The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Tuesday, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to question his Chief of Staff, Prof Ibrahim Gambari, and former National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiohmole, over a leaked video of the duo.
The party said the video, which showed Gambari and Oshiohmole at the precincts of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, in discussing the arrest of some individuals ahead of the September 19 Edo governorship election, should be probed.
Oshiohmole had on Monday visited Buhari at the Villa where he expressed bitterness over the allegation that he was trying to manipulate his way back into the chairmanship position of the APC.
He said he was neither jobless nor desperate to want to return as the party’s chairman, adding that the fact that some party stalwarts still held him in high esteem did not suggest he was working underground to return as the chairman.
Spokesman of the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, said Nigerians were alarmed by the video in which “Oshiomhole was seen emphatically urging the Chief of Staff on the need to clamp down on certain unnamed Nigerians to achieve political suppression and submission ahead of the Edo election.”
He said failure of Buhari to take “a decisive action on this matter will further indict the Buhari Presidency especially coming on the heels of public anxiety over Mr President’s widely condemned comment on the use of security forces for elections.”
Ologbondiyan said Gambari’s presence and involvement in the discussion at the precincts of the villa had made the Presidency complicit in addition to placing a huge burden on Buhari.
The PDP spokesman added: “Already, there is anxiety in the public space that the discussion between Oshiomhole and Prof Gambari as captured in the video is an extension of discussions that must have held behind closed doors in the Presidential villa.
“The video has validated earlier revelations of plots by Oshiomhole and the discredited APC governorship candidate, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, to use compromised security operatives being mobilized by certain individuals in the Presidency, to arrest innocent Nigerians, including traditional, faith-based and community leaders on trumped up charges, ahead of the Edo election.
“It also confirms our stance that Adams Oshiomhole and the APC candidate have completely lost ground in Edo state, hence the plot to clamp down on the people.”
He further said “Nigerians and the people of Edo state now know those to hold responsible should there be cases of illegal arrests, assassinations and unexplained killings, sudden disappearances of prominent people, accidental discharge by federal security operatives and mysterious accidents in the course of this Edo governorship election.”
The Presidency and the APC have yet to react to this.
The September 19th governorship election in the state is going to be a straight contest between the incumbent Governor, Godwin Obaseki of the PDP, and Pastor Osagie Ize Iyamu of the APC.
Obaseki, who was elected as governor in 2016 on the platform of the APC, recently defected to the PDP after he was disqualified by the party’s governorship screening committee over alleged discrepancies in his academic credentials.
Osagie, who was the governorship candidate of the PDP in the 2016 governorship election, defected to the APC in November 2019.
He said his defection became expedient following the crisis and uncoordinated nature of the PDP.
Recall that supporters of Obaseki and Ize-Iyamu recently clashed at the palace of the Oba of Benin during a political rally.
PDP National Chairman, Prince Uche Secondus
The All Progressives Congress (APC) on Monday asked the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Uche Secondus, to concentrate on saving his party which it said had become “shockingly rudderless under his watch.”
The party was reacting to the recent remarks made by Secondus about President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC’s decision to defend and support free, fair elections, particularly the 2019 elections as opposed to previous elections alleged to have been militarised by the PDP.
Spokesman of the APC, Yekini Nabena, who gave the party’s postion, said the PDP had never had it so bad under Secondus, with stakeholders of the party detached from its activities, “as was witnessed with notable PDP leaders boycotting the Party’s 2019 presidential campaigns and the recent Bayelsa State Governorship bribe-for-ticket scandal that indicted Secondus.”
According to Nabena, the recent months have witnessed many PDP members resigning their membership due to Secondus’ activities which he claimed had brought the PDP to its knees.
He said, “The PDP under Secondus is in willful denial of the obvious that under the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC administration, free, fair and credible elections is the new normal. Voting power is fast returning to the people and the era of stolen and procured votes is fast-fading.
“We reiterate that President Buhari’s declaration that the APC could have used the military and other security services to overrun opposition states in the 2019 general election but chose free, fair elections is a solid pointer and demonstration our our proven democratic and progressive credentials.
“Why will the PDP under Secondus not support efforts to ensure the independence of our state institutions such as the Judiciary, INEC and our security services and ultimately deepen our democracy and improve our electioneering system?”
The APC Spokesman also called on progressive politicians, particularly in the PDP, not to “sink with the opposition party which has become clearly disillusioned under Secondus.”
He further said the Governor Mai Mala Buni-led APC Caretaker/Extra-Ordinary National Convention Planning Committee (CENCPC) had created a healthy and progressive political environment in the APC and was entrenching internal democracy.
Such, he added, was geared towards electing into public offices patriotic countrymen who will put the people first and contribute to achieving the Nigeria everyone desire and deserve, saying that the party defends the fact that power belongs to the people and during elections, votes must count.
“The APC welcomes all Progressives,” he concluded.
THE WHISTLER recalls that former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara and Former Benue Senator, Barnabas Gemade recently defected to the APC from the PDP.