(Text of press briefing addressed by Alh. Lai Mohammed, Nat. Pub. Secretary of the party)
Good morning gentlemen.
You are welcome to this press conference, which we have called to alert Nigerians to the next moves by the desperate and election-phobic duo of the PDP and the Presidency, using various compromised people as fronts.
With just a little over two weeks to next month’s general election, a rash of court cases have been instituted in an unrelenting effort to stop our presidential candidate, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari. At the last count, at least four cases have been filed by those who are undoubtedly fronting for the PDP and the Presidency, and all are working towards the same goal: Stop Buhari, Scuttle next month’s elections. We expect more cases to be filed in pursuit of this ignominious objective.
Let me give a quick background of how we got here. Since the emergence of Gen. Buhari as the presidential candidate of the APC at a well-organized and transparent National Convention of our party last month, things seem to have fallen apart for the PDP and the Presidency, and for them the centre can no longer hold. Indeed, Gen. Buhari has become the nightmare for the ruling party and the Presidency, to such an extent that their entire electioneering campaign now dwells on one and one issue only: the person of Gen. Buhari.
First, they said things will unravel for the candidate and his party over the choice of a Vice Presidential Candidate, but not only did this evil prediction fail, a VP candidate who has been widely acclaimed as the best choice for the party and the country, in the person of Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, emerged, further pushing the naysayers into sheer trepidation.
Next, they engaged in scandal mongering, that our candidate is not qualified to run because he did not have the pre-requisite qualification. In fact, they so much believed their own lies that they swore to have found a fool-proof way to stop Gen. Buhari. Then their house of lies collapsed when it was proven beyond doubt that our candidate sat for and passed his Cambridge Examination.
Not knowing what to do next, they procured a forged medical certificate from the ‘Ahmadu Bello University hospital’ of their warped Imagination, that our candidate is suffering from prostate cancer, but their 419 certificate had barely been unveiled before it was disowned by the authentic Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital. Again, the web of lies woven by the PDP and the Presidency unraveled before their very eyes.
Not knowing what next to do, they turned their campaign rallies to a Buhari-bashing event, pushing issues to the back burner. Those who lacked even a scintilla of integrity, those who an embodiment of incompetence and cluelessness, and those who need reformation in the aftermath of their self-inflicted, indulgence-induced phrenic impairment all went into a frenzy in an attempt to demonize a man whose integrity, decency and honesty are legendary. They produced and aired documentaries that are based, 99%, on lies and twisted facts. But this too boomeranged. The more they pound him, the higher Gen. Buhari soars.
Now they have moved to the last frontier in their stop-Buhari-at-all-cost campaign: Using the courts. After manipulating some elements of the judiciary workers to embark on strike to stop the courts from hearing cases that could be detrimental to their presidential candidate, the same puppeteers again manipulated the elements to end the strike, so they can kick-start their last strategy. As I said earlier, at least four cases have been filed, all aimed at one and one objective only: Stop Gen. Buhari.
Suffice it to say that this stop-Buhari-at-all-cost campaign is being pursued simultaneously with the push to postpone next month elections, ostensibly because of the low level of PVC distribution but in the real sense an implementation of the stated mindset of the presidency never to hand over to Gen. Buhari, and then of course set up an interim government
It is in view of the multiplicity of court cases at this late hour that we have decided to alert Nigerians to the execrable plan of the PDP and the Presidency. We have also decided to appeal directly to the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) to stoutly defend the independence and integrity of the judiciary at this critical moment, to avoid a repeat of what transpired in 1993 when unscrupulous elements constituted themselves into the infamous Association for Better Nigeria (ABN) that was used to annul the 1993 general elections, thus aborting the Third Republic and throwing the country into a deep and prolonged crisis.
The rumour mill is spinning fast. Stories abound of a huge war chest of 100 million dollars being earmarked to grease the palm of any pliable Judge who can disqualify Gen. Buhari and halt the electoral process. We do not know whether or not this allegation is true, but we do know that Nigerians do not want to return to ‘Egypt’. We have been down this road before with disastrous consequences, and we do not want to tread that path again. Never before has so much been deployed just to stop the candidacy of just one man!
While we are at this, may we also alert Nigerians and the global community to the systematic denial of visas to foreign journalists wishing to cover next month’s election. A regime that has nothing to hide or fear will not hesitate to allow international coverage of what is undoubtedly one of the most important elections in the world this year! Information reaching us indicates that most of the foreign journalists who applied for visas to travel to Nigeria, from different parts of the world, for the elections have been kept in abeyance under the guise of security clearance. This is totally unacceptable, and it is another indication that this Administration has a lot of skeletons in its cupboard as far as the forthcoming election is concerned. We ask local and international observers to take note of this, and to immediately take the Administration to task with a view to ameliorating the situation.
In conclusion, we will like to ask the PDP and the Presidency: Why are you so frightened by Gen. Buhari’s candidacy for the office of the President? Why are you so terrified of facing Gen. Buhari at the polls? Why have you been engaging in a clandestine campaign to postpone the elections, when on the other hand you claim to be ready? If Gen. Buhari ran in 2003, 2007 and 2011, and there was never an issue with his meeting the pre-requisite qualification, why have you made it an issue now? Is it because you have realized that he is poised to shellack President Jonathan at the polls? Why is an interim government an option when Nigerians are willing and eager to vote next month?
While we will continue to appeal to our members and supporters to remain calm, we call on them, and indeed all Nigerians, to be vigilant, knowing that eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. We urged the CJN to be a bulwark against the abuse of the courts just to achieve a pre-determined end.
We call on the international community to take note of the multi-faceted campaign to stop Gen. Buhari at all cost and scuttle next month’s elections to pave the way for an interim government that will benefit no one but the PDP, the Jonathan Administration and its cronies.
We ask those who are mortally afraid of Gen. Buhari to douse their fears and meet us at the polls next month.