround our homes and roads with armed security agents.
There have been reactions on why former President Olusegun Obasanjo left the PDP, openly shredding his membership card. What, in your view, does this portend in the political landscape?
The departure of Obasanjo from the PDP, to us, is a welcome development and should be instructive enough to other card carrying members of the PDP to start shredding their own membership cards too! They are just wasting this great country’s time and theirs too! The truth is that the PDP has no solution to the problems facing us as a nation. In fact, they are wasting our time too! It took Obasanjo such a long time to realise this. But I am happy he has come to the point of realisation.
What is the implication of Obasanjo shredding his membership openly?
It means PDP is ruined. Being the god father of the party and he left the party, should there be any reason for any reasonable member of the party to remain there? What I expect is that other members of the party should start tearing their cards and getting out of the party. The roof is falling on the house and whoever wants to be saved should get out before the roof crashes on their heads.
Do you see this move by Obasanjo as a form of endorsement of the APC?
The APC is a movement. Whoever can read the hand writing on the wall, will realise that Nigerians have seized the opportunity. APC is out of pilot, Nigerians are driving it themselves. They see it as an instrument of change that they desire. Whether the PDP sees it or not is left to them. Change is imminent and APC is fully prepared to bring about the desired change the people are clamouring for.
Amid the claim of lopsided distribution of the permanent voter cards (PVC) by the PDP presidential campaign spokesman,Fani-Kayode, are you optimistic of the general elections holding on the rescheduled dates?
We in the APC campaign group don’t have time to discuss Fani-Kayode. We are particular about issues affecting Nigerians. APC didn’t appoint the INEC boss, or his commissioners. It is the PDP-led administration that appointed them. Why are they having problem with them? It is because they don’t want an election that is free, fair and credible?
Are they not putting themselves to ridicule by attacking INEC! As a government that appointed INEC in the first place, coming to take on them in the manner they are doing is laughable! It shows that they don’t even know what they are looking for and what they want for this country. Otherwise, why would they put a commission together and then you begin to fight it?
Why did you put them there in the first instance? If you deliberately ruin INEC, you destroy its responsibility. How do you ensure the integrity and that of the election they will hold? We are only hopeful the election will hold on March 28. The government, as our presidential candidate said, has played its last card. Under the Constitution, they cannot stretch the election beyond that date. It must hold on that date, unless they want to overthrow the Constitution and institute a dictatorship.