Stephen Ukandu, Umuahia
President Muhammadu Buhari, was Monday attacked by some miscreants during his visit to Kano State.
This is as the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has accused the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, presidential candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, of masterminding the attack.
But in a swift reaction, the former Lagos Governor, denied any involvement with the incident, and demanded immediate arrest and prosecution of the PDP Spokesman, Hon. Debo Ologunagba, who levelled the allegation against him.
PDP had while condemning the act, described it as “an organised attack on the person of the President,” saying “it is outrightly treasonable and a sacrilegious assault on our national sovereignty which must be condemned by all.“
National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Hon. Ologunagba, had in a statement, in Abuja, pointed accusing fingers at Tinubu, claiming it was part of the alleged plots by the APC presidential candidate to instigate crisis to scuttle the forthcoming polls having realised the outcome would not favour him.
The statement obtained by Ikengaonline read in part: “Our Party is alarmed that this attack is part of APC’s Presidential Candidate’s alleged plot to undermine the Presidency, cause confusion, trigger violence in the country, disrupt the conduct of the 2023 general elections and derail our democracy; having realised that he cannot win in a peaceful, free and fair electoral process.
“The PDP invites Nigerians to note how Governor Abdullahi Ganduje attempted to abridge President Buhari’s movement and even tried to stop him from visiting Kano State.
“More disquieting is the fact that the APC Presidential Campaign sought to humiliate and harm President Buhari, while performing his official duties in Kano.
“It should be noted that the APC Presidential Candidate has been displaying open aversion and making inciting statements against President Buhari since Mr. President’s declaration, in line with democratic best practice all over the world, that Nigerians should freely vote for any candidate and Party of their choice in the 2023 general election.“
Ologunagba recalled Tinubu’s recent infamous statement at the Chattam House London where he told his supporters that “political power is not served a la carte in a restaurant, but determined.”
Tinubu was quoted as saying that “you do it at all cost; fight for it, grab it, snatch it and run with it.”
PDP also claimed that recently, Tinubu further incited his followers against President Buhari at APC’s presidential rally in Abeokuta, Ogun State, where he accused Buhari of attempting to subvert the electoral process.
“It is now clearer why the APC Presidential Candidate brazenly established a militia code-named “the Jagaban Army” which is designed to undermine our national security, unleash violence on institutions of democracy and disrupt the electoral process.
“The PDP counsels the APC Presidential Candidate to come to terms with the fact that Nigerians are determined to have free, fair and credible elections and that they are unwavering in their choice of the PDP Presidential Candidate Atiku Abubakar as the next President of our country.
“Asiwaju Tinubu should note that no threat by any means can divert Nigerians from the path to rescue and rebuild our nation; which aspiration is embodied in Atiku Abubakar,” PDP claimed in the statement.
But Tinubu in a counter statement issued by the Director, Media and Publicity of his campaign council, Mr Bayo Onanuga, described the allegations as imaginary and unfounded.
He accused the PDP of sponsoring fake news to blackmail him and ultimately pitch him against the President.
Tinubu said he was not surprised to read of the “imaginary attack on the President being peddled by the PDP since the party has nothing tangible to tell Nigerians from its crumbling Presidential Campaign.”
According to Tinubu, PDP is trying to make political capital out of the Kano incident, insisting he knows nothing about the purported attack on Buhari in Kano.
Tinubu’s statement read: “This invented attack on President Muhammadu Buhari must have happened only in the fertile imagination of PDP National Publicity Secretary, one Debo Ologunagba.
“Only the evil mind of PDP could conceive an attack on a President of Nigeria.
“It is not impossible that PDP through its paid agents would organise miscreants to stage-manage an attack.
“But we are sure the security agencies are capable of foiling any planned attack on the President and anyone who is caught in such an unholy plot now or in the future will have himself or herself to blame.
“We call on the security agencies especially the Police and Department of State Services to immediately arrest PDP National Publicity Secretary for interrogation over this imaginary attack,” he stated.
Tinubu urged members of the public to discountenance “this fake news from a party that has lost touch with reality and suffering the agony of violating its own rules on power rotation.”
Tinubu said that statement by PDP was only a smokescreen, claiming that the main opposition party might have orchestrated the said attack on President Buhari.
“We believe the party may have planned to embarrass President Buhari in Kano and then put the blame on host Governor Ganduje and Tinubu.”
Ikengaonline reports that Gov. Ganduje, had before the visit written to President Buhari to shelve the planned visit, citing the disenchantment over the initial deadline for change of old currency notes as reason for his advice.