A statement by Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari, says the presidency is aware that the PDP to ‘mislead the public.’
“This imminent gathering is the latest in a series of demonstrations orchestrated by the opposition to embarrass the government of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“As part of this overall scheme, the Peoples Democratic Party, with its belligerent politics, has been marching from one embassy to the other in protest against the Buhari administration and the nation’s highest court of justice, the Supreme Court.
“They are keen to give the impression that Nigerians are in support of them as they take to the streets, and they will go to any length to promote this false narrative”, the presidency said this in a statement on Saturday, February 15, 2020.
President Muhammadu Buhari addressing the service chiefs when they visited him in Abuja. (Channels TV)
The statement also cited the booing of Buhari by Maiduguri residents on Wednesday, February 12, 2020, as part of the PDP plan to embarrass Buhari.
“The recent incident in Maiduguri, Borno State, where an overwhelmingly cheering crowd gathered to welcome President Buhari, while a handful were recorded booing him, is a part this elaborate scheme.”
Reacting to the allegations in the statement, the PDP asked the presidency to face its ‘self-inflicted ordeal.’
The opposition party also asked the presidency to “address the consensus concern of Nigerians over its poor handling of security issues instead of seeking to blame the opposition and the media.”
In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP described the presidency’s statement as derisory, self-indicting and diversionary.
PDP National Publicity Secretary, Mr Kola Ologbondiyan (Vanguard)
The statement reads, “The party alerted that the Buhari Presidency is now trying to divert attention by blackmailing the media and opposition because it can no longer face Nigerians, over its manifest failure to deal with those behind acts of insurgency, terrorism, banditry, kidnapping and escalated violence under its watch.
“It is clear to all, including even the Buhari Presidency, that Nigerians across board, have been in protest against the Buhari-led APC administration and need nobody to mobilize them to publicly exercise their constitutionally guaranteed rights any day to register their discontentment against a failed administration that has continued to live on propaganda, excuses and denials.
“Moreover, the PDP restates that its demand that the security high command should be rejigged to inject new blood to effectively tackle our security challenges; a position that have become a consensus opinion of all other patriotic individuals and groups, including the two chambers of the National Assembly, is well known within and outside our country.
“Accusing the opposition and threatening the media are therefore diversionary and apparently aimed to validate alleged plots by agents of governments to clamp down on innocent Nigerians, the media and members of the civil society to suppress and foist a siege mentality on Nigerians.
“Moreover, the PDP is aware that the accusation is part of the ploy by the Buhari Presidency to intimidate our party to abandon its demands for the Buhari administration to be alive to its responsibility to secure the nation or step aside for more competent hands to manage the affairs of our nation.
“Our party holds that instead of resorting to fabrications, blackmail and threats, a responsive and concerned administration should rather listen to the people, stop its blackmail, propaganda, denials and excuses; take urgent steps to rejig its security architecture and end the escalated bloodletting under its watch.”