The campaign office of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has accused the candidate of All Progressives Congress, APC, Muhammadu Buhari, of lacking the capacity to articulate his plans for Nigerians, saying during his electioneering in 35 states, Mr. Buhari spoke for only 57 minutes.
The spokesperson of the campaign, Femi Fani-Kayode, who addressed a press conference on Wednesday in Abuja, said on the contrary, President Goodluck Jonathan of the PDP has given a good account of himself, using the campaign platform to “brilliantly articulate and showcase his sterling achievements and to place on the table those projects and programmes he intends to execute and/or implement once his mandate is renewed”.
He said Mr. Buhari has not been able to seize the moment to do the same.
“General Buhari has attended 35 or thereabouts state rallies and in all the rallies put together, he has spoken for only 57 minutes,” he said, adding that the longest time the former Head of state spoke in any single rally was for 2 minutes and 13 seconds, while the shortest was one minute.
“He has used his so-called speeches for nothing but political demagoguery, charging his supporters with a clenched fist and spreading hate speech (with his supporters chanting ‘sai Buhari’) which is symptomatic of a violent character.
“It drives home the point that General Buhari has nothing to say and if he has anything to say, he simply does not know how to say it. That explains why he keeps running from debates even when choice platforms are offered,” Mr. Fani-Kayode said.
Only INEC can postpone polls
Mr. Fani-Kayode rejected reports that the PDP and Mr. Jonathan were planning to have this month’s election postponed.
He also dismissed claims by the spokesperson of the APC, Lai Mohammed, that the PDP are planning an Interim Government.
“These allegations are disingenuous, tenuous and shameful. Rather than elevate the APC, this resort to mendacity and scaremongering further reduces them to a gang of desperadoes seeking power by all means and simply for the sake of it.
“This is because it is common knowledge that the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria does not provide for the Interim National Government contraption that the APC talks about,” he said.
He also said only the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC could postpone the polls.
“We wish to state that our party, the PDP and our government under President Jonathan, do not superintend over electoral processes and elections in this country.
“There is an independent election body in place-the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) under the chair of Professor Attahiru Jega. It is within the purview of INEC to make decisions about the holding and/or postponement of elections.
“It is not within the functions of the PDP or the Federal Government. We take exception to the fact that they keep on making this allegation deliberate.”
The PDP campaign spokesperson said INEC is completely independent. He said all they did as an organisation, was to call on the commission to ensure that everybody has the Permanent Voters Cards, PVC.
Mr. Fani-Kayode said the PDP would not allow APC to damage the good work that the party and Mr. Jonathan has done to transform Nigeria.
“The APC can go on its illusive flight of self-importance, but it is now increasingly clear to every Nigerian at home and in the Diaspora as well as members of the International Community that the opposition party is excessively desperate for presidential power and has imported unrestrained violence into our body-politic.
“The truth is that they cannot win the forthcoming elections and they know it. That is why they have come up with the allegation of Interim National Government.
“We repeat: those who want Interim National Government are the APC and some elements that are secretly behind their party. Their plan is to prepare a fertile ground upon which to discredit our anticipated victory at the polls, unleash anarchy and violence on the country after they lose so that we would not be able to enjoy our victory.
“By the grace of God and the support of a vast majority of Nigerians, their plan will fail,” Mr. Fani-Kayode said.
He further alleged that the APC has set out to intimidate the Judiciary.
He said that it is never an offence for an aggrieved party to seek reliefs in the courts of law.
“To suggest that cases instituted in courts are preparatory to scuttling the participation of General Buhari in the presidential election amounts to intimidation of the Judiciary and it is simply unacceptable.
“We in the PDP have never interfered in court processes. We have absolute confidence in the Judiciary, but the APC must not be allowed to intimidate all democracy-supporting institutions from performing their functions within the ambits of the relevant laws of the land,” he said.