The Federal Government of Nigeria in its reaction to the secret audio, in which Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, the Minister of Transport, allegedly criticized President Muhammadu Buhari, says that, the revelation will not break the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Few days ago, secret tape of Amaechi who is the Director-General of the ruling party Presidential Campaign Council, was released by the PDP.
Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information and Culture, on Tuesday in Abuja, while speaking with journalists said that; the opposition (apparently referring to the PDP), wants to base its campaign on mudslinging.
“The opposition is determined to ensure the ongoing campaign for the 2019 elections is not based on issues but on mudslinging.
“What is the point in shopping around for audio clips or publications that are then maliciously edited out of context? Why do they think this will break our ranks in the ruling party?
“What advantage do they think they can get from this infantile act? Whoever wants to circulate any audio or video clip should do so in its entirety so the people can understand the context. Otherwise, let them continue wasting their time circulating an audio that is clearly designed to blackmail.”
Regarding the expiration of the tenure of Mr. Ibrahim Idris, the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Lai noted that President Buhari is at liberty to extend his tenure, adding that the planned protest by oppositions will not stop the president from acting on his prerogative.
“When you are drowning, you grab any floating object you can find. You even grab at straws. That’s what the PDP is doing with the issue of the IGP’s tenure.
“In the first instance, it is the prerogative of Mr President to extend or not to extend the tenure of the Inspector-General of Police or any service chief. That prerogative cannot be taken from Mr President on the altar of paranoia by some people.
“Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, in his time, extended the tenure of Mr Sunday Ehindero as IGP. Was there no opposition party then? Also, in his time, President Umaru Yar’Ardua extended the tenure of Mr Mike Okiro as IGP, heavens didn’t fall.”
“I have read that some opposition parties are planning a series of nationwide protests on the issue of IG’s tenure. That’s purely within their right in a democracy. And I wish them the best of luck.”
As for the appointment of Mrs. Amina Zakari by INEC to head the commission’s Collation Centre Committee, Lai described PDP reaction to it as nothing but sheer hysteria, which would result from pathological fear of impending political doom.
“Her role is limited to overseeing the physical structure, that is the International Conference Centre, which is the collation centre for the presidential election. The cries of the opposition amount to red herring.
“In targeting Mrs Zakari, the PDP has forgotten that she was appointed in their time. If she was found worthy then, what has changed now?
“Ahead of the 2019 elections, the PDP has complained against the IG, INEC chairman, Mrs Amina Zakari, etc., the party is blaming everyone but itself for the sorry state in which it has found itself.”