The Presidency on Monday described the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as a party run like a militant organization.
Presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, made the assertion at a press conference in reaction to PDP’s challenge of the outcomes of some by-elections conducted in parts of the country over the weekend.
According to Shehu, if the opposition had any issues with the conduct of the by-elections, they know the process to follow instead of a political party leader behaving like a militant.
He said the National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) will not imitate his PDP rivals.
The Presidential spokesman recalled that when the APC lost the Anambra state gubernatorial election, President Muhammadu Buhari congratulated Governor Willie Obiano and expressed delight that APC came second.
He also dismissed reports of vote-buying saying that since bribery was a crime in Nigeria, the onus was on citizens to report such acts to relevant authorities.
Asked to react to allegations of vote-buying during the elections and PDP’s statement rejecting the results of Kogi and Katsina states by-election, Shehu stated:
“One is to say that bribery of voters or vote buying is an offence in this country. I think that citizens who have evidence regarding this, have a duty to report to the law enforcement agencies. This is the way to help the country.
“Secondly, I think that it is not the right attitude for a political party, a so called opposition leader to conduct their affairs like a militant organization, a political party cannot be run like a militant organization.
“If you have disagreement on the outcome of an election, they know the process and they know it because they abused it before.
“You can see this is the clear difference of the kind of democracy the APC administration is trying to put in place from what they are used to.
“Willie Obiano of Anambra, same afternoon President Buhari said congratulations and well done, we were happy we came second in the elections. That is the way it is.
“We lost a Senate seat in Osun, we didn’t try to bring down the roof, and this that has happened in Cross River. Did you hear Adams Oshiomhole saying he wants to shoot people? I think this is the difference we need.”
Shehu asserted that the outcome of the by-elections in Katsina, Bauchi and Kogi states which the APC won, while the PDP worn in Cross River state, was an affirmation of the popularity of President Buhari.
He said coming at the heels of Ekiti governorship election also won by the party, it was an indication that Nigerians are satisfied with the Buhari administration.
The presidential spokesman said: “I like to speak to you about the fabulous shows of the APC in Katsina, Bauchi and Kogi, and even to some extent in Cross River States. All of these coming against the background of Ekiti State.
“It is clear that from election after election, Nigerians are reposing confidence in the Buhari/Osinbajo presidency. Each of these election victories is considered to be epic in nature because none of these elections was an ordinary election.
“We are happy that we have won and on behalf of the president and the acting president, we like to say thank you to Nigerians who continue to repose their confidence in the leadership of the APC administration.
“We also want to thank the leadership of the party at the national level, but equally important, to thank all the party’s apparatchiks deployed to all the campaigns and ensured that all the elections were won handsomely by APC.
“So, we are expressing our gratitude to everyone for these that had happened and to say that with this increasing confidence reposed in the president and the acting president, who are determined more than ever before to leave no stone unturned in order to bring the promised change to Nigerians.
“For a quick review, maybe one, two, three or four lessons can be taken from the victories that the party has been recording.
“First of all is to say that these decisive victories are indications that clearly, Nigerians have spoken that President Buhari maintains his momentum, that these victories place Buhari/Osinbajo presidency in very good stead for next year’s election.
“It is a statement of the fact that the APC will go into election next year with every confidence that the elections will be won and that Nigerians by this statement, will also say that they no longer have time for politics of insult and diversion, mudslinging and ‘monkey dey work, baboon dey chop’ politics of the PDP, and equally important is that these election victories are a clear message to the National Assembly that all that Nigerians are interested in is that the business of government should go on.
“That Nigerians are saying that they are not interested in the drama; they are not interested in the grammar, the subterfuge and all of the games that are being played in the National Assembly.
“I think it is appropriate this time to appeal to the National Assembly to be on the same page with the President Muhammadu Buhari administration so that we can deliver on all of these things.
“There are urgent matters that need to be attended to including matters of shortfall in money supply for the execution of the budget.”