From Romanus Ugwu and Ndubuisi Orji, Abuja
The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has taken the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, to task over his trip to the United Kingdom, describing it as a plot to evade critical public scrutiny.
Kola Ologbondiyan, spokesperson of the Atiku campaign organisation, in a statement, yesterday, said the former governor was being haunted by his exposed scheme to relocate the federal capital from Abuja to Lagos State among other issues.
“The APC presidential candidate should face Nigerians with an explanation for the exposed scheme instead of allowing his handlers to be playing to the gallery with disjointed denials and blaming other political parties for allegedly spreading the accusation that he wants to relocate the federal capital from Abuja to Lagos.
“The plan to relocate the federal capital was conceptualised and propagated by the Tinubu campaign and only became hysterical as a result of the public ire against such an atrocious plot to sequester the nation’s capital for his personal selfish interest.
“It is clear that the foreign trip embarked on by Asiwaju Tinubu was a deliberate plot to dodge the Arise TV debate scheduled to hold tomorrow following fear that Nigerians will take him to task on the FCT relocation plot, alleged criminal indictments, perjury, forgery and inconsistencies in age, name, ancestry and education qualification.
“Moreover, the handlers of the APC presidential candidate are not comfortable putting him before the cameras because of his constant embarrassing gaffes that question his fitness for the office of the president of the federal republic of Nigeria.
“If Asiwaju Tinubu cannot face Nigerians as a candidate because of his many pieces of baggage, he surely does not deserve their votes on February 25, 2023.
“Our campaign urges Nigerians not to relent for a moment in their continued support for Atiku until they elect him into office.”
Tinubu’s campaign team had described the claim of the FCT relocation as an “egregious lie.”
The PDP also berated the Tinubu/ Shettima Presidential Campaign Organisation over alleged threats and “negative labelling” of the media.
The party, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, said the Nigerians were appalled by the alleged “declaration of hostility, animosity and labelling of Arise News TV by the Tinubu/Shettima Presidential Campaign.”
The opposition party claimed it was plot by the ruling party’s candidate to intimidate the media from carrying out its constitutional duty.
However, APC Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) has said it would not “dignify the foolishness” of the PDP presidential candidate that Tinubu travelled to London to evade the presidential debate.
A member, Directorate of Strategic Communications, APC PCC, Temitope Ajayi, told Daily Sun that there was no comparison between the debate and Tinubu’s appearance at Chatham House.
“We issued a statement on Saturday clearly stating why Asiwaju will not attend and that remains our position. Asiwaju will be addressing a global audience at Chatham House on his plans for the economy, security and what will be his foreign policy thrust as president. “This was a long scheduled international event before Arise News Town Hall meeting. While the engagement in UK is one reason, major reason is that we don’t consider Arise News as credible and impartial platform for debate as we stated in the press statement signed by our director of media and publicity, Bayo Onanuga on Saturday.
“PDP and its candidate can continue to pursue his elusive presidential ambition on Arise News. Tinubu has important things to do and he will continue to engage directly with Nigerians as he seeks their mandate to be our next President,” he noted.”
In a statement on Saturday, Bayo Onanuga, spokesperson of the campaign organisation, reiterated that Tinubu would not be attending Arise TV town hall meeting.