The Presidency again took on the opposition Peoples Democratic Party on Sunday and accused one of its former Presidents of illegal removal of state governors.
Though former President Olusegun Obasanjo was not mentioned, all the facts pointed to events that took place under his administration.
President Muhammadu Buhari had last week accused Obasanjo’s administration of wasting $16bn on power projects without any visible result.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said in a document titled “The real price of change-the-change campaign (2)” made available to journalists in Abuja, that the PDP under Obasanjo showed aptitude in the toppling of elected state governments using the police and secret service under their control.
He said none of the absurdities recorded when the PDP was in charge of the country had happened under President Buhari.
Shehu alleged that during the PDP days in power, the party showed aptitude in the toppling of elected state governments using the police and secret service under their control.
He said, “A five-man legislature met at 6am and ‘impeached’ ex-Governor (Joshua) Dariye in Plateau; 18 members out of 32 removed ex-Governor (Rashidi) Ladoja of Oyo State from office; in Anambra, APGA’s ex-Governor (Peter) Obi was equally impeached at 5 am by members who did not meet the two-thirds required by the constitution.
“His offence was that he refused to inflate the state’s budget. The lawmakers had reportedly met with representatives of the President in Asaba, Delta State and then accompanied to Awka by heavy security provided by the police Mobile Unit.
“The PDP President at that time had reportedly told Obi to forget re-election in 2007 if he did not join the PDP because he (the President) would not support a non-PDP member.
“In Ekiti, Governor Ayodele Fayose, in his first term, faced allegations of financial corruption and murder. Following the failure to heed the instruction of the Presidency to impeach only Fayose and spare the deputy, Madam Olujimi, now a senator, the PDP President declared that there was a breakdown of law and order in the state and declared a state of emergency.
“He appointed Brig-Gen. Adetunji Olurin (retd.) as the sole administrator of the state on October 19, 2006.
“In an earlier incident in Anambra, it took an insider collaboration to thwart the unseating of Governor (Chris) Ngige by a powerful thug sponsored by the PDP administration.”
“Thank God for Buhari, none of these absurdities has happened under his watch but the PDP is indicating their boredom with his meticulous observance of the constitution by calling for a return to the old order.”
Shehu wondered what pushed the PDP to write a letter to the United Nations, laying false claims to constitutionality and alleging that democracy is presently under threat.
Shehu said the present administration had fared well in various policy fronts and there was a long list of achievements to flaunt.
He described his concerns for the poor citizens and the nation as among Buhari’s greatest assets.
“This is why he has led the country through difficult changes, such as the increase in the pump price of fuel and the landmark steps to stabilise the naira, at grave risk to political capital, but measures that had become necessary for the benefit of the nation,” he said.
However, the PDP, in a statement on Sunday by its spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, urged Buhari and the All Progressives Congress not to address Nigerians on the occasion of the 2018 Democracy Day on Tuesday.
The PDP said that in the last three years, such addresses had contained deceits, falsifications and unfulfilled promises.
The party noted that Nigerians had become frustrated by “the magnitude of lies and deception told by the Buhari Presidency and the APC” and would prefer to spend the next one year contending with such past deceptions.
It added that the Buhari Presidency and the APC had, since assumption of office, violated all tenets of democracy, trampled on citizens’ rights. The PDP said Buhari and the APC should not be associated with democracy under any guise.
The opposition party stated, “Indeed, this administration should not come close to the emblem of democracy, as such would be an unpardonable spat on the faces of the millions of suppressed Nigerians and the graves of victims of extra-judicial executions under this administration, as catalogued by international bodies including, Transparency International, Amnesty International and even the United States Department of State.
“Instead of celebrating democracy, Nigerians are today groaning in regret for electing an administration that has completely turned against them, engaging in clampdown with utmost impunity, setting aside our constitutional provisions and desecrating all democratically established institutions.”