The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has disagreed with the presidency over the leaked video, where it was alleged that the former National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, and the Chief of Staff to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, at the Presidential Villa were discussion the arrests of certain individuals, ahead of the September 19 governorship election.
The party said that the Presidency’s admission of the leaked video confirmed Edo State clampdown plot.
Addressing newsmen in Abuja on Wednesday, the spokesman of PDP and Secretary, Publicity Sub Committee National Campaign Council on Edo Governorship Election, Kola Ologbondiyan, said that the leaked video has confirmed the nation’s worst fears.
The party accused presidency of trying to rationalize the plot as captured in the video to use compromised security operatives to clampdown on certain unnamed Nigerians to achieve political suppression and rig the Edo governorship election.
“Of course, the Presidency and the APC cannot post a denial because they have been caught and exposed by the Nigerian people, who generally detest their lies, propaganda, underhand methods, resort to violence and rigging of the election.
“By describing the discussion by Oshiomhole and Prof. Gambari, in which Oshiomhole was heard finalizing a plot to clampdown political rivals, as ‘an innocent conversation’, the Buhari Presidency has further exposed its complicity.
“This convoluted admission by the Presidency speaks more of the conversation that must have held behind closed doors with President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Nigerians were further alarmed by the admission that Oshiomhole, the face of the APC campaign, was at the Presidential Villa for discussions on ’emerging incidents of violence in the run up to the election’ as well as the ‘use of Law enforcement’, in an election in which he and the APC have displayed a desperation to grab power at all costs.
“The question is: when did Oshiomhole become the National Security Adviser (NSA). When did Oshiomhole become a service chief? Is Oshiomhole holding any statutory position in the government or even in the APC, as a party, to warrant a security meeting with the President, if the meeting was not for ulterior partisan purposes on the Edo election?” the party asked.
The PDP added that this development also points to the obvious fact that the security architecture of the nation has been abandoned by statutory officials and now vested in political hooligans.
“If the meeting was indeed focused on genuinely curbing violence, as being claimed by the Presidency, why were leaders of other political parties and other stakeholders in the Edo governorship election not invited? Why was this meeting centered on the arrest and clampdown of political rivals?
“Our National Campaign on Edo State Governorship Election is worried by the discussion between Oshiomhole and Prof. Gambari because of the history of electoral violence that has characterized elections under this administration,” the party said.
The PDP said that it has been made aware of alleged plots by APC leaders in Edo to design fake military, police and other security agencies’ uniforms for APC thugs with the view of using them to unleash violence and clampdown on traditional, faith-based and community leaders in Edo state on trumped-up charges.
“While our National Campaign understands the pedigree of Prof. Gambari, we want to however caution him not to allow his record of service to be tainted with the violence being perpetrated by the APC in Edo as well as Oshiomhole’s repeated calls for clampdown on the Edo people, ahead of the election. The world is watching!
“Furthermore, it is ludicrous for the Presidency to conjure ‘facts’ on parties leveling accusations of violence against one another, while pretending towards the attack on the PDP leaders at the Oba’s Palace in Benin, which has been in the public domain.
“Till date, the Presidency has said nothing over the meeting held between the APC candidate, Ize-Iyamu and some thugs, where he was seen on a viral video, giving instructions to them to break electoral laws and use violence to rig elections for him.
“As at the moment, nobody has been arrested or questioned by the security agencies and nothing has been heard from the Presidency on that callous invitation to public violence,” the party said.