The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has cautioned President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration against alleged constant resort to threats against Nigerians and the international community.
This is just as the party condemned the Buhari Campaign Organisation’s attack on US Ambassador to Nigeria, Stuart Symington.
The spokesman of the Buhari campaign, Festus Keyamo (SAN) had accused Symington and the US government of tacit support for PDP presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar after Symington’s comment that any Nigerian politician that engages in hate speech would be dealt with by the US.
“We take the view that the constant statements by Ambassador Symington and the other diplomats are implicit attacks against the government of Nigeria. These statements imply the Nigerian government is inclined to rig the election in favour of President Muhammadu Buhari. This is unfair and unacceptable to us. President Muhammadu Buhari has never been accused of electoral malpractice all his life.
““However, in contrast, former Vice-President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, publicly boasted a few months ago that he rigged the 2003 elections in the South-West states. Here, we have an open confession of blatant electoral malfeasance by the PDP candidate. But in all of these, there seem to be no concern by Ambassador Symington and other diplomats about this well-acknowledged proclivity of the main opposition,” a statement by Keyamo read in part.
Reacting, the PDP described Keyamo’s statement as “embarrassing”.
In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP said, “The threats by the Buhari Campaign Organisation to the United States Ambassador to Nigeria, Ambassador W. Stuart Symington, as well as attempts to demonise the envoy for his country’s caution against hate speech in our electioneering discourse by desperate politicians is to say the least, embarrassing.
“Just as the proverbial old woman who takes offence whenever dry bones are mentioned, the Buhari Presidency and the APC are furious and issuing threats at this open and well-intentioned caution by peace loving members of the global community because they are directly culpable.
“Only on Sunday, President Muhammadu Buhari at his campaign rally in Zamfara state made incendiary comments and encouraged his audience to join the APC in its planned resort to violence and self-help in the 2019 general election.
“It is instructive to recall that this direct threat by the Buhari Campaign Organisation is coming days after the Governor of Kaduna State, and APC chieftain, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, threatened that members of the global democratic institutions working towards peaceful 2019 general elections in our country will return in body bags.
“It is indeed worrisome that having realised that they have no chance in the February 16 Presidential election, the Buhari Presidency and the APC are seeking to pull down our country, pitch her against the global community and return us to a pariah nation status.”