2019 presidency: How Buhari is showing signs of ‘imminent’ defeat to Atiku – PDP

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Wednesday said President
Muhammadu Buhari has started showing early signs of defeat.

PDP said the "several comments and personal attacks by the Minister of
Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed as well as other officials of the
Buhari Presidency, who have been making deliberate efforts" to
assassinate the character of its Presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku
Abubakar is a sign of defeat.

The opposition party made the remark while rubbishing claims by
members of the All Progressives Congress, APC, that its Presidential
candidate, Atiku Abubakar was corrupt.

A statement by PDP's spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan said, "Since the
successful conduct of our Presidential primary and the popular
emergence of Atiku Abubakar, the Buhari Presidency and the All
Progressives Congress (APC) have become intimidated; gone into panic
mode and ignobly resorted to trading on rumour and spurious
allegations, having failed in their evil machination to scuttle our
Presidential primary ab initio.

"We are aware of how the unnerved and intimidated Buhari Presidency
has unleashed its officials, spin doctors and hack writers with
billions of naira, syphoned from our national treasury, to fabricate
lies, spurious allegations and smear campaign against our Presidential
candidate.

"While it is understandable that President Muhammadu Buhari is
discomfited and afraid to face a popular candidate in any elections
due to his incompetence, for which Nigerians earnestly seek his
replacement, engaging in smear campaign, as a means of survival, is
completely reprehensible and cowardly.

"President Buhari and the APC, in their desperation, should not
attempt to confuse personal economic prosperity that comes from hard
work, as in the case of Atiku Abubakar, with corrupt enrichment. That
President Buhari failed in leading a successful personal economic life
does not mean that others cannot succeed without being corrupt.

"Furthermore, unlike President Buhari, who has failed in managing both
private and public enterprises; who also confessed his failure to
successfully manage his own farm and has made no personal contribution
to our national development, our Presidential candidate, Atiku
Abubakar, is internationally known as a hard-working, resourceful,
versatile and successful private entrepreneur, a vast employer of
labour; an ingenious citizen, who has made immeasurable contribution
to our national development both in public and private lives.

"It is, therefore, a heinous perversion for Lai Mohammed, who has
earned himself a notoriety, to the extent Nigerians now replace his
first name, 'Lai' with 'lie', to attempt to suggest that the choice of
Atiku Abubakar is a return to era of corruption, whereas President
Buhari is internationally reputed to be presiding over the most
corrupt administration in the history of our nation.

"It is only in an administration like the Buhari Presidency that
thrives in lies and deception that characters like Lai Mohammed, with
his proclivities, can be minister.

"This is the same person, who nearly caused a national crisis when he,
in May 2015, accused former President Goodluck Jonathan and the PDP of
frustrating the activities of then Transition Committee only for the
head of the APC team, Alhaji Ahmed Joda, to declare that the team had
all the cooperation from the PDP.

"This is the same Lai Mohammed, who, in 2014, alleged that the PDP
denied a plane carrying a state governor from landing in Ado Ekiti to
attend the APC Governorship election rally in the state only for the
State Government to debunk the lie stating that the governor did not
travel to Ekiti but was attending official functions in the state.

"This is the same minister that has not been able to explain the
circumstances surrounding his attempt to obtain over N13 million from
the National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) under the mask of a
"loan", against budgetary approvals and principles of the Treasury
Single Account (TSA).

"In as much as the PDP remains committed to issue-based campaign ahead
of 2019 elections, we will not by any means tolerate further lies and
fabrications from the Buhari Presidency, particularly from agents who
have no ethical substance to make allegations against any Nigerian.

"On a final note, the PDP counsels the Buhari Presidency and the APC
to shed their resort to lies, falsehood and smear campaign and get
prepared to face an inevitable crushing defeat, come 2019."
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