The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described the recent comments and personal attacks against its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) as a sign of discomfort over Atiku’s emergence.
The PDP noted that while it was understandable that President Muhammadu Buhari was discomfited and ‘afraid to face a popular candidate’ like Atiku in any elections due to the president’s incompetence, which Nigerians seek his replacement.
The main opposition party warned the ruling party not to attempt to confuse the personal economic prosperity that comes from hard work, as in the case of Atiku to launch a smear campaign against the PDP Presidential aspirant.
“President Buhari failed in leading a successful personal economic life does not mean that others cannot succeed without being corrupt”, the party said.
The party in a statement signed by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan stated that since the successful conduct of our Presidential primary and the popular
emergence of Atiku, the Buhari Presidency and the APC has become intimidated; gone into panic mode and ignobly resorted to trading on rumour and spurious allegations, having failed in their evil machination to scuttle the Presidential primary ab initio.
“Unlike President Buhari, who has failed in managing both private and public enterprises; who also confessed his failure to successfully manage his own farm and has made no personal contribution to our national development, our Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, is internationally known as a hard working, resourceful, versatile and successful private entrepreneur, a vast employer of labour; an ingenious citizen, who has made immeasurable contribution to our national development both in public and private lives.
“It is therefore a heinous perversion for Lai Mohammed, who has earned himself a notoriety, to the extent Nigerians now replace his first name, ‘Lai’ with ‘lie’, to attempt to suggest that the choice of Atiku Abubakar is a return to era of corruption, whereas President Buhari is internationally reputed to be presiding over the most corrupt administration in the history of our nation”, the PDP added.
The party charged the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed to speak up on the leaked memo detailing the stealing of N9 trillion ($25billion dollars) through underhand oil contract at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Ministry of Petroleum, under President Buhari’s direct supervision.
“Can Lai Mohammed tell Nigerians how the Buhari era allegedly presided over the stealing of over N18 billion from the funds approved for rehabilitation of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and rebuilding of six northeast states ravaged by insurgency?
“Can Lai Mohammed tell Nigerians how over N25 billion meant for health needs of Nigerians was stolen by the Presidency cabal from the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), and how the same cabal siphoned the $322 million repatriated by Switzerland, under the guise of sharing the funds to the poor?
“This is the same person, who nearly caused a national crisis when he, in May 2015, accused former President Goodluck Jonathan and the PDP of frustrating the activities of then Transition Committee only for the head of the APC team, Alhaji Ahmed Joda, to declare that that the team had all the cooperation from the PDP.
“This is the same Lai Mohammed, who, in 2014, alleged that the PDP denied a plane carrying a state governor from landing in Ado Ekiti to attend the APC Governorship election rally in the state only for the State Government to debunk the lie stating that the governor did not travel to Ekiti but was attending official functions in the state.
“This is the same minister that has not been able to explain the circumstances surrounding his attempt to obtain over N13 million from the National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) under the mask of a “loan”, against budgetary approvals and principles of the Treasury Single Account (TSA)”.