- As PDP alleges hired crowd at Kano rally
- President, Atiku in close contest of facts
By Lawrence Olaoye, Lateef Ibrahim.and Umar Muhammad Puma, Abuja and Edwin Olofu, Kano
President Muhammadu Buhari has dismissed claims that his association with Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano state has diminished his commitment to the war against corruption.
This is just as the Buhari Presidential Campaign Council has accused the presidential candidate of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and his vice, Peter Obi of lies and outright claims in the live television show tagged “The candidate”.
The Presidency in a statement by Garba Shehu Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media & Publicity), said that there is a difference between perception and reality.
According to the statement issued yesterday, which followed comments after the proclamation
by President Buhari of Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje as the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress, at a rally in Kano, the presidency cited a number of high profile prosecution of senior government officials, including a former Secretary to the Federal Government and a former state governor who is a party member and now serving term in jail as indications of will and determination to wage the anti-corruption war without fear or favour.
It also added that the Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme, Prof. Usman Yusuf, is currently on administrative leave as part of President Buhari’s commitment to transparency and accountability.
The statement explained that despite some of the suspects being close to the President, he had not shielded them from investigation, administrative suspensions and prosecution.
The Presidency added that it is sheer mischief to suggest that President Buhari is shielding anybody because of their closeness to him, explaining that no official under this administration would go unpunished once they break the law.
On the specific issue of Governor Ganduje of Kano State, the statement noted that Dr. Ganduje, as a sitting Governor, enjoys immunity from prosecution in his own right. Furthermore, under Nigerian laws, a suspect is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
In the circumstances, the matter is in court and the President has no power to dictate to the court or the Kano State House of Assembly,
which is already investigating the matter, about what to do with the allegations against Ganduje.
But the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has accused the All Progressives Congress (APC), of renting a crowd from neighboring Niger Republic to populate President Buhari rally in Kano yesterday after the planners could not mobilize enough supporters from Kano to attend.
The PDP advised Buhari to stop fixating over the non-existent five million votes that was promised him by the Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State as such is completely illusionary.
The party holds that if indeed President Buhari is committed to free
and fair polls as he claims, he ought to have cautioned Gov Ganduje to stop making vain promises because the total numbers of voters registered in Kano is not more than 5.5 million.
The PDP said,” President Buhari must have received a shock of his life when he realized that his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), had to rent a crowd from neighboring Niger Republic to populate his rally in Kano on Thursday after the planners could not mobilize enough supporters from Kano to attend.”
“Nigerians watched in amusement as two state governors and a traditional ruler from Niger Republic, who were contracted to hire and ferry in the aliens, struggled for space with APC leaders at the rally.”
However, Festus Keyamo, Director Strategy Communication of the Buhari Campaign Council, in a statement issued yesterday, listed what he
described as outright lies told by Atiku and Obi, which he said a simple fact check will easily exposed them.
He said “after watching Atiku/Obi on that programme, it has become clear to all Nigerians that our public institutions and commonwealth would be in grave danger if left in the hands of these dodgy and questionable characters who have no morals and no scruples about using and misusing public funds for private gains.”
He said Atiku claimed that in May 2015 handover the country’s GDP growth rate was 6%, while the simple fact check revealed that at handover, the GDP growth rate was 2.35%. The economy was on a free fall as the GDP growth rate had dropped for three consecutive quarters.
He also dismissed Atiku claims that the security challenges were restricted to the North East during the PDP administration, “Nigerians will recall that the Boko Haram activities had spread all over the North East, North West and North Central.
Meanwhile, the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomole, has said that the party will not rig the forthcoming general elections.
Oshiomole stated this yesterday, during the campaign rally of President Muhammadu Buhari, held at Sani Abacha Stadium.