PDP ATTACKS TINUBU OVER HIRED CLERGYMEN.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Friday advised the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Bola Ahmed Tinubu to withdraw from the race following the alleged hiring of “unknown” bishops and other clergymen to give validity to his same-faith ticket.
The call came at a press conference addressed by Hon. Debo Ologunagba, the party’s National Publicity Secretary, at its national secretariat in Abuja, where he argued that the hiring of the individuals was a nauseating, blasphemous and provocative act of desperation by a sinking political party.
The party spokesman accused the ruling party flag bearer of hiring fraudsters, touts and other people of questionable characters to pose in vestments to orchestrate an endorsement.
Reading from a text, Ologunagba said: “The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is appalled by the nauseating, blasphemous and unpardonable act by the All Progressives Congress (APC) in hiring street artisans, fraudsters and touts and criminally dressing them in bishop’s vestments to orchestrate an endorsement for its collapsing Presidential campaign.
“The PDP, in the strongest term, condemns this profane and highly provocative act of desperation by the sinking APC Presidential Candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, in the face of APC’s collapsing leadership, membership and followership structure across the country.
“Nigerians were sickened by videos and pictorial evidence of known mechanics, bus conductors and fraudsters sacrilegiously being dressed in fake bishop vestments and paid to endorse the unveiling of Asiwaju Tinubu’s widely rejected running mate, Sen. Kashim Shettima.
“Such action is unacceptable and unbecoming of any individual aspiring to a leadership position at any level let alone, the office of the President. This is an embarrassment to leadership.”
The PDP further said with this “scandalous act” and his ongoing battle with issues of “alleged perjury, non-existent certificate and allegations of extortions,” the presidential candidate, “has become more ethically challenged and lost all moral standing to seek election as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
The party spokesman added: “More sickening is the outcry by the hirelings that they were defrauded by agents of the APC Presidential candidate, who paid them sums ranging from N30,000 to N40,000 as against the N100,000 they were earlier promised.
“It is therefore ludicrous that instead of being remorseful and asking for forgiveness, the APC Presidential Campaign is shamelessly posting lame denials and excuses in the face of hard and verified evidence of its involvement in the shameless venture.
“Our Party is not surprised by the attitude of the APC Presidential Campaign. Such is consistent with the character and DNA of the APC, which was never a political party but a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) hurriedly put together by conflicting bed-fellows and inchoate sailors clobbered together for remote personal gain and whose only interest is to defraud Nigerians through falsehood, lies, deceit, bribery, Temporary Loyalty Purchase, corruption of established institutions and violation of set rules without regards to the feelings, sensibilities and wellbeing of Nigerians.
“With this ugly episode, Nigerians now know the individual who has been the planner and executor of the lies, false promises and corruption of the APC that have brought disunity, excruciating hardship, mass killings and political instability in the country in the last seven years.”
The PDP blasted the APC government as corrupt and deceptive, noting that Tinubu confessed to having helped to install it, adding that under the ruling party, “our productive sector has been completely wrecked; the over $550 billion economy (largest in Africa and 26th globally) with a naira value of N167 to the Dollar handed over by the PDP has been brought to its knees with the naira now crawling at N665 to a dollar today.
“Under Asiwaju’s APC government, Nigeria’s debt stock has astronomically risen from N12 trillion under the PDP to N41.6 trillion with our nation going broke as Debt Servicing cost has now surpassed Government revenue with over N300 billion.
“Today, millions of businesses have been shut down due to harsh economic policies and high cost of fuel; unemployment has risen to over 35%, cost of food items, medication and essential services have skyrocketed beyond reach as over 90 million Nigerians are no longer able to afford their daily meals and other basic necessities of life. What a tragedy!”
The PDP pointed out that the people of Osun State knew why they demonstrated their rejection of the APC presidential candidate in the recent governorship election, adding: “PDP’s sweeping victory and the spontaneous jubilation across our country are direct statements by Nigerians on their resolve to stand on the platform of the PDP to free themselves from the agonising stranglehold of the lying, cruel and life-discounting APC and its presidential candidate.”
The PDP spokesman alleged that there had been failed desperate attempts to frustrate the smooth conclusion of the Osun State governorship election as the main opposition party coasted to victory, noting: “Our Party is privy to reports of how doors were locked against APC leaders in Abuja and how their frantic telephone calls and corrupt offers to truncate the Osun election were turned down.”
He recalled that the PDP had previously cautioned Tinubu that he will soon realize that Nigeria was bigger than an estate that could easily be acquired.
Ologunagba added: “Now that the APC presidential candidate has lost the basic required leadership integrity and having been exposed and roundly rejected in his ancestral home State of Osun, the South West and across the country; our Party counsels him to immediately withdraw from the 2023 Presidential race to avoid further disgrace.
“Nigerians cannot afford to have fraudsters, liars, deceivers, perjurers, swindlers and corrupt individuals at the helm of affairs in our country. Such individuals can only superintend over a deceptive, fraudulent and duplicitous administration and worsen the woes faced by our nation under the current inhumane and rudderless APC administration.
“The APC Presidential candidate and his party should know that it is in his own interest to withdraw from the race as it will be futile to go into an election in which the Will and aspiration of the people are manifestly against him and the APC.
“Asiwaju has no political fighting chance in the face of the soaring popularity of PDP’s very competent, candid, transparent, people-oriented and much more prepared Presidential Candidate, His Excellency, Atiku Abubakar at the poll.
“The PDP is poised for a winning campaign and as always, our Party is open to suggestions and further collaborations with well-meaning Nigerians as we collectively march to liberate our nation in the 2023 general elections.”
Recall that following accusation by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), the Tinubu Campaign Organisation (TCO), had rejected reports that fake bishops were hired to attend the unveiling of the APC presidential running mate, Kashim Shettima.
Its Director of Media and Communication, Mr Bayo Onanuga, who debunked the allegation, said the bishops were not hired.
He posited in a statement: “We want to say that those clergymen were not fake, not mechanics or yam sellers as the purveyors of hatred have made Nigerians believe in the social media. They are not big names in Christendom yet, they are gradually building up their missions.
“They are church leaders who genuinely believe that Nigerians must eschew politics of hatred and religious bigotry and rather embrace politics of peace and nation building.
“We, therefore, deplore the hysterical twisting of the presence of these men and women in cassocks and the false accusation against our candidates, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Senator Shettima.”