The Director General of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Presidential Campaign Organisation, Ahmadu Ali, has described the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Muhammadu Buhari, “as a septuagenarian with fossilised ideas of how to run a government and social engineering.”
He spoke at the inauguration of the party’s Presidential Campaign Council, in Abuja on Tuesday.
Mr. Ali, a former national chairman of the PDP, spoke about two weeks after the incumbent National Secretary of the party, Wale Oladipo, described Mr. Buhari as “semi-illiterate jackboot.”
At the launch of a book on President Goodluck Jonathan’s achievement in Abuja last month, the former PDP national chairman had also likened the APC presidential candidate to “an old plane that has been parked for long” whose functionality cannot be guaranteed.
Mr. Ali, who will turn 79 on March 1, is a retired army colonel, though trained as a physician.
Mr. Buhari was 72 last December 17. As a Major General, he ruled Nigeria between 1983 and 1985.
At Tuesday’s event, the former PDP chairman argued that at a time nations were shopping for younger elements to rule them, the APC was ironically throwing up a septuagenarian as its presidential flag bearer.
“In this 21st century where great nations of this world are fielding young men and women in their forties and fifties as presidents and prime ministers, it is ironic that Nigeria’s APC is fielding a septuagenarian with fossilised ideas of how to run a government and social engineering. Nigeria deserves a better leadership than their candidate who has no certificates to tender as requirement for entering an election,” Mr. Ali said.
Stating that the PDP was the defending champion in the impending presidential contest, the presidential campaign director said the party would do so with the belt tightly around its waist.
He stated that the party was proud of Mr. Jonathan because he was a dynamic and vibrant and ready to move the nation forward and therefore proud of him.
He said the party would not be as desperate as the opposition, “which is already in a fix on how to face President Jonathan’s enviable records in good governance.”
He said the ruling party could not be intimidated by the opposition, since Nigeria would transform from “Goodluck and Goodluck” while it (opposition) would hold on to “bad luck.”
Dismissing the APC, Mr. Ali, a former senator and federal commissioner for education, described the opposition as a creation of the social media.
He said the opposition was only vibrant on social media platform but absent on the ground, vowing that it would be defeated at the February 14 poll.
The presidential campaign director noted that going by the available statistics, the PDP does not only remain the preferred party to Nigerians, Mr. Jonathan remained the preferred candidate.
In his speech, the Chairman of PDP Governors’ Forum and governor of Akwa Ibom State, Godswill Akpabio, said Mr. Buhari caged people’s freedom while in government as head of state.
“We cannot accept a man who will jail you for more than the years God has given you on earth. No amount of propaganda will draw us back. They cannot benefit from their own action, they said they will make the country ungovernable, we cannot handover the country to such people,” Mr. Akpabio, said.
“What we need is freedom and this is what Jonathan has given. The election is about light and darkness.”
He said the “APC has no credentials of democratic tenet.”
The Chairman of PDP Board of Trustees, Anthony Anenih, who is the National Adviser Presidential Campaign, said the opposition had no experience in government and that it would count in PDP’s favour.
He said the path the ruling PDP was about to take was a familiar one and that like in 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2011, the party would emerge victorious during the February elections.