APC National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed
Opposition should stop scare-mongering and prepare for defeat, says Fani-Kayode
OPC breaks up, faction disowns Gani Adams
Chuks Okocha and Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja and Gboyega Akinsanmi in Lagos â€¨
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has accused President Goodluck Jonathan of carrying his re-election desperation to a new height on Monday by allowing thugs to be unleashed on Lagos residents during a sponsored Oodua People’s Congress (OPC) protest against the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission, Prof. Attahiru Jega.
In a statement issued on Tuesday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party alleged that the president’s supporters, led by the OPC, took to major roads in the city during rush hour traffic to unleash mayhem on the citizens, create massive gridlock that prevent many workers from reaching their places of work as well as destroy any APC campaign poster they could lay their hands on.
‘’They said we are raising false alarm. But just as we had alerted
Nigerians, the Jonathan administration’s sponsored protest took place, with dire consequences for residents. However, the President’s chances in the forthcoming elections suffered a collateral damage as the
N9 billion-powered protest backfired, with even supporters of the president being forced to have a rethink due to the massive scale of the lawlessness and brigandage that took place during a supposedly peaceful protest,’’ it said.
APC said the next plot by the opprobrious Jonathan administration is a series of anti-Tinubu demonstrations in Lagos, for which the planners have been mobilised with millions of naira.
‘’During the forthcoming demonstrations, the protesters have been told to carry placards asking the EFCC to probe the allegations made against Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu in the deceitful, ill-intentioned and irresponsible ‘documentary’ that was sponsored by the same Jonathan administration. Such is the level of President Jonathan’s desperation for re-election that a man who is not on the ballot in the forthcoming elections has become a target of unprecedented mudslinging by his (president’s) administration,’’ the party said.
It said taking into consideration the sponsored protests by MASSOB and the OPC, the unprovoked and virulent attacks on the presidential candidate of the APC, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (rtd), the sponsored documentary of lies as well as the planned demonstrations against Tinubu, and the inciting statements by First Lady, Patience Jonathan, who has asked her supporters to stone APC members and supporters, there is undisputed evidence that President Jonathan himself is leading the campaign to make the elections violent and Nigeria ungovernable.
Also, the Lagos State chapter of the APC has said the Monday protest by the OPC was a sponsored act of war declared on the party by President Jonathan and the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Describing the protest as an act of “desperation” capable of affecting the electoral process, the state Publicity Secretary of the APC, Mr. Joe Igbokwe, said his party came to the conclusion that the destruction of the party’s billboards and posters during the protest was sponsored by the ruling party because the handbills they were distributing during the protest were pro-Jonathan campaign materials.
Expressing disdain because he claimed that the police authority “never acted throughout the period they were destroying APC material,” Igbokwe added that: “We wonder whether the police was part of the violent demonstration and we warn that the perseverance and patience of Lagosians should not be tested.”
He said the party was making arrangement to send a petition to the police authority and that it expects the police to act dispassionately in bringing the perpetrators to book, stressing that: “We call on the police and other security agencies to do its legal duties of prosecuting the vandals that were sponsored to unleash violence in Lagos and destroy APC campaign materials.”
However, the Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Campaign Organisation (PDPPCO) has called on the All Progressives Congress (APC) to stop peddling falsehood and to prepare for defeat in the March 28 presidential election.
The Director of Media and Publicity of the PDPPCO, Femi Fani-Kayode said in a statement yesterday: “The recent string of lies by Lai Mohammed, the Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), attempting to link President Goodluck Jonathan with a protest by the Oodua Peoples’ Congress (OPC) in Lagos is more of the same pattern of falsehood and scaremongering that the APC and its Publicity Secretary have made their trademark. We advise the APC to stop peddling falsehood and scaremongering and to prepare for defeat at the March 28 presidential elections.
“Nigerians know very well that this is not the first time that the APC is embarking on spreading lies in the hope of inciting the people against the PDP and President Jonathan. The lies of Lai Mohammed and the APC have never achieved their nefarious objectives and once again their falsehood shall fail.
