Nigeria News

PDP Alleges APC Paid N5bn for Chatham House Engagement

 Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Campaign Organisation (PDPPCO) has said that the Chatham House engagement in London by All Progressives Congress (APC) and its presidential candidate, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, was arranged with the sum of N5 billion.

Addressing newsmen on Sunday in Abuja, the Director of Media and Publicity of PDPPCO, Femi Fani-Kayode, said that Buhari would be on his way to International Criminal Court on account of the 2011 electoral violence in Nigeria if he failed to win the presidential poll.

He also said that his life was being threatened following his statement that former Lagos state governor, Ahmed Bola Tinubu, was plotting to become the next President.

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."

Fani-Kayode added that the people in the hall of Chatham House were sponsored, adding that the APC leaders begged for the speaking engagement, which was paid for.

"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  The students were threatened that their scholarships would be withdrawn if they refused to participate in the rally.

"The information at our disposal indicates 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, hotel bills, the purchase and renting of vehicles and other logistics.   We challenge the APC and its leaders to contradict this information," he said.

On Buhari facing ICC, Fani-Kayode said, "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.

"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."

On alleged threat to his life, he said: “Nobody can Funsho Williams me and no one can take my life, no one can shed my blood and if anybody tries it, the Angel of the Lord will strike them before they come near me. I cannot be taken before my time, I am a peaceful person and I have not shed blood before.”

However, former Lagos State Governor and national leader of the APC, Senator Bola Tinubu, has accused the ruling PDP and Fani-Kayode, of playing tricks on the minds on Nigerians with distorted information.

Tinubu’s Special Adviser, Media, Sunday Dare, in a statement, said the PDP was making mistakes because it was not ready to accept the fact, and making mistakes in its allegations against the former Lagos governor.

“The PDP campaign continues its descent. This is to be expected.  Because the truth stings them harshly, they have become a factory of lies. A few days ago, the agent of character assassination who doubles as the busy hatchet man of the PDP accused Tinubu of plotting to be vice-president then President through subterfuge.

“Clearly, he has exposed the confusion and contradiction within his party and has veered off from the real debate. But he cannot avoid the storm of change already unleashed by the APC.

“However, the only subterfuge involved in this entire episode, is that eating at Fani-Kayode’s mind.  His mind is an agent of mayhem and a foreigner to facts. The last time we looked, the APC ticket was a Buhari/Osinbajo one.  That is what is and that is what shall stand.

“Fani-Kayode is not as smart as he thinks.  If you read between the lines of his hysteria you see another extreme sentiment: that of surging desperation. His statement indicates that even he now realises that his pay master has lost to Buhari/Osinbajo.

“The game is over. The whistle has blown. What the fantasy man seeks to do is change the game.  He seeks to run against Tinubu in hopes the outcome will be better. Fani now grasps at straw in the night wind.

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