By Umar Muhammad Puma
The APC Presidential Campaign Organization has advised President Jonathan and the PDP leadership to take charge of their campaign for re-election before their surrogates plunge Nigeria into confusion and anarchy.
Reacting to a front page wrap-around cover advertisement on the Monday, 19th January, 2015, edition of some newspapers in which Nigerians were asked to choose between life and death, grouping General Buhari among former Nigerian leaders who were either killed or died of natural causes while in office, the APC campaign said, “this is the height of desperate tactics by the PDP, which is capable of degenerating into unnecessary bloodshed and destruction. They are choosing death for us. This is not politics. We are therefore, asking our supporters to stay calm and be law-abiding.”
The statement, signed by Mallam Garba Shehu, Director of Media and Publicity of the campaign said, “even as a candidate, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan has a duty to lead the country with responsibility up until May 29, when a new President will be inaugurated.”
Taken in its ordinary meaning, the APC alleged that the on-going campaign on Buhari’s health, using forged medical reports, and now suggestions of death are reeking of plots to eliminate him (Buhari) before or after he wins.
The statement warns that “the whole world is watching and that if anything happens to General Muhammadu Buhari before, during or after the elections, under the pretext of X, Y, or Z, we shall be left with no option than to conclude that the PDP and their surrogates are to be held accountable.”
He further appealed to “all APC members and millions of supporters of Buhari across the country not to play into the hands of the PDP hatchet men to be provoked and thereby, giving them the much-needed excuse to abort this democracy before or after the elections.”
Shehu explained that the APC campaign remains faithfully committed to the peace accord signed by the country’s political parties under the auspices of Ambassador Kofi Annan.
He, however, alleged that the PDP is paying lip service to this commitment by trying to stroke the embers of hate and smear campaign, which he said is inconsistent with the commitment to peace.
The statement also advised the police, the SSS, the Independent National Electoral Commission and the advertising regulatory agency in Nigeria (APCON) to do their jobs by not allowing these dangerous threats to democracy go unchecked.
“Once again, the APC campaign advises all its supporters to strive to stay above the “rofo-rofo”, which is clearly designed to provoke our supporters to help the PDP sinister agenda to abort this hard fought for democracy in view of their impending defeat in the forthcoming general elections,” Shehu said.
Meanwhile, the APC campaign organization said that petitions are being sent to the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON), INEC, DSS, Nigeria Police and concerned newspapers involved to protest this malicious death wish.