“Since the APC covers itself in a cloak of darkness and falsehood, the party must invent a new lie every single day rather than admit that it has no answer to President Jonathan’s achievements in agriculture, aviation, education, roads, railways, industrialisation, women and youth empowerment and other areas. The APC prefers to resort to peddling falsehood rather than engaging in an issues-based campaign.
“Now that Lagosians are at last realising the level of sleaze and insurmountable greed among the APC leaders in the state, Lai Mohammed and his handlers are panicking because they know their chances of cornering the market on the golden goose which they have fleeced for the past sixteen years are dimming.
This is the single reason why Mohammed and the APC have resorted to their age-old and outdated strategy of firing off a new statement of falsehood every single day in the hope of distracting Lagosians and Nigerians at large from the key issues at stake in this election.
“For the avoidance of doubt, many Nigerians are today questioning the wisdom of allowing the APC, a party that has superintended over an unimaginable level of outright theft of public funds and usurpation and conversion of government properties for personal use in Lagos State, anywhere near control of the federal government.
“As the elections draw closer and Lai Mohammed and his APC masters have become fully aware that there is a real possibility of their losing Lagos state at the forthcoming presidential and gubernatorial elections. As we draw nearer to the d-day of March 28 we predict that they will issue more baseless and untruthfulpress statements and falsehood against the PDP and President Jonathan.
“We advise Nigerians to dismiss their childish and pathetic allegations and the sheer rubbish that is being disseminated by the APC. What we are witnessing from them are the frantic gasps of a failed political party that realises that it is about to face a crushing defeat and setback that will send it out of existence. By the time this is all over, the APC will be dumped and forgotten in the dustbin of Nigerian political history”
Meanwhile, the protest organised by the OPC in Lagos has finally torn the vigilante group apart as the OPC National Coordinating Council disowned its National Coordinator, Mr. Gani Adams.
A faction led by one of the OPC founding members, Mr. Shina Akinpelu, added that the national coordinator had betrayed the people of Yoruba land for organising protest calling for the dismissal of the Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Attahiru Jega.
Akinpelu condemned the decision of Adams in a news conference he addressed yesterday alongside OPC’s founding members including Mr. Monsuru Akande, Mr. Sunday Adebayo, Mr. Kilanko Oladipupo, Mr. Kehinde Ogunyale and Mr. Gbenga Eegunlusi, among others.
At the conference, the factional leader said what was witnessed on Monday in Lagos “was the highest level of political violence sponsored and funded by certain elements in the President Goodluck Jonathan government. Adams is on his own and does not enjoy the support of a large size of our membership spread across the country.
“He is working for the sponsors of violence against our people who want the March 28 elections not to hold. Unleashing terror on innocent citizens and killing them is not the way of democracy. It is not our idea of a people-oriented advocacy. Adams is on a dubious project,” he said.
Akinpelu noted that Adams was using the proceeds of the pipeline contract he got from President Jonathan as a ploy or excuse “to recruit people to work for Jonathan and PDP in the south-west. Gani Adams is apparently acting against Yoruba interest.”
He alleged that the compromise Adams had made amounted “to selling the Yoruba to the present government for a piece of pipeline contract to line his pockets. OPC is not about pipeline contracts or any other contracts for that matter. The Yoruba interest is beyond contracts.”
He said the people of the South-west “seek justice and fairness from the current government,” thereby calling all true Yoruba leaders, sons and daughters “to stand with us in totally condemning Gani and his anti-democratic tendencies.
“We must renounce him and remind him he cannot sell the Yoruba race to Jonathan and PDP on the cheap. He also has no authority to speak on behalf of the Yoruba people. We pity those who rely on him to win votes.
“They will be sorely disappointed. Their investment is a bad one already. We reject today and always any attempt to use our organisation and its members for narrow and selfish partisan purposes. We must remind them that the Yoruba people cannot be hoodwinked by sweeteners.”