Stop blame games, campaign with Buhari’s records, PDP tells ruling party
• High cost of food: Adamu urges Nigerians to brace for tougher times
• PDP crisis: Ignore G-5 governors at your peril, Nnamani warns
• Osinbajo not sidelined, will work for Tinubu’s victory, says Gaya
• Lawyer writes Atiku, Tinubu to declare health status, threatens lawsuit
After flagging off its presidential campaigns in Akwa Ibom on Monday, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Campaign Council (PCC), yesterday, called on the ruing All Progressives Congress (APC) to stop its seven-year-old blame games against PDP and show Nigerians President Muhammadu Buhari’s record of performance.
The party’s PCC spokesman, Charles Aniagwu, in a statement, said APC destroyed the building blocks erected by PDP prior to 2015, when the party took over reins of governance and was running away from telling Nigerians what President Buhari achieved, because it has nothing to show, after plunging Nigerians into deeper hunger and poverty.
Aniagwu added that the APC presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, and his handlers were always referring to Lagos State in their campaigns, because the party had failed Nigerians on their campaign promises.
He lampooned the ruling party for using Lagos as benchmark for their campaign, adding that Lagos wasn’t functioning well for citizens.
Aniagwu, who is also the Delta State Commissioner for Information, said: “PDP’s 16 years record is attractive enough to run on because things were much better in 2015 than they are now and you could see that those contesting on the platform of the ruling party are so scared of mentioning their achievements. Each time they talk, they take you to Lagos, a Lagos that is not even functioning well in the first place.
“But on the basis of what we did even in the first 16 years, we don’t have to run away from it and I can tell you that we liberalised the telecoms sector, pension reforms, banking consolidation and setting up a number of institutions to fight corruption, like the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Due Process Office and many more.
“We are very proud of running on our records and Atiku Abubakar and his running mate, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, have seen the many challenges bedeviling the country and they have mapped out strategies to reposition the country to function effectively.”
The campaign’s spokesman also took a swipe at APC for holding a campaign rally on a Sunday morning, describing the move as insensitive.
“I watched with dismay how APC organised a campaign rally on a Sunday morning. When people are supposed to be worshipping God, they were busy in Lagos blocking everybody in the name of rally. That was insensitive and it simply tells you clearly that they don’t understand the sensibilities of this country.”
ATTESTING to the state of the economy, APC National Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu, has asked Nigerians to brace up for tougher times, as the high cost of food items in the market would continue to increase to the end of 2022 and early part of 2023.
Adamu, who stated this yesterday in Tudun Wada, Nasarawa State, at the opening ceremony of the 14th National Agricultural Show, lamented that Nigeria’s National Food Reserve is not sufficient to cushion the effect of high food inflation that the nation is currently grappling with.
Adamu, represented by Kabir Ibrahim, National President of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), therefore, harped on the need for smallholder farmers to be provided with incentives to encourage them to embark on all-year-round farming to feed Nigeria’s teeming population.
He said: “The turbulences in prices of food items or food inflation, as the experts say, are at an all-time high today and would be higher towards the end of this year, 2022 and early part of 2023.
“As it is, our food reserve is not such that it can cushion the effect of inflation and since every country in the world is at this time on its own, the Nigerian Small Holder Farmer, who is responsible for feeding the ever increasing population of our nation, ought to be incentivised to produce all-year-round by adopting climate smart agriculture, deploying System of Crop Intensification, Agricultural biotechnology, Good Agricultural Practice (GAP), which uses less chemical fertilisers.”
Adamu, who is also the Chairman, Board of Trustees of National Agricultural Foundation of Nigeria (NAFN), pointed out that the surest way of reducing poverty is through investment in the agricultural sector, adding that “no amount of investments in this sector is too much but must target the real farmers.”
He advised that all interventions in the agricultural sector from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), and the 36 states and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) must be channeled to real farmers, otherwise there would no food sufficiency in Nigeria.
MEANWHILE, the Senator representing Enugu East Senatorial District, Chimaroke Nnamani, has described the absence of five serving PDP governors during the flag-off of the party’s presidential campaign, in Uyo, as discouraging.
He cautioned the leadership of the party against isolating and ignoring the Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike and his four colleagues – Samuel Ortom (Benue), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), Seyi Makinde (Oyo) and Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia) – who are aggrieved, because doing so would work against the overall interest of the party during the 2023 general elections.
