By Dirisu Yakubu
ABUJA-The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described as “stage-managed,” the recent courtesy visit to President Muhammadu Buhari by the Arewa Pastors Non-denominational Initiative for Peace, saying the visit was aimed at procuring political endorsement for the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Presidency.
The party also said the Buhari Presidency’s hiring of supposed Arewa Pastors was a second attempt to orchestrate fake endorsements ahead of the 2019 election.
PDP said both procured endorsements, which had turned out to be fake, are, to say the least, despicable and betray the nervousness of a sinking leadership, desperately trying to save its face, having been rejected by the people.
In a statement signed by the party’s spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan on Sunday, the PDP said the “controversial” endorsement has called into question, the highest elective political office in the land.
“It is heartrending that because of the desperation of one man, the integrity of Nigeria’s seat of power has again been ridiculed as the world watched religious bodies and groups in the country disowning the procured band.
“The fact that this disgraceful drama came barely a week after our nation suffered an international show of shame over President Buhari’s presentation with a procured award fraudulently linked to Martin Luther King Jr, speaks volumes of this administration’s proclivity for falsehood, lies and deception.
“Having failed to gain any endorsements from reputable international figures, such as Bill Gates and the Martin Luther Kings Jr group, the APC and the Presidency have now shamelessly resorted to cheaper ways and means, particularly, along the unregulated and porous religious and sectional lines.
“It is now overtly manifest that the Buhari administration is ready to even stage anything, no matter how ignoble, including fake rescue missions, to deceive Nigerians,” the statement read in part.
While fingering three unnamed Presidential aides as the power behind the “endorsements”, the largest political party in the country further tasked the ruling party to brace up for its imminent defeat awaiting it in the 2019 general elections.
“These disgraceful endorsements are being coordinated by three presidential aides, a cabinet minister from the South-South and certain officials of the APC, a project for which billions of naira have been earmarked.
“This cabal is also responsible for the renting of crowds, who are usually conveyed in buses, trucks and trailers, to fill the space during President Buhari’s visits to various states of the federation, as witnessed in Benue during the last visit of Mr. President.
“That President Buhari could be begging for endorsements only points to the fact that he and his cabal have lost the support of Nigerians whom his administration has subjected to horrible economic hardships, traumatic bloodletting and a bleak future.
“If President Buhari and his dysfunctional APC had performed to the least expectations of Nigerians, even by implementing the littlest of their numerous fake campaign promises, they would have no need for mundane gimmicks of procuring awards from well known street quacks ahead of the elections.
“We charge all credible groups in the country to be at alert and resist any attempt by the Presidency and APC to induce them to compromise their integrity, as well as guide against plots to use money to infiltrate and divide their ranks.
“The APC and Buhari Presidency must admit that their time is up as Nigerians are now rallying with the repositioned PDP in the national quest to rescue our dear nation from the incompetent, failed and deceptive administration of the APC, come 2019,” the party added.