Following the dust raised by the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, over a video where the immediate past national chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Adam Oshiomhole was seen telling the Chief of Staff, COS, to the President, Ibrahim Gambari of some PDP leaders that should be arrested before the September Edo Governorship election, the Presidency has come out in defence of Gambari.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had said that the video was clear evidence that there are plots to compromise the Edo election in favour of APC and that Oshiomhole was desperately making moves to deploy undemocratic tactics, using his contacts in the presidency.
The PDP said one of the plots as evidenced by the video was to arrest Edo PDP supporters before the September 19 governorship elections to give the APC an edge, noting that since President Buhari’s CoS was part of the plot, he, the President is aware of it.
But Garba Shehu, Buhari’s spokesman replied in a statement that the video was an “ingenious patchwork of mischief, extracted from an innocent conversation focused on the emerging incidents of violence in the run up to the election.”
According to him, -“It is equally a fact that various political parties campaigning in Edo have leveled accusations of violence against one another. In such a heightened state of uncertainty, responsible leadership must ensure that elections are conducted in a peaceful manner and if warranted, judicious use of law enforcement to protect lives and properties of citizens is mobilized thus preventing criminal elements from subverting the democratic process. This message has consistently been repeated by Mr. President. He does not support violence of any sort and its propagators will be brought to justice. Elections must reflect the will of the people.
“Equally important, is that the persons in the video, Professor Gambari and Comrade Oshiomhole have a history and track record of working to protect the rights of Nigerians and humanity of all walks of life, especially the poor and marginalized; and as such will not be found encouraging any conduct that runs counter to these values.”
not satisfied with the Presidency’s reaction, the PDP wants President Buhari to question Gambari over the conversation.
“Our National Campaign holds that the presence and involvement of the Chief of Staff to the President and the fact that the discussion held within the precincts of the Presidential Villa, have made the Presidency complicit and place a huge burden on President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Already, there is anxiety in the public space that the discussion between Oshiomhole and Prof. Gambari as captured in the video is an extension of discussions that must have been held behind closed doors in the Presidential villa.
“The video has validated earlier revelations of plots by Oshiomhole and the discredited APC governorship candidate, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, to use compromised security operatives being mobilized by certain individuals in the Presidency, to arrest innocent Nigerians, including traditional, faith-based and community leaders on trumped up charges, ahead of the Edo election,” the PDP said