The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Wednesday raised allegations that President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) have plans to frame its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
This follows a statement by the APC on Tuesday, accusing Atiku of committing felony through his various statements on topical national and international issues.
The PDP spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan, said in a statement that comments made by Atiku so far, have been patriotic and within his constitutional right and freedom of speech.
“As a responsible political party, we boldly state that none of the statements made by our presidential candidate falls within the realm of a felony in any way whatsoever.
“However, intelligence available to the PDP largely posits that the threats against Atiku Abubakar emanated from certain persons around the Buhari Presidency who are jittery that President Muhammadu Buhari’s defence is collapsing at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, for which they have become desperate to use underhand methods to stop Atiku Abubakar.
“The PDP invites Nigerians to note that the renewed allegations against Atiku Abubakar came after a witness told the court, as has been publicly reported, that the Army never required any enlisted officer to submit his WAEC certificate, in total contradiction to claims that Mr President’s certificates were in the custody of the Army.
“Our party counsels the APC to rather get ready for justice instead of seeking ways to frame Atiku Abubakar on flimsy and unconstitutional grounds.
“Moreover, the APC is reminded that while the PDP was in power, it never gagged the APC and its leaders, including President Buhari, from exercising their freedom of speech and freedom after the speech, in line with our laws”, the PDP said.
The PDP added, “It is instructive to note that none of the PDP administrations threatened General Buhari over such comments.
“Furthermore, it is quite disturbing that the APC is attacking Atiku Abubakar for commending British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, for appointing 39-year-old Nigerian, Kemi Badenoch, as a minister in his cabinet.
“Contrary to President Buhari’s projection to the world that Nigerian youths are lazy and should not be given an active role in governance in our country, other nations are finding accommodation for our youths. Atiku Abubakar cannot but commend such world leaders, no matter whose ox is gored.
“It is also instructive to note that the APC has further shown its disdain for the Nigerian youth as being demonstrated by President Buhari, whose cabinet has no place for our youths.
“Instead of attacking Atiku Abubakar for standing for our energetic and focused young men and women, Nigerians expect that APC will accept its failures and advise President Buhari against total disregard for young Nigerians.
“Furthermore, the PDP notes the reference by APC to President Buhari as a ‘sitting’ President. Our party, however, states that what Nigeria needs at a time like this is a working President, not a President that sits down while our country becomes the world headquarters of poverty; not a President that relaxes in an arm-chair while insecurity festers and our economy continues to nosedive to the extent that Ghana has overtaken our nation as the number one recipient of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in West Africa.
“This is why the PDP stands with Nigerians in their determination to retrieve Atiku Abubakar’s stolen mandate at the tribunal and no amount of threats by the APC can detract from this resolve.”