ABUJA- PEOPLES Democratic Party, PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation, PDPPCO alleged yesterday that the All Progressives Congress, APC spent N5 billion for the appearance of its Presidential candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari, rtd at the Chatham House in London last Thursday, just as it described it as a jamboree and monumental failure.
Addressing Journalists in Abuja yesterday, Director, Media and Publicity of the PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation, Chief Femi Fani- Kayode disclosed that the Federal Government has concluded arrangements and may soon drag General Buhari before the International Criminal Court, ICC over the 2011 Electoral violence in the country to face alleged charges of human rights abuses and criminality, just as he urged Buhari to get prepared for the trial after the elections.
According to him, the government would first demystify Buhari by defeating him at the polls before dragging him to the ICC against the backdrop that it will be risky to arrest him now over the 2011 violence as it would raise dust, adding, “And after its and General Buhari’s rejection at the poll, General Buhari may have to prepare to face charges of human rights abuses and criminality filed against him before the International Criminal Court on account of the 2011 electoral violence in Nigeria.
“According to the African Herald Express report on the issue published on February 20, 2015, Dutch lawyers– Prakken d’Oliveira, a Human Rights Law Firm based in Amsterdam, said it had filed a criminal complaint against General Muhammadu Buhari at the ICC. Prakken d’ Oliveira, led by Prof. Sluiter, Lawyer and Partner, is said to be acting on behalf of the Nigerian Northern Coalition for Democracy and Justice and two individual victims.
“Indeed, international focus is on General Buhari for the 2011 post-election violence and we hope that he is brought to justice for the blood that was shed by his supporters in the violence of 2011; and, we hope he will not precipitate another round of violence in 2015 when he loses.”
PDP noted that the Chatham House event was an arrangee designed by the APC like the purported London interview to hoodwink Nigerians and prevent the APC Presidential candidate from debating in Nigeria, just as it insisted that General Buhari must debate in Nigeria, adding that he was not originally scheduled to appear at the Chatham as it was a last minute arrangement, aimed at diverting the attention of Nigerians and the world from the fact that the trip to London was mainly to seek medical attention and care.
Fani- Kayode who noted that the PDP was fully prepared and would win the Presidential and general elections slated for March 28 and April 11 respectively following its level of preparation by leaders, stakeholders and members of the party, vowed that the APC will never smell, see power.
He said, “It is quite interesting to note that the All Progressives Congress (APC) is describing the appearance of its presidential candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari last Thursday, at the Chatham House in London, as successful. This is not so and in fact the contrary is the case. The truth is that the outing was a monumental failure.
“The whole sorry episode has now fully exposed the APC as a party built on propaganda, deceit, make-believe and one which lacks respect for the people of Nigeria. A few days ago we promised to go into further detail on the Chatham House episode at a later stage and we have decided to do that today. Here are the facts.
“Buhari’s appearance at Chatham House was a last-minute decoy to divert the attention of Nigerians and the whole world from the fact that his trip to London was mainly to seek medical attention and care. The point we are making is that General Buhari was not originally scheduled to go to Chatham House but in order to divert attention from the real purpose of the trip, the Chatham House speaking engagement was hurriedly put in place.
“The information at our disposal indicate that no less than N5 billion was budgeted for the London jamboree. This amount was wasted on General Buhari’s Chatham House speaking engagement, numerous foreign consultants, air tickets for the huge delegation, the contingent of governors, hotels bills, the purchase and renting of vehicles and other logistics. We challenge the APC and its leaders to contradict this information.
“We will like to reiterate our call on the APC to make General Buhari available for debates in Nigeria, if as the APC now claims, he performed very well during his procured speaking engagement. We also wish to ask if General Buhari is now a candidate seeking election in the United Kingdom or in Nigeria, after running away from debates organized by the Nigerian media.
“There are some interesting facts about the Chatham House outing that Nigerians should know. The event was organised only two days before it took place and well after Buhari had arrived in London. The questions that were asked were given to him two days before the event and the answers were prepared for him and given to him to rehearse. The programme lasted for only 55 minutes and only five questions, which were all planted, were asked.
“The people in the Hall were sponsored. 1,500 persons applied to attend the function but only 200 were allowed in. The audience was carefully selected. The APC mobilised many students from the Republic of Ireland, who were all on scholarship courtesy of the Rivers State Government, to embark on a pro-Buhari rally outside the Chatham House. The students were threatened that their scholarships would be withdrawn if they refused to participate in the rally.
“This was the show of shame that General Buhari has got himself involved in. Sadly Chatham House offered its prestigious platform to sell a bad product to the world. The APC leaders begged for the speaking engagement and we are reliably informed that they paid for it.
“The ‘arrangee’ Chatham House event is another ploy, like the purported London interview, to hoodwink Nigerians and prevent General Buhari from debating in Nigeria. But we insist, General Buhari must debate in Nigeria.
“As a party, we are happy over this latest development as it will no longer give Buhari any excuse not to debate when he returns to Nigeria. The APC no longer has any hiding place, but to put General Buhari through a similar coaching course like in the UK, to debate in our beloved country on any media of choice with our candidate, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.
“We would also like to take this opportunity to touch on some aspects of General Buhari’s Chatham House speech. From the contents of the speech it is clear that General Buhari has now admitted to the fact that ”democracy is a journey”. It is a pity that it has taken General Buhari 31 years to admit this and voice it. This is something that any educated leader ought to have known right from the start but General Buhari is different and is clearly lacking in that department.
