The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in its response to former President Olusegun Obasanjo’s recent attack on President Muhammadu Buhari’s government says that Obasanjo was being haunted by his past.
Obasanjo had in an open letter he distributed to journalists on Sunday at his residence in the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library in Abeokuta, Ogun State, alleged that Buhari was behaving like a former Nigerian dictator, Gen. Sani Abacha, adding that Buhari had plotted his rigging scheme ahead of the February 16 presidential poll.
However, the ruling party in its response said that the former president was being haunted by his past when elections were rigged and government institutions were denied independence.
“For eight years of President Obasanjo, all the elections he held…in fact government policies were determined by whatever mood he found himself. All the institutions of government were heavily influenced by Obasanjo. What he did for those eight years is what is haunting him. He cannot imagine it is possible for a government to allow INEC the statutory independence that it has,” APC National Publicity Secretary, Lanre Issa-Onilu, said in Abuja.
The APC spokesman further noted that elections conducted under the APC government were so far credible (reports on the recent Osun State Governorship Election shows otherwise).
Mr. Issa-Onilu said that the ruling party should be commended for allowing institutions to perform their various duties without interference.
President Buhari’s spokesman reacts
Also, the presidency in its reaction vehemently rejected issues raised by the Obasanjo, saying that the security problems and impunity were rampant under Obasanjo’s administration from 1999 – 2007.
Adesina in his response to the alleged rigging plot said; “Imagine that kind of allegation coming from somebody who told us in 2007 that the election would be a ‘do-or-die affair. If somebody had said the election would be a ‘do-or- die’ affair and it was ‘do- or- die’ affair and the beneficiary of that election came out to say that the election that brought him to power was marred; now for that person to allege that elections were not going to be free and fair, were they free and fair when he conducted his own?”
On the issue of security problem in the country, the presidential aide said; “Under Obasanjo was when we had the Odi massacre; under him was when we had the Zaki Biam massacre; under him there were lots of clashes involving the OPC and other ethnic groups, there were Shari’ah riots under him, and thousands of lives were lost even under his administration.”
Mr. Garba Shehu, President Buhari’s media aide, in his reaction also said that the former president needed a good doctor for good treatment.
“This language of his 16-page letter, likening President Buhari to General Sani Abacha, a man he dreaded and the one who jailed him under military laws is most unfitting from a former President of Nigeria.
“The claim that President Buhari has put in place rigging machinery is both outlandish and outrageous. We are unable to get the words to describe a 90-year old liar, except to say that by the publication of this tissue of lies against the President, he Obasanjo, not the President will fall from everyone’s esteem.”
The opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in its reaction to Obasanjo’s statement said that the former president had vindicated its position over Buhari’s intention for a self-succession plot.
Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, the National Publicity Secretary of PDP, noted that the ruling APC, having realized that there was no way they could win in a free and fair election, were now besieging all democratic institutions including the judiciary, the legislature, and INEC. The party further accused the current administration of threatening the unity, peace and corporate existence of Nigeria.