The Presidency on Tuesday flayed the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) over what it called ‘sad celebration of the false news of Kano stone pelting’ of President Muhammmadu Buhari.
The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Hon. Debo Ologunagba, had on Monday, condemned the purported attack on President Buhari in Kano State by miscreants allegedly sponsored by the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in a statement, said the divisive rhetoric of an opposition to malign the image of the President and the candidates of the APC in the coming elections would not give them victory.
He said the PDP defeat was “a foretold story by many discerning individuals” as it entered into the coming elections with a divided house.
Shehu said contrary to the impression being presented, the President had not lost his command and respect in Kano, urging all stakeholders to preach against violent activities during the ongoing electioneering campaigns.
The statement read: “We have seen fake reports of a stone-pelting incident that took place in the Hotoro area of Kano on the day of the visit to the city by President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday, an incident, even if minor, that should stand condemned by all well-meaning citizens.
“Facts on ground as rendered by the law enforcement agencies speak of a clash between the local road transport authorities, the Kano Road Transport Authority, KAROTA and thugs hired by a yet-to-be identified group that took place when the President was being treated to a banquet at the Government House, well after he had finished his projects commissioning.
“The President was in the state to work on the development, safety and security of the lives of common citizens and the happy thing about it was that the good people of Kano State were appreciative of him for the progress the state and the nation at large are making under him.
“The divisive rhetoric of an opposition in a futile attempt to malign the image of the President and the candidates of the All Progressives Congress in the coming elections, and its desperate wedge-driving activities to cause a division between the party and the government is not what will give them victory.
“A so-called leading opposition party that controls 14 states, going into elections with eight or nine of the states in tow should look inwards to see why their campaign is flagging and destined to fail. Their defeat is a foretold story by many discerning individuals.
“The stone-pelters as seen from the video in the fight against the traffic police were innocent children sponsored by politicians and terrorist sympathizers. There is no place for violence in a democracy.
“The PDP should use the opportunity of the electioneering to put their point of view in a democracy. When problems can be resolved through talks, there is no place for stone-pelting, arson and unruly behavior as we are witnessing in some of the campaigns. It is equally unhealthy for society and it becomes the duty of political, social and religious leaders to correctly inform the misled youngsters to shun the path of violence which is inimical to their own future.
“Lastly is to say that the President has not lost his command and respect in Kano. For those who hold the border closure against him, they must come to realise that the 60-70 integrated rice mills in the city today would not have been in place if he had allowed the free-for-all smuggling to continue.”