“If he could have appreciated that point 31 years ago, he would not have betrayed his own Commander-in-Chief, President Shehu Shagari (who was a democratically elected President), removed him in a coup d’etat and taken his seat. Yet General Buhari now appears to have seen the light. Read him: “It is globally agreed that democracy is not an event, but a journey. And that the destination of that journey is democratic consolidation – that state where democracy has become so rooted and so routine and widely accepted by all actors.”
“We are glad that Buhari is now saying the right things but sadly it is too little and too late. The fact of the matter is that he went ahead to truncate that democratic journey and took Nigerians through the darkest period of the most primitive and barbaric form of military rule. If he were in South America or Pakistan he would have been either jailed or hung for what he did to the Nigerian people 31 years ago. He would have been asked to account for every drop of blood that was spilt and every violation of civil liberties and human rights that took place under his watch.
“We are surprised that General Buhari, after admitting that he is personally responsible for the atrocities of his military dictatorship, failed to use the opportunity of his procured appearance at Chatham House to apologise for his past role as a coup plotter, a promulgator of retroactive decrees and a brutal and unconscionable despot. We challenge him to tell Nigerians and the international community anything tangible that he has done in the last 31 years to consolidate democracy in Nigeria. Can General Buhari give what he does not have? Can he come to power through the ballot box after taking it through the barrel of a gun?
“Despite this boldfaced attempt to hoodwink the international community, the lying APC and their malodorous and lying spokesman Mr. Lai (or is it Lie?) Mohammed, failed to adequately brief General Buhari, who could not help but display his poor grasp of the issues in Nigeria.
“Specifically, General Buhari goofed when he said at Chatham House that he would draw foreign investors to Nigeria. If the APC and General Buhari were in sane and in their right senses, they would have known that, under President Goodluck Jonathan, Nigeria has become one of the most preferred destinations for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the world.
“We are happy that General Buhari admitted that under President Jonathan, Nigeria is now the largest economy in Africa with a GDP now valued at $510 billion and economy rated 26th in the world. He also admitted that “on the bright side, inflation has been kept at single digit for a while and our economy has grown at an average for about a decade.”
“This is the first time General Buhari has admitted that anything good is happening in Nigeria under the watch of President Jonathan. General Buhari, however, lied when he said that the Jonathan administration “has created two economies…one economy for a few who have so much in their tiny island of prosperity; and the other economy for the many who have so little in their vast ocean of misery.” General Buhari should have gone further by naming those he knows who live in “their tiny island of prosperity” and who are bankrolling his presidential campaign, having told the whole world that he paid N27 million for his nomination form through a bank loan.
“Regrettably, General Buhari failed to admit the fact that but for the menace of terrorism which he and his party tactically support, our economy would have grown even faster and done even better. It is on record that every effort being made by President Jonathan and our gallant Armed Forces to combat the terrorists and arrest the scourge has always met a stiff opposition from the APC and General Buhari.
“They were against emergency rule in the north-eastern states and the proscription of the Boko Haram sect. The APC and its leaders have never deemed it fit to commend our military. This is simply due to the fact that without APC, there will be no Boko Haram and without Boko Haram there will be no APC. The two are linked and their relationship is like the relationship that existed between the IRA and Sinn Fein. One feeds off the other.
“We realise that General Buhari, who has never seen fit to apologise for any of his own un-statesmanlike utterances in the past, will continue carrying on like the proverbial ostrich with its head in the sand. General Buhari will play the ostrich and not see the glaring lies that his party, the lying APC, has woven around him. This is a crying shame. We shall allow that story to quietly unfold as the APC continues its rapid descent into willful delusion and self-destruction. No matter what they do or say we are certain that Nigerians will reject such a lying party at the polls during the March 28th elections.”
When asked to react to a statement by APC National Publicity Secretary, Chief Lai Muhammed who had accused him of being “the ailing Spokesperson of the PDP,” Fani- Kayode who noted that it was about election, not war and should not be personal attack, said, “It is not Femi Fani-Kayode, but rather Bola Tinubu that slurs when he speaks. It is not Femi Fani-Kayode but Bola Tinubu that has to take 20 pills before he can speak, it is not Femi Fani-Kayode, but Bola Tinubu that his hands shake when he tries to eat and lifts a fork and knife. It is not me, It is not Femi Fani-Kayode that, but Lai Mohammed his breath is so bad, and it is bad enough to knock off the beard. It is not Femi Fani-Kayode. So, if anybody is to talk about ill health. They should talk about themselves and not about me.
“I am also happy that my candidate whom am speaking for is in good health which is more than I can say for them. It is not Femi Fani Kayode that is suffering from all kinds of debilitating hallucinations and delusions to actually begin to think that they have a chance of winning the elections.
“Let’s get away from the personal slurs and focus on the issues. Let us focus on the candidate, let us focus on the party. And our respective fortune (forte) if it is that Lai Mohammed was sent by his boss being the minion that he is to insult me as an individual, they will get as much as they give.”
Speaking on his threat to his life, Fani- Kayode who noted that nobody can take his life as he was a child of God, said, “That is not what we are here for, the other day I got a text from Idowu Ajanaku, another known minion of Ahmed Bola Tinubu, that makes two of them, Lai Mohammed and the other minion, Ajanaku is on my phone now, saying stop this attack on Bola Tinubu because we are going to deal with you.
“My name is Femi Fani – Kayode, and nobody can”Funsho-Williams me. Nobody can Kill me before my time. Nobody can cut me short and I habour no fear of violence and I do not take threats lightly. Neither do I fear for my life.
“Before anybody begins to consider because I am a man of God because I have never shed blood and I do not believe in violence the angel of the Lord will strike that person dead before they point a gun at me in Jesus Name. Let us take the violence and the treats out of it. This is a political arena.”