John Alechenu, Abuja
The Peoples Democratic Party has demanded for the withdrawal of the Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu, from the 2023 contest over his alleged involvement in electoral malfeasance and the hiring of fake clergymen to hoodwink Nigerians.
National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Hon. Debo Ologunagba, said this while stating the party’s position at a press conference, in Abuja, on Friday.
According to him, the PDP is appalled by the nauseating, blasphemous and unpardonable act by the All Progressives Congress (APC) in hiring street artisans, fraudsters and touts and criminally dressing them in bishop’s vestments to orchestrate an endorsement for its collapsing Presidential campaign.
He said the party condemns in the strongest possible term, condemns the profane and highly provocative act of desperation by the sinking APC Presidential Candidate, in the face of APC’s collapsing leadership, membership and followership structure across the country.
Ologunagba further said, “Nigerians were sickened by videos and pictorial evidence of known mechanics, bus conductors and fraudsters sacrilegiously being dressed in fake bishop vestments and paid to endorse the unveiling of Asiwaju Tinubu’s widely rejected running mate, Sen. Kashim Shettima.
“Such action is unacceptable and unbecoming of any individual aspiring to a leadership position at any level let alone, the office of the President. This is an embarrassment to leadership.
“With this scandalous act, Asiwaju Tinubu, who is still battling with issues of alleged perjury, non-existent certificate and allegations of extortions has become more ethically challenged and lost all moral standing to seek election as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“More sickening is the outcry by the hirelings that they were defrauded by agents of the APC Presidential candidate, who paid them sums ranging from N30,000 to N40,000 as against the N100,000 they were earlier promised.
“It is therefore ludicrous that instead of being remorseful and asking for forgiveness, the APC Presidential Campaign is shamelessly posting lame denials and excuses in the face of hard and verified evidence of its involvement in the shameless venture. “
The PDP Spokesperson further said, “Our Party is not surprised by the attitude of the APC Presidential Campaign. Such is consistent with the character and DNA of the APC, which was never a political party but a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) hurriedly put together by conflicting bed-fellows and inchoate sailors clobbered together for remote personal gain and whose only interest is to defraud Nigerians through falsehood, lies, deceit, bribery, Temporary Loyalty Purchase, corruption of established institutions and violation of set rules without regards to the feelings, sensibilities and wellbeing of Nigerians.
“With this ugly episode, Nigerians now know the individual who has been the planner and executor of the lies, false promises and corruption of the APC that have brought disunity, excruciating hardship, mass killings and political instability in the country in the last seven years.“
The PDP also took a swipe at the APC-led administration for failing Nigerians at all fronts.
Ologunagba said, “Under the corrupt and deceptive government Asiwaju confessed to have helped to install, our productive sector has been completely wrecked; the over $550 billion economy (largest in Africa and 26th globally) with a naira value of N167 to the Dollar handed over by the PDP has been brought to its knees with the naira now crawling at N665 to a Dollar today.
“Under Asiwaju’s APC government, Nigeria’s debt stock has astronomically risen from N12 trillion under the PDP to N41.6 trillion with our nation going broke as Debt Servicing cost has now surpassed Government revenue with over N300 billion.
“Today, millions on businesses have been shut down due to harsh economic policies and high cost of fuel; unemployment has risen to over 35%, cost of food items, medication and essential services have skyrocketed beyond reach as over 90 million Nigerians are no longer able to afford their daily meals and other basic necessities of life. What a tragedy!
“It is now crystal clear to Nigerians why the people of Asiwaju’s ancestral State of Osun and the South West geo-political zone which ought to be his natural stronghold outrighly rejected him and his APC in the July 16, 2022 Governorship election in Osun the State.”
Speaking about the recent victory of the PDP in Osun State, he said, “PDP’s sweeping victory and the spontaneous jubilation across our country are direct statements by Nigerians on their resolve to stand on the platform of the PDP to free themselves from the agonizing stranglehold of the lying, cruel and life-discounting APC and its Presidential Candidate.
“Furthermore, Asiwaju Tibunu’s humiliating rejection in Abuja, where he had reportedly rushed to in a desperate bid to frustrate the smooth conclusion of the Osun State Governorship election is a clear testimonial that the APC Presidential Candidate has been roundly deflated.
“Our Party is privy to reports of how doors were locked against APC leaders in Abuja and how their frantic telephone calls and corrupt offers to truncate the Osun election were turned down.
“The APC Presidential candidate can recall that our Party had in a statement on June 8, 2022, cautioned him that he will soon realize that Nigeria is not one of his acquired estates or fiefdoms and that Nigerians are not his political string-puppets and retinue of lackeys, from whom he bought the APC Presidential ticket.
“Now that the APC Presidential candidate has lost the basic required leadership integrity and having been exposed and roundly rejected in his ancestral home State of Osun, the South West and across the country; our Party counsels him to immediately withdraw from the 2023 Presidential race to avoid further disgrace. “
The PDP noted that Nigerians who have suffered for over seven long years under an APC-led regime, “cannot afford to have fraudsters, liars, deceivers, perjurers, swindlers and corrupt individuals at the helm of affairs in our country. Such individuals can only superintend over a deceptive, fraudulent and duplicitous administration and worsen the woes faced by our nation under the current inhumane and rudderless APC administration. “
The PDP added that the “APC Presidential candidate and his party should know that it is in his own interest to withdraw from the race as it will be futile to go into an election in which the Will and aspiration of the people are manifestly against him and the APC.
“Asiwaju has no political fighting chance in the face of the soaring popularity of PDP’s very competent, candid, transparent, people-oriented and much more prepared Presidential Candidate, His Excellency, Atiku Abubakar at the poll.“
The party expressed confidence that it was poised for a winning campaign and as always, will remain open to suggestions and further collaborations with well-meaning Nigerians as we collectively march to liberate our nation in the 2023 general elections.