By Saawua Terzungwe, Baba Martins (Abuja) & Abdullateef Aliyu (Lagos)
The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and the leading opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday ‘clashed’ over the 80-page campaign manifesto of the ruling party’s presidential candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
The Director of Strategic Communications of the PDP Presidential Campaign Council, Dele Momodu, had described Tinubu’s manifesto released in Abuja on Saturday as an appropriation of MKO Abiola’s legacy.
But reacting yesterday in a statement, the Director of Public Affairs and Chief Spokesperson, APC Presidential Campaign Council, Festus Keyamo (SAN), said the PDP has incurable incapacity to act as a credible opposition.
Keyamo who doubles as the Minister of State for Labour and Employment said one would have expected Dele Momodu to make clear comparative analyses between the ‘Hope ‘93’ campaign document of MKO Abiola and Tinubu’s ‘Renewed Hope’ document, saying “he goofed miserably.”
He also said the 5-point agenda of the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, is nothing to write home about.
Part of the statement reads, “What a failure! His (Atiku) 74-page campaign document has in it ongoing milestones of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration. From lifting millions out of poverty to power generation to economic revitalisation, it is clear that they are either too lazy to think or bereft of fresh ideas.
“Everywhere Atiku went, he was never caught speaking to issues of governance. Rather, if he is not promising the Igbo Presidency in 2027, he is playing the ethnic card (like in Kaduna). Nigerians are wise; they know he has nothing to offer.
“He was just huffing and puffing without substance. A write-up that was intended to be a critique of a document on its supposed lack of details ended up itself as an empty shell.
“Finally, Dele Momodu and his party failed woefully to point out a single example of the copy-and-paste he referred to in the press statement released by him.”
APC’s claims diversionary – PDP
But in another reaction, the Spokesperson of the Atiku/Okowa Campaign Organisation, Hon. Charles Aniagwu, said the APC’s claims were diversionary.
He said the ruling party has no plan for Nigerians, adding, “If it did, it would not have recorded the kind of failure it had in the last seven years.
“Their poor management of our diversity, poor handling of our economy, poor management of the education sector, the inability of the component units – the states and local governments – to perform to the extent that they would have brought government closer to the people and their abysmal performance in the security sector.
“So since they do know that they are the issues the PDP want to come and cure, they want to divert the attention of Nigerians to very mundane issues that do not add up.
“We have a work plan to address the failures of the APC. Rather than thinking how to apologise to Nigerians, they are looking for scapegoats. Unfortunately the PDP, Atiku Abubakar, and Governor Ifeanyi Okowa cannot fall within the realm of their scapegoat.”
Lagos APC, PDP trade words over ‘attack’ on Jandor’s convoy
Meanwhile, the Lagos State chapter of the APC has dismissed the attack on the convoy of the PDP governorship candidate, Abdul-Azeez Olajide Adediran, popularly known as Jandor, describing the claim that he was attacked by “APC-sponsored thugs” as a blatant lie.
Daily Trust reports that Jandor’s campaign train came under attack in Badagry on Sunday evening with the PDP candidate only escaping by whisker. Three journalists were also injured in the attack.
The PDP Publicity Secretary, Hakeem Amode, had in a statement fingered the ruling party, saying the thugs were shouting APC as they shot at the convoy and threw dangerous objects at them.
But reacting, the APC Publicity Secretary, Seye Oladejo, said the alleged attack “is just another level in the propaganda machinery of the PDP candidate to curry public sympathy through blatant lies and unsubstantiated claims.”
He warned the PDP candidate not to heat up the polity with “needless lies,” saying, “One cannot but wonder what led to the descent to the lowest abyss.