Nnamani, a two-time former governor of Enugu (1999- 2007), gave the words of caution in a statement he signed in Abuja, on Tuesday. He noted that it would be ‘sheer arrogance’ on the part of the party leadership to ignore a critical group of five sitting governors.
The PDP stalwart, who is reportedly supporting APC’s presidential candidate, said, “Today, I go on record in total condemnation of the treatment of the five governors mostly from the Southern states within the PDP. The governors are our leaders and their humiliation rubs off on all of us.”
He recalled that governors were not treated with ignominy during his days. He further cautioned the party against erecting parallel structures in the five affected states saying “politics is local and the folks from these affected states parading with the PDP leadership will not deliver their polling booths without the governors.
“Without the involvement of the governors that are our leaders, these mere cheerleaders and feel-good political operatives cannot deliver. They can drag themselves from their home states to Abuja. Some are Abuja permanent residents. They dress the meetings and colour the rallies, but that is what it is, political colour dressing.”
AS members of the ruling party await the official inauguration of APC’s PCC, former Kano State governor, Senator Kabiru Gaya, has insisted that contrary to reports making the rounds, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo was not sidelined in the formation of the presidential campaign team of the party.
Gaya, who served as the Director-General of the support groups of Osinbajo when the vice president sought APC presidential ticket, told newsmen in Kano, yesterday, that Osinbajo remained committed to the presidential ambition of APC’s candidate, Tinubu, insisting that beyond all insinuations, the vice president would work for Tinubu’s victory come 2023 election.
Although, there was no official statement from the office of the Vice President to ascertain Gaya’s comment, the former DG of Osibanjo’s campaign was confident there was no division between the two APC leaders.
The perceived internal wrangling, which ensued after the Vice President lost the presidential ticket to Tinubu, was further fueled with the omission of Osinbajo and his wife on the list of APC presidential campaign council and the APC Women Presidential Campaign Committee.
He said: “I am a member of Tinubu campaign team, so the issue of sidelining anyone does not arise. Even the President has said he wants Osinbajo to be with him in running the affairs of the country to ensure seamless handover.
“There is nothing like Osinbajo is sidelined because after the primaries, we were in Osinbajo’s house when Tinubu came and said he needed our support. We had over two hours discussion. They are working together. Politics should not divide us.”
Gaya, who is seeking his fifth return to the red chamber, said he is optimistic that in Kano, APC would sweep the votes in all the electoral positions, predicting that the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) would come second while PDP would come third.
Gaya said the APC was not worried by the growing strength of the NNPP, claiming that it will only split the votes belonging to the PDP.
MEANWHILE, a legal practitioner, Amos Onokevagbe, has through his lawyer, Pius Oiwoh, demanded the public release of medical and academic records of Atiku and Tinubu, saying if they fail to do so within 14 days of the receipt of his letter, he will be forced to institute a court action to compel the release of the information.
In separate letters written to the two presidential candidates on behalf of Onokevagbe, Oiwoh said: “It is our client’s instructions that considering the innate rigours of the office of President and the mental and physical toll it can take on the health of an individual, our client requests that you instruct your physician to publish to the general public, a medical report detailing the state of your health, any chronic conditions you may be suffering from and any other sundry information on your health, which the general public would need to know to guide them to make an informed choice in the 2023 general elections. We also demand the publication, in the same manner, of your academic qualifications.
“Take notice that the above demands are our client’s minimum demands. If, however, these demands are not met, our client shall, within the next 14 days from the date of the receipt of this letter, proceed to a court of competent jurisdiction, to compel the release of this salient information in the overarching public interest.”
The letter further reads: “Our client, a Nigerian, voter, community leader and patriot has become increasingly worried by the absence of information on the health status of the 18 presidential candidates. This lack of clarity on the health status of the presidential candidates, particularly the leading political parties, has led to conjecture and rumour-mongering on the health status of the various candidates.
“Lest our client is labelled a rabble-rouser or a meddlesome interloper who wants to know the private medical information of individuals, our client’s worry is borne out of his lived experience in Nigeria, where the health status of Presidents were shrouded in secrecy and which almost brought Nigeria to its knees.”