The Presidency on Tuesday described the main opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party, as a purveyor of fake news capable of causing disaffection among the citizenry.
Reacting to insinuations by the party that stones were thrown at the convoy of President Muhammadu Buhari during his state visit to Kano srate on Monday, the Presidency in a release issued by presidential spokesperson, Mallam Garba Shehu, said at no time was stone hauled at the President while his visit lasted.
Rather, it stated that security reports had it that there was a clash between the Kano state transport company and thugs hired by some unidentified politicians after the President had finished inaugurating projects in the state.
The Presidency adviced the PDP to stop campaign of calumny ahead of the 2023 polls adding that the party is on the verge of losing eight out of the 14 states it presently controlled across the country.
The release stated inter alia:
“We have seen fake reports of stone-pelting incident that took place at Hotoro area of Kano on the day of the visit to the city by President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday, an incident, even if minor, that should stand condemned by all well-meaning citizens.
“Facts on ground as rendered by the law enforcement agencies speak of a clash between the local road transport authorities, the Kano Road Transport Authority, KAROTA and thugs hired by a yet-to-be identified group that took place when the President was being treated to a banquet at the Government House, well after he had finished his projects commissioning.
“The President was in the state to work the development, safety and security of the lives of common citizens and the happy thing about it was that the good people of Kano State were appreciative of him for the progress the state and the nation at large are making under him.
“The divisive rhetoric of an opposition in a futile attempt to malign the image of the President and the candidates of the All Progressives Congress in the coming elections, and its desperate wedge-driving activities to cause a division between the party and the government is not what will give them victory.
“A so-called leading opposition party that controls 14 states, going into elections with eight or nine of the states in tow should look inwards to see why their campaign is flagging and destined to fail. Their defeat is a story foretold story by many discerning individuals.
“The stone-pelters as seen from the video in the fight against the traffic police were innocent children sponsored by politicians and terrorist sympathizers. There is no place for violence in a democracy.
“The PDP should use the opportunity of the electioneering to put their point of view in a democracy. When problems can be resolved through talks, there is no place for stone-pelting, arson and unruly behavior as we are witnessing in some of the campaigns.
“It is equally unhealthy for society and it becomes the duty of political, social and religious leaders to correctly inform the misled youngsters to shun the path of violence which is inimical to their own future.
“Lastly is to say that the President has not lost his command and respect in Kano. For those who hold the border closure against him, they must come to realise that the 60-70 integrated rice mills in the city today would not have been in place if he had allowed the free-for-all smuggling to continue.”
Deji Elumoye in Abuja