The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has blasted the Presidency and Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, for saying that the party should forget winning the 2023 presidential election.
The PDP made its stance known in a statement issued by Kola Ologbodiyan, its National Publicity Secretary, on Tuesday in reaction to comments made by Shehu.
Speaking to journalists after observing the Eid-El-Kabir prayers in Daura, Katsina State, on Tuesday, Shehu said Nigerians know too well and would not allow another party to take over in 2023, adding that that the PDP cannot dislodge the current political structure of President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC).
But reacting, the PDP said Shehu’s comment is an indication of a self-succession plot by a cabal in the Presidency.
According to the main opposition party, such thinking around the Presidency may be part of the reasons why the Electoral Act (amendment bill) was purportedly scuttled.
The statement read: “Nigerians were jolted when President Buhari’s spokesman, Shehu Garba, publicly announced in Daura, Mr President’s hometown, that President Buhari ‘constitutes a political obstacle’ which those who seek to succeed him, come 2023 ‘cannot dismantle.’
“Such statement by the Presidency, which is in its last lap of the second and final tenure in office, is not only provocative but also smacks of plots to derail our constitutional democratic order.
“Perhaps the comment by the Buhari Presidency explains why there has been a heavy onslaught against our institutions of democracy as well as the Electoral Act.”
The PDP stated that it and the majority of Nigerians across the board and party lines “are issuing a stern warning to the President’s handlers” to note that such plots cannot stand as they will be firmly resisted.
The statement read: “Garba Shehu should be bold enough to announce that President Buhari will be on the ballot for another term in 2023 and watch how Nigerians will respond.
“The 1999 Constitution (as amended) is clear on the tenure of office of the President and such cannot be extended under any guise or conditions whatsoever.