The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Saturday stated that the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, was being haunted by his exposed scheme to relocate the federal capital from Abuja to Lagos.
The main opposition party, which will campaign for the 2023 presidential election in Lagos State on Monday, also described Tinubu’s current foreign trip as a deliberate ploy to dodge another episode of the ARISE NEWS presidential town hall series scheduled to hold Sunday.
Meanwhile, the APC Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) has denied the rumour that Tinubu plans to relocate the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) from Abuja to Lagos, if elected.
The council said the falsehood being spread by the opposition was in continuation of their campaign of calumny and character assassination of the former Lagos State governor.
A statement by the Director of Media and Publicity of the campaign council, Bayo Onanuga, clarified that Tinubu “does not contemplate any such plan and will not do anything that is so ultra-unconstitutional.”
But a statement by the spokesperson of the Atiku/Okowa Presidential Campaign Organisation, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, insisted that the APC presidential candidate should face Nigerians with explanation for the exposed scheme instead of allowing his handlers to be playing to the gallery with disjointed denials and blaming other political parties for allegedly spreading the accusation that he planned to relocate the federal capital.
“The plan to relocate the Federal Capital was conceptualised and propagated by the Tinubu campaign and only became hysterical as a result of the public ire against such atrocious plot to sequester the nation’s capital for his personal selfish interest,” PDP alleged.
The main opposition party further argued that the foreign trip embarked on by Tinubu was a deliberate ploy to dodge the ARISE NEWS Channel debate scheduled to hold today.
PDP said the former Lagos State governor was apprehensive that “Nigerians will take him to task on the FCT relocation plot, alleged criminal indictments, perjury, forgery and inconsistencies in age, name, ancestry and education qualification.”
According to the party, the handlers of the APC presidential candidate are not comfortable to put him before the cameras because of his constant embarrassing gaffes that question his fitness for the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“If Asiwaju Tinubu cannot face Nigerians as a candidate, because of his many baggage, he surely does not deserve their votes on February 25, 2023.
“Our campaign urges Nigerians not to relent for a moment in their continued support for Atiku until they elect him into office,” the party added.
Tinubu Jets to London for Chatham Event
Meanwhile, Tinubu left Nigeria Saturday for London to speak at Chatham House on Monday.
The Director, Media and Publicity of the APC Presidential Campaign Council, Mr. Bayo Onanuga, disclosed this in a statement.
Onanuga said the APC presidential candidate would speak on security, economy and foreign policy on Monday, December 5, 2022 at Chatham House in London.
Atiku will Justify the Trust of All Nigerians, PDP Tells Northern Christian Leaders
In a related development, the Presidential Campaign Management Committee (PCMC) of the PDP has reacted to Atiku’s endorsement by the Northern Christian and Muslim Leaders within the APC, saying it was “excited, grateful and pleased to receive the well processed and justified decision.”
The Forum of Christian and Muslim Political Leaders from the 19 northern states and the FCT, headed by a former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, had Friday, adopted Atiku as the consensus candidate for the 2023 elections.
A statement signed by the spokesperson of the PDP Presidential Campaign Management Committee, Senator Dino Melaye, said the endorsement of Atiku came as an elixir for the PDP and its candidate, because it attested to the broadness, equalisation and nationalistic composition of the opposition party and its standard bearer.
“We have come to a stage in our national evolution, where attention should be devoted to what binds us together and not what breaks us. The promise, record and actions of Atiku Abubakar speak to this objective, and this is what he will pursue as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“It is also significant that the Northern Christian leaders reckoned with the cognate experience of Atiku Abubakar as the former vice president, who operated at that level of governance and was outstanding as a reformer, a talent hunter and a broad-minded leader, whose office was a microcosm of the different shades of nationalities within the Nigerian State. Atiku, whom we fondly and justifiably call the unifier, has over the years maintained friendship with thousands of Nigerians irrespective of their age, gender, faith or geographical location.
“We note with deep gratitude and satisfaction the observation that Atiku has a well-articulated agenda. Without being immodest, the presidential candidate of the PDP has always armed himself with SMART goals. His vision is clear and the mission is grounded. With his foresight he had long expressed the plan on how to manage Nigeria’s oil sector. Atiku remains the most experienced, most prepared and most acceptable candidate for the 2023 elections.
“Atiku will not only lead Nigeria out of the current economic, political and security crisis, he will give all Nigerians a sense of belonging, mend the fault lines and repair the broken confidence and social structures.
“We call on all Nigerians to give Atiku Abubakar the opportunity to take Nigeria to where it ought to be,” Melaye stated.
Meanwhile, at the inauguration of the Persons Living With Disabilities (PLWD) Presidential Campaigns in Abuja yesterday, the PDP presidential candidate pledged an inclusive federal administration with the involvement of persons living with disabilities.
He said that as he had earlier pledged to be sensitive to the 35 per cent Beijing declaration and an inclusive government with youths, he would ensure that PLWD are accommodated in his government.
Atiku charged the PLWD to go to their polling units, wards and local governments to ensure that they deliver and defend their votes.
Citing the records from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the National Population Commission, Atiku said there are over 19 million registered voters, who are PLWD.
He urged them to come out en masse and vote for him as a unifier that he would run an inclusive government without discrimination.
Chuks Okocha in Abuja