By Nwafor Sunday
The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari’s presidency to tender apology, following its stand that Buhari did not hold the National Executive Committee, NEC, meeting of the All Progressives Congress, in the chamber of the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
Recall that the Senior Special Assistant, to Buhari on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu had quashed various submissions of critics, noting that APC NEC meeting was not held at the chamber of the Federal Executive Council.
His statement obtained by Vanguard, said: “The stubborn opinion held by the critics of the administration is that President Buhari had called a political meeting in the “hallowed” chamber of the Federal Executive Council, as if there is a law that says the President is barred from holding meetings in certain sections of the vast Presidential Villa.
“Since the President lives in the Villa, no one can, legally speaking, choose or dictate to him where he can sit to hold meetings. So, what is wrong in the President presenting himself before a camera and a TV screen in a digital conference at a given location within the Villa?
“Just for the sake of the argument, this meeting, we say emphatically, was not convened at the Council Chamber. It was virtual, not a physical meeting.
“Why was it a virtual meeting? The idea was to observe social distancing in view of health concerns. Knowing how small the conference hall of the party is, social distancing would only have been observed in the breach.
“President Buhari was billed to address the meeting from his office (just any of his offices) and chose the Council Chamber where the digital facilities are located.
“Other members, including the bulk of National Executive Committee members, state party leaders and members of the National Assembly were all linked using video conference calls. You saw them all on TV.’’
Reacting, PDP through its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, asked presidency to stop denying its wrong and tender unreserved apology to Nigerians.
Read the statement in full:
“The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has rebuked the Buhari Presidency for denying that the National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the All Progressives Congress (APC) held inside the chambers of the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
The party described as unfortunate that the Presidency would post a denial even when the media and the public space are already awash with photographs and videos of the NEC meeting, with APC leaders physically in attendance inside the FEC chambers where President Muhammadu Buhari presided.
It is therefore shocking that the Buhari Presidency can state in denial that “this meeting, we say emphatically, was not convened at the Council Chamber. It was virtual, not a physical meeting”.
This is even when the world watched Mr. President addressing the applauding APC leaders, in addition to the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice (AGF), Abubakar Malami, physically administering oath of office on the Chairman of APC National Caretaker Committee, Mai Buni, on the floor of the FEC chamber.
It is a fact before Nigerians that the meeting was physical and only virtual to the extent that some members of the APC NEC members were linked via conference call.
Moreover, our party refers the Buhari Presidency to reports already in the media where the AGF admitted administering oath of office to the Chairman of the APC Caretaker Committee; an event that took place on the floor of the FEC Chamber.
Such a denial by President Buhari’s handlers has further exposed the decadence in the APC and the Buhari Presidency.
What Nigerians expected of the Buhari Presidency and the APC, was to tender an unreserved apology to the nation and desist from further desecration of our national values and official conduct requirements.
The PDP charges President Buhari to call his handlers to order so as to protect the integrity of his Presidency from further damage.”