Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has boasted that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate for the 2019 presidential election, Atiku Abubakar, will still lose the election petition case they took to the Supreme Court.
APC’s National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, who dropped the hint during a press briefing at the party’s national headquarters, also disassociated the ruling party from the proliferation of posters of its leaders planning to contest the 2023 presidential election.
The ruling party claimed that the PDP was responsible for the posters, just as it took a swipe on the Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP), describing the leadership as enemies of the country due to their utterances.
The APC national leadership also expressed anger over the speculated crack in the presidency, warning the media to be wary of the reports they bring to the public glare.
Reacting specifically on the poster, he said: “As a party, we want to state clearly that having won elections convincingly and having been given the mandate to run government for the next four years, our major and only focus now is governance.
“We are not engaging in any other activity about 2023 elections and wherever you see such (posters) you can be sure it is from mischief makers and of course, we know it is part of the strategy of the PDP to continue to take actions to cause distractions for the governing party from focusing on anything that is important to the people of Nigeria which is to deal with the challenges that we are all faced with like governance, security, economy and corruption as well as other associated issues. That is what we are focused on.
“So, as a party, we understand the social contract we have signed with the people of Nigeria with the renewal of our mandate. Whatever poster you might have seen about any of our leaders anywhere in this country is irrelevant to us, we do not have a hand in it and it is not from those leaders.
“It is strictly part of the strategy of a party that is supposed to provide alternative to our governance model and since they do not have such, the only thing they can do is to continue to throw spanners into the works.
“So, we urge all our members to focus on what is important to us and so we dissociate ourselves and our leaders from such issues that have to do with elections. Elections have been done and dusted and what we are now faced with is the issue of governance,” he said.
On the CUPP utterances and Atiku heading to the Supreme Court, he said: “Ideally, we would not have responded to the so-called CUPP which is just an arm of PDP. Faced with the challenges that we currently have in this country, it is a complete waste of time to respond to charlatans.
“But of you listened to the contents of the press conference they recently had, they said things that are very baffling and very disturbing and you at wish to ask yourself if these people are true Nigerians and if they mean well for the country.
“Because when you disparage state institutions and you talk down and try to undermine an important institution such as the Judiciary, that is something that we should all be worried about and that is why we are responding to this.
“It is not in our practice to arm-twist any institution whatsoever, least of them the Judiciary. We understand the importance of this arm of government; we understand that we are all surviving and living on the rule of law, and the only way to undermine the order and security of a nation is to undermine the Judiciary.
“By the time you strangulate these judicial officers, then you are charting a path to the collapse of the institution that we all rely upon to survive as a nation. So, it is clearly not our practice but we also understand where PDP is coming from.
“We understand that for 16 years, that has been the practice and perhaps they imagine that this is the instrument that any other political party would want to apply. We don’t need to strangulate the Judiciary and we don’t need to undermine any institution. We don’t need to disparage the Judiciary. And the issues before the Judiciary about the elections are clear.
“We have an unprecedented delivery of judgment at the presidential tribunal the other time and so we are all happy to know that the PDP has taken the next step by going further to the Supreme Court and we are meeting them there. It is unfortunate that they cannot create new issues.
“All the issue they have, have been put on the table and they don’t hold water. That is why they failed woefully at the tribunal. So, they still have this opportunity to repeat that failure,” he boasted.
The party spokesperson equally dismissed the rumour about crack between President Muhammadu Buhari and his deputy, Yemi Osinbajo, stressing: “We have important issues of governance than continue to respond to fallacies.
“How do you determine a crack? The vice president had been sent out to represent the president at an international event, after PDP saw a crack; the vice president presided over the FEC meeting just on Wednesday this week. Is that part of the PDP’s crack? Let us stop this joke. We know we have challenges in this country, let us face these challenges,” he said.