With the election less than three weeks away and the outcome possibly against them, the Goodluck Jonathan Presidency and the hardliners in the PDP have embarked on a new strategy to put brake on the momentum APC presidential candidate Muhammadu Buhari seems to be gathering.
This strategy is novel and seems to be the outcome of a desperate calculation in that the PDP has shifted its attention from the APC in order to attack on multiple fronts the former governor of Lagos state and APC national leader, Bola Tinubu.
From what can be gathered through informed sources, the PDP and Jonathan Presidency had recently tried to fracture the APC by offering Tinubu the position of vice President in an interim government if he would agree to part company with the popular Buhari.
Once Tinubu rebuffed the offer to participate in the interim scheme, the presidency decided to change tactics. It would no longer try to entice Tinubu with sugar but would now move to silence and if necessary neutralize him.
The APC National leader has caused President Jonathan’s team countless headaches this campaign season, his declining the interim government offer is just the latest. The Jonathan government sees Tinubu as the linchpin of the APC and its successful electoral strategy.
They also consider him one of the government’s most prolific and able critics due to his longstanding and often strident critiques of Jonathan government policies, from economic development to national security.
More to the point, they blame him as the man who is most responsible for placing them in their current electoral quandary.
They believe without Tinubu’s efforts the successful merger of the political parties into the All Progressives Congress, APC, would not have occurred and they would not be facing possible defeat at the hands of this new party.
The PDP faces its stiffest competition ever in 16 years and the person they blame the most is Tinubu, the major actor who is seen as the strategic mind of the new party and one person who must be stopped at all cost. General Buhari has since been penciled down for similar character assassination and vicious insults alongside other leaders of the APC.
The agenda to tackle Bola Tinubu and weaken his political influence nationwide and to undermine his leadership in South Western politics can be said to have gone into overdrive.
The first part of the strategy is to dredge previously discredited claims of illicit wealth in hopes of silencing Tinubu or lessening his public image. However, they fear this public relations attack may be too soft as Tinubu has been taken before the ICPC and the case against him dismissed. If this attack does not deter his party activities, the presidency and PDP are prepared to take more drastic action if they believe it necessary to win the election by throwing the APC into disarray.
This part of the plot has two options, the first of which is to employ trained snipers to attack Tinubu or assassinate him out rightly. This plan is consistent with the warning made by former President Obasanjo in his now famous 2014 letter to President Jonathan. Those within the PDP favouring this approach argue that when Chief Bola Ige, a powerful politician was murdered, heavens did not fall even though the then President was a Yoruba man. The second option more crafty. The PDP will seek to resuscitate the case of the murder of Funso Williams a former Lagos gubernatorial candidate by blaming Tinubu for the killing.
They are already coaching inmates and others. They are offering them the promise of early release and money if they will make statements implicating Tinubu in the Williams murder. The presidency intends to rush through this process with the hope of putting Tinubu out of circulation by trapping him in a contrived criminal process until the elections are over. Tinubu is not taking these revelations lightly knowing well the capacity of this government for devilish acts.
For the party that boasts it will rule Nigeria for 60 years, it has become an unexpected season of political desperation. The PDP is worried that on March 28, they will discover that they have fallen 44 years short of their dynastic goal. By all accounts, this has caused them to consider very drastic plots and schemes.
Nigerians are confronted with a ruling party willing to descend to the lowest in order to win elections. Perceived political enemies are being hunted. Trumped-up allegations are being manufactured daily from the government factory of lies to taint the leading figures in the All Progressives Party, APC.
Tinubu Media Office