The row over the claim that the All Progressives Congress (APC) National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, subscribed to an oath to supplant the party’s vice presidential candidate, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, should the APC win the March 28 election raged, yesterday.
The APC, through its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, and the Presidential Campaign Organisation (APCPO), vehemently denied the charge.
But the Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Campaign Organisation (PDPPCO) insisted that Tinubu planned to replace Osinbajo six months after APC would have won the presidential election.
Mohammed said the allegation was designed to divert attention from “the runaway success of the APC presidential candidate, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, at the Chatham House in London last Thursday.
The APCPCO, in its own statement by its Director of Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, said there was no iota of truth in the claim first raised by his PDPPCO counterpart, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, on Friday.
The APC National Publicity Secretary, in his statement issued in London, said “the PDP and the Jonathan administration still do not have any answer to what has now become an epochal moment that has separated the wheat from the chaff.”
”Our presidential candidate’s globally-acclaimed outing has presented Nigerians, and indeed the global community, with a choice between a visionless President and principled President-in-waiting”, he stated.
”Having failed to discredit that outing, the PDP and the Jonathan administration have now resorted to making nauseating claims that are totally untrue, absolutely incomprehensible and nothing but sheer bunkum”.
The APC said the claim is the latest in a series of desperate moves by the PDP and the Jonathan administration since the emergence of Buhari as the APC presidential candidate,
”They have thrown everything imaginable at Gen. Buhari, but he has continued to wax stronger and stronger. They said he was not qualified, that he was too old, then they fabricated a medical report of an illness of their own choice, sponsored death wish adverts against him and instituted a myriad of court cases to stop him.
The preposterous claim of a secret oath – reminiscent of what they do in their own party – is their latest desperate act”.
The opposition party said it has so far refrained from engaging Fani-Kayode in his “game of character assassination, abuses and irresponsible name calling”.
`Tales by moonlight’
Shehu, in his statement, asked the PDP and the Presidency to focus more on the dwindling economy and corruption instead of engaging in unfounded lies.
“ The Director of Communication for the PDP Presidential Campaign, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, said with uncanny impudence that the APC Vice Presidential candidate, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, was made to agree to an oath to resign six months after and allow Senator Bola Tinubu, in the event that APC wins the presidential election. Quite evidently, this piece of bunkum was meant to vitiate the integrity of our respected Vice Presidential candidate by the band of dishonourable politicians in the PDP. We state, without any iota of equivocation, that this is untrue and unfounded,” the APCPCO statement said.
“It continued: We have shown these examples of the PDP-led Presidency’s conduct in desperately laying hold at straw despite the rejection of the Nigerian people, ahead of the general elections. Unfortunately, the PDP-led Presidency seeks to change the narrative by resorting to tales by moonlight.
“On our part, we shall continue to insist on these enviable standards of good governance in the Nigerian political space.”
`APC cannot deny conspiracy’
Fani-Kayode said that rather than respond to the alleged plot, Lai Mohammed claimed that the issue was meant to “divert attention from the runaway success of the APC presidential candidate, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, at the Chatham House in London last Thursday.”
“From the APC response, it is clear that they have something to hide. They clearly cannot deny this dangerous plot”.
He continued: “We are not surprised by the denials of the APC in this matter. They are and will always be a party that is built on lies. The APC is now throwing stones and hurling baseless allegations and insults at our President, our leaders and our party. They forget that those who live in glass houses should not throw stones.
“It is not the PDP whose presidential candidate killed people by the application of retroactive legislation and that sent innocent men to their early graves by sending them to jail unlawfully for hundreds of years without any recourse to due process.
“We stand by our claims and the only thing that is outlandish in this matter is the bizarre and insatiable lust for power of the APC and those that are premising their presidential ambition on someone else’s demise. “
The Bakare expisode
The PDPPCO went on: “Such morbid projections have no place in any civilised society. The truth is that the APC is a party that is used to back-room deals where people take oaths and in which people are asked to sign perjurous and illegal letters of resignation even before they are elected into office. If anyone doubts that they should ask Pastor Tunde Bakare who was asked to sign a letter of resignation by both Tinubu and Buhari in 2011 even when he had not been elected to the exalted position of Vice President.
“We stand by our claim and we warn the APC and their leaders to stop playing Russian roulette with the destiny of the Nigerian people. They can rest, assured that any arrangement or back room deal that is outside the democratic process and that is outside the will of the Nigerian people will be resisted. They must not throw our country into yet another round of crisis, turmoil, instability and uncertainty by entering into and attempting to enforce any sordid and unacceptable resignation pact which is designed to eventually usher in Bola Tinubu as President.
“We wish General Buhari good health and long life and it is only a small handful of desperate and unconscionable elements within the leadership of his own party that wish him otherwise. We advise him to watch his back and take full measures to protect himself against these desperate elements because their plan is, at the very worst, for either Tinubu to take over the position of Vice President after the planned resignation of Osinbajo and then wait for something untoward to happen to Buhari so that he can take over or, at best, for Osinbajo to take over and for Tinubu to rule through him.
“Both plans and projections are repugnant and they are both rooted in treachery.
“Whichever way, whether it is Buhari or Tinubu, these plans shall not come to pass because Buhari and the APC will not win the presidential election. We say this because, by the grace of God and the will of the Nigerian people, we shall give them the thrashing of their lives in that election.
Private jets, bank accounts
Meanwhile, the APC, yesterday, alleged a plot by the PDP administration to ground aircraft and also freeze bank accounts of some of its notable members.
A statement by Shehu said the clandestine move was aimed at destabilizing the APC and crippling the electoral chances of its presidential flag-bearer, Buhari, in the forthcoming elections.
In a reaction, Fani-Kayode called on Nigerians to question the APC leaders on how they acquired private jets.
“It is interesting that the APC has, for the very first time, admitted that some of its leaders own private jets. It will be interesting to know from the APC how these leaders who either occupied public offices or still occupy public offices acquired these jets. In fact, where did the money with which they procured the jets come from?”, the PDPCO Director of Media and Publicity said.