My husband hale, hearty, says Buhari’s wife, as APC wants Ekiti’s alleged rigging tape probed
Party misinforming the public, by Obanikoro, Agbaje
FOR the first time since the controversy surrounding the health and travel schedule of the All Progressives Congress, APC’s presidential candidate, Major General (rtd) Muhammadu Buhari, wife of the opposition party flagbearer, Aisha, has said her husband is neither hospitalised nor ill as some people have claimed.
This is coming on the heels of APC’s renewed call for a thorough probe of the Ekiti rigging allegation by an army captain who recorded the audio tape, maintaining it is wrong for anyone to label the tape a fake without a forensic investigation.
However, former minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro and Lagos State governorship candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Jimi Agbaje and some members of the party have said that the APC are spreading lies about the performances of President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.
Aisha Buhari spoke to The Guardian at the Westminster Plaza Hotel, London Saturday night, after APC team’s interactive reception with Nigerians in the diaspora.
The exchange between The Guardian and Mrs. Aishat Buhari went thus:
The Guardian: is it true that the general is hospitalised since you’re the only authentic person who can comment on that.
Mrs. Buhari: I’m hearing it for the first time. He’s home, well and sound.
The Guardian: so Nigerians don’t need to listen to the rumours that he’s come here for medical check-up, that he’s not healthy and that the Chatham House event (where he’s to speak on Thursday) is just a ruse?
Mrs. Buhari: No, he’s just come here to rest. He’s just here to have a rest, at least few days rest (smiling) before he goes back to the business.”
Wife of the APC’s Vice Presidential candidate, Mrs. Oludolapo Osinbajo also fielded questions from the audience during the two-hour event, each drumming up support for the APC.
At the same event, wife of Ogun State Governor, Mrs. Olufunsho Amosun warned Nigerians not to expect the APC flagbearer to wave any magic wand and turn both economy and country around overnight, if he wins next month’s rescheduled Presidential elections on March 28.
Major General Buhari, according to an influential member of APC UK Chapter, will speak at Chatham House on Thursday, while his running mate, Osinbajo is scheduled to address a mixed audience of Nigerians and others at the House of Commons on March 5.
At the event itself, Ogun State first lady, Mrs. Amosun not only accused the PDP of their ” legacy of unemployment,” she spoke further, telling the packed audience that: “General Buhari is not a magician, he will not find you a job if you do not go out there and help yourself.” She spoke on the need for young Nigerians and those in the diaspora to be creative and “create jobs,” both for themselves and others.
In a statement issued in Lagos yesterday by APC National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the forensic investigation is particularly necessary because of the alleged role the military played in the whole rigging scenario, and against the background of the court rulings against the deployment of troops for elections.
‘’If the government officials and politicians whose voices were heard on the tape are not interested in clearing their name, what of the military institution that was dragged into the show of shame? Has the integrity of the military not been compromised by the alleged role of a General and hundreds of his troops in the rigging saga?’’ Mohammed queried.
The party said the inconsistency of the federal government’s response to the whole saga has exposed its underbelly and made it more urgent for a forensic investigation of the tape to be carried out.
‘’First, those whose voices were heard on the tape rushed to deny there was any such meeting. Later, after they were confronted with a preponderance of evidence, they started owning up one by one, starting with Police Affairs Minister Jelili Adesiyan, then Minister of State for Defence Musiliu Obanikoro and then Ekiti Governor Ayodele Fayose, even though they all denied the meeting was about rigging. Of course Nigerians know better.
‘’But these men, on the basis of their initial denial, are no longer credible as far as the rigging tape is concerned, hence it is necessary to have an independent investigation of the whole issue,’’ it said.
APC also said that while President Goodluck Jonathan had rushed to dismiss the authenticity of the tape, telling the Wall Street Journal “It’s all fabrications,” his campaign spokesman Femi Fani-Kayode said the exact opposite: “We have listened to the audio clip and we make bold to say that the discussion that took place in it did not make any mention of any form of rigging in the Ekiti state governorship election and neither did it contain any evidence of any conspiracy to rig.”
Speaking at the Lagos Airport Hotel during the unveiling of a book titled “Showcasing Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s Monumental Strides: A Third Party Perspective,” Obanikoro said anyone who has worked deserves to be rewarded.
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