The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) said the fear of losing the 2019 general elections was the main reason governors of the All Progressives Congress (APC) usually rush to meet President Muhammadu Buhari at presidential villa almost every week.
Last Friday, seven APC governors – Nasir el-Rufai (Kaduna), Yahaya Bello (Kogi), Simon Lalong (Plateau), Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano), Abubakar Bello (Niger), Ibrahim Geidam (Yobe) and Jibrilla Bindow (Adamawa) – visited Buhari at Aso Rock where they adopted the president as APC’s candidate in 2019.
Bello and el-Rufai have been regular visitors to the presidential villa almost every Friday where they attend Jumat service with the president. PDP said the reason was because the governors were “scared stiff of the looming disgrace awaiting them” in 2019.
But the APC has dismissed PDP’s position, stating that there is nothing to be afraid of in the 2019 general elections. In a statement yesterday by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP noted that the governors, instead of facing the people, were busy running to Abuja for help, forgetting that President Buhari himself would also face an inevitable crushing defeat in 2019.
“We all know that the APC is mortally afraid of going into any election, particularly at the grassroots, as Nigerians across board are bitter with them for their deceit and the wrecking of our once robust economy,” the party said. It added that Nigerians were at pains over the poor welfare of the ruling party, which has resulted in the severe hardship inflicted on them in the past three years.
“The APC is petrified because Nigerians have renewed their interest in the PDP as the only genuine people-oriented party. “This new thinking among Nigerians has been clearly demonstrated with PDP’s sweeping victory in Osun senatorial by-election as well as the recent local council polls in Ekiti and Delta states.
“Today, the APC knows it cannot go back to the same electorate it scammed in 2015 with lies and empty promises; promises of bogus jobs, monthly stipends, free meals, free houses, reduction of fuel price, bringing the dollar to the same value with the naira and other phantom promises.
“The APC knows it cannot face the more than eight million Nigerians it has rendered jobless with its reckless policies. “They know that judgement awaits them from thousands of workers who were unjustly sacked in the states where APC governors rule, particularly Kogi and Kaduna.
“The APC cannot also return to the states where countless helpless family breadwinners painfully paid the supreme price due to untold hardship under their misrule. “The party also knows it cannot return to the families of those slaughtered in Benue, Taraba, Adamawa, Borno and other parts of the country by marauders encouraged and emboldened by the indifference of the Federal Government and the unguarded comments from unpatriotic presidential aides,” the statement added.
According to the PDP, Nigerians now know the difference between the antipeople, deceitful and inept APC and the democratic, development-driven policies they had enjoyed during the 16 years PDP was in government.
This period, the party remarked, led to economic boom, debts forgiveness, recapitalization of the banking sector, revolution in the telecommunications industry, the revamping of the railways, building of new universities, ports reform as well as unprecedented growth in small and medium enterprises that made Nigerian a major global investment destination.
“Our advice to the APC now is that they should stop deluding themselves with the electoral happenstance they earned by lies and propaganda in 2015 as Nigerians have now reconnected with their original political platform, the PDP, to move the nation forward come 2019,” the statement boasted. However, National Publicity Secretary of APC, Bolaji Abdullahi, said there is nothing to show that the ruling party is afraid of the 2019 election.
According to him, the fact that APC governors go to Aso Villa every week is not an indication that the APC is afraid of electoral contest in 2019. He said: “When PDP was in government were governors not going to Villa?
Elections would not be conducted in the Villa, therefore the visit of the APC governors has no relevance to 2019 general elections.” Abdullahi advised the opposition party to be constructive in its allegation to attract response from the ruling party.