No cause for alarm —PDP
Says Buhari, APC overburdened by guilt over inauguration

By Dirisu Yakubu

All seems not to be rosy in the camp of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, following the congratulatory message to President Muhammadu Buhari on his inauguration, yesterday, by South-East Governors’ Forum.

President Buhari’s Swearing-In Ceremony at the Eagle Square

The forum, chaired by Dave Umahi, Governor of Ebonyi State, also has in its fold the quartet of Willie Obiano (Anambra), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia) and Emeka Ihedioha, the newly inaugurated governor of Imo State.

Apart from Obiano who is a member of All Progressive Grand Alliance, APGA, all other four governors were elected on the platform of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

In a paid advertorial published in a national daily, yesterday, the forum congratulated President Buhari and expressed optimism in his determination to make Nigerians happier in his second term in office.

The congratulatory message read:  “We, governors of South-East Nigeria, heartily congratulate the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, on this historic occasion of his inauguration for a second term in office.

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“We are confident, Mr President, that with your swearing in for another term, happier days are ahead not just for South-East but the whole of Nigeria.”

An official of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, who does not want his name in print, said by that “singular show of political maturity,” the President is facing the future with optimism, knowing that “his election and subsequent inauguration has the backing of leaders across party lines.”

Although he declined to speak further on this, his position may be difficult to fault, given the fact that Atiku and PDP are seeking the nod of the election petition tribunal to void the declaration of President Buhari as the winner of the February 23 Presidential election.

No cause for alarm—PDP

Responding to this development, National Publicity Secretary of the party, Kola Ologbondiyan, told Vanguard exclusively that regardless of the interpretations being directed at the advertorial, the PDP stands with Atiku in his quest for justice.

According to him, the matter before the tribunal involves Atiku, PDP and APC and that governors were no party to the petition.

Asked if the party was not worried by the congratulatory message, the publicity scribe said he speaks only for the party and not governors elected on its platform.

He said: “The matter, which our candidate, Atiku Abubakar, took to the tribunal has the backing of the PDP. We are irrevocably committed to retrieving our stolen mandate but as for the congratulatory message, I can tell you that we are not worried as a party.

‘’We are a united front, united in the pursuit of justice. There are no divisions in our ranks and as far as our petition is concerned, we are focused and optimistic that justice will be done.

“It is a matter involving Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, PDP and the APC. Governors are no party to it. This is what Nigerians should realise.”

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Buhari, APC overburdened by guilt over presidential inauguration

Meanwhile, the party said, yesterday, that President Muhammadu Buhari’s failure to address Nigerians at the Presidential inauguration showed that he and the ruling APC were overburdened by the guilt of the outcome of the February 23 election.

The party added that the lack of national address at the inauguration “shows President Buhari’s insensitivity and level of derision with which his handlers and party, APC, hold Nigerians, as the presidential mandate they parade did not emanate from the people.”

A statement signed by the party’s spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan read: “The PDP holds that the failure by President Buhari and APC to make any commitment at the ceremony reinforces the truism that a product of flawed electoral process cannot serve the people or meet their aspirations under a constitutional democracy.

“The poor attendance and passivity of the audience at the ceremony at a time Nigerians were trooping, in their millions, to the inauguration of state governors elected on the platform of  PDP, manifestly show.

“It is, indeed, pathetic that at a ceremony such as presidential inauguration, where truly elected leaders address their people, make commitments and unfold their governance direction, President Buhari did not showcase his plans or commitment to the development of critical sectors of our polity.

“It also speaks volumes of the fact that President Buhari had nothing to say to the victims of mindless killings and acts of violence in various parts of our country.

“Moreover, he had no direction toward stemming the economic distress under his administration, for which Nigerians are now resorting to suicide and slavery mission abroad as options.”

The party further noted that “in failing to address Nigerians, President Buhari turned the inauguration to a parody.”

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