The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has said that the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, and his running mate, Kashim Shettima, were identifying with former President Goodluck Jonathan, to beguile Nigerians ahead of the 2023 elections.
The main opposition party maintained that both Tinubu, Shettima and other APC critical actors have been taking measures to distance themselves from the alleged failure of President Muhammadu Buhari’s regime.
In a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, the party said the recent meeting between the trio was an attempt by the APC presidential and vice-presidential candidates to launder their image.
Recall that Tinubu and Shettima met with Jonathan in Abuja on Tuesday in continuation of his consultation ahead of the 2023 elections.
Although details of their meeting were not made public, a source in Tinubu’s camp revealed that the visit was an extension of the APC national leader’s consultation with major stakeholders in the polity ahead of the 2023 presidential election.
“His visit to Jonathan shouldn’t come to anyone as a surprise. Tinubu holds no grudges with any political whether within the party or in the opposition,” he said.
But in a statement on Thursday, the PDP berated Tinubu and Shettima, saying the duo was part of those who frustrated Jonathan’s administration efforts, particularly on the issue of insecurity and the Chibok girls’ abduction.
The full statement read:
Nigerians are scandalized over the disgraceful and hypocritical attempt by the Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress , Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and other APC leaders to distance themselves from President Muhammadu Buhari over the abysmal failure of the Buhari-led administration in which they are principal actors.
In a desperate design to whitewash their battered public image, identifying with the obvious successes of the PDP and in an attempt to posture as statesmen, the APC Presidential Candidate, his running mate, Sen. Kashim Shettima and other APC leaders shamelessly orchestrated a photo opportunity with the distinguished and successful former President Goodluck Jonathan of the Peoples Democratic Party.
This is a patriotic Nigerian leader whose PDP-led purposeful and successful government the APC leaders viciously harassed, constantly insulted, labelled, sabotaged and discredited for their selfish power-grabbing enterprise.
Nigerians have not forgotten how Asiwaju Tinubu callously vilified and pilloried Dr. Jonathan, spewed hate against his administration and reportedly funded a near riotous protest which was inflamed by concocted economic lies, propaganda and false statistics to discredit the Jonathan-led PDP administration.
Nigerians can equally recall how Sen. Shettima as governor of Borno State sabotaged and frustrated Jonathan’s administration in its effort to curb insecurity in Borno State.
Records still have it on how the APC Vice Presidential candidate as governor of Borno State failed to act on a security report and directive to close schools in remote parts of Borno State and relocate students to the more secure capital of Maiduguri to write their GCE examinations; thus creating the opening for the cruel abduction of school girls in Chibok, Borno State.
Nigerian will also note how the then Governor Shettima abdicated his duty as chief security officer and reportedly withheld vital security information in preference to non-state actors including terrorist elements, thereby frustrating the timely rescue of the abducted Chibok girls.
It can also be recalled that after the infamous abduction, the principal of the school was subsequently appointed as a commissioner in Borno State by the then Governor Shettima; a development many considered as compensation for her alleged role in the abduction.
It is therefore ironic that these same APC leaders who also spent the last seven years insulting and harassing Dr. Jonathan now shamelessly arranged a visit and photo opportunity in an attempt to launder their image and hoodwink Nigerians from the atrocities and monumental evil they brought to our country.
It is indeed provocative that after turning our nation into a vast killing field by emboldening terrorist elements to massacre our citizens; wrecking our once robust economy, elevating corruption to an official state policy and turning our nation into the poverty capital of the world, APC leader are seeking to beguile Nigerians again.
We are aware that these APC leaders have lined up several illusory antics to mislead Nigerians ahead of the 2023 general elections, but they must know that Nigerians have moved on and cannot be swayed by propaganda, lies, false promises and photo ops with successful individuals.
What is expected of APC leaders at this moment is to apologize unreservedly to Dr. Jonathan, the PDP and Nigerians for the life-discounting situation they have foisted on our nation in the last seven years. After that they should quietly quit the stage, take valedictory pictures with terrorists, political thugs and election riggers since they cannot have any space among well-meaning Nigerians.