Excerpts of the Press Conference held by Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP National Publicity Secretary And Director, Media & Publicity PDP Presidential Campaign Organization on Sunday
Gentlemen of the press, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called you up today to announce to President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) that Nigeria is bigger than them and that there is no way Nigerians will allow them to rig the 2019 general elections or achieve their self-succession plan.
Our history as a nation has amply shown that no individual leader, no matter the authority wielded, has ever succeeded, at any point in time, in subduing the spirit of our nation or place our people under a siege and not even this strange recourse to importation of mercenaries into our country can change that reality
The world can recall how certain leaders in the past attempted to subvert our constitutional democracy, arrogate excessive powers to themselves and how they failed in the face of the Nigerian spirit.
Today, that Nigerian spirit, with which we won our democracy and nurtured it to this stage, is being assailed by the APC and the Buhari Presidency with their unrelenting constitutional breaches, attacks on our democratic institutions, violation of human rights, siege on our electoral system and opening of our territorial borders to mercenaries, all in the bid to subdue our citizenry and achieve a self succession plan, having realized that there is no way they can win in a free, fair and peaceful election.
There is a ferocious attempt to take away our liberty as a people. There is total clampdown, arrest and detention of dissenting voices; invasion of media houses, manhandling and illegal detention of journalists by state forces have become the order of the day; but all these will not break the Nigerian spirit.
Our nation will never succumb to Buhari Presidency’s assault on our National Assembly, the attack on our judiciary and besieging of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) where President Buhari’s relation is being foisted as the head of the collation center.
Nigerians have decided to vote out President Buhari, come February 16, and no amount of intimidation, clampdown and harassment can change that resolve.
It has become manifest that compatriots, irrespective of creed, ethnicity and political leanings, are today extremely eager to vote out the Buhari Presidency which, out of sheer incompetence, has wrecked our once robust economy and brought so much poverty, hunger, pain and anguish to Nigerians, once reputed as the happiest people in the world.
The Buhari Presidency and the APC have come to the stark reality that the influences on which they rode to power in 2015 no longer avail. They have come to the moment of truth that Nigerians have seen through their lies, propaganda, false promises, beguilements and holier-than-thou posturing and are now poised to take back their country at the polls.
Only last week, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), after consideration of all factors, reinforced the global unanimity and affirmation by various credible and independent bodies within and outside Nigeria, including the Afenifere, the Ohaneze Ndigbo, the Northern Elders’ Forum, the Pan Niger Delta Forum, the Middle Belt Forum, among several others, that Atiku Abubakar will win the February 16, Presidential election, having secured the overwhelming support of Nigerians across the board.
Today, the APC and the Buhari Presidency have become uncontrollably feverish over the overwhelming acceptance gained by Atiku Abubakar in all the geo-political zones, particularly in the North West states of Sokoto, Kebbi, Zamfara, Kano, Katsina, Kaduna and Jigawa states, hitherto considered as President Buhari’s political stronghold.
Having lost genuine followership in the North West, the North Central, the North East and a greater part of the South West, all of which gave them a ride to victory in 2015, and having no prospects in the South East and South South, the APC and the Buhari Presidency are now seeking ways to derail our electoral process.
This accounts for the manipulations in INEC and the smuggling in of mercenaries from Niger Republic to populate APC rallies, ostensibly to unleash them on our nation immediately it is clear that President Buhari is losing at the polls.
However, the PDP wants President Buhari to note that Nigeria will not fall. Our country, as a nation of over 200 million resilient men and women, is bigger than President Buhari as well as the APC and would resist all anti-democratic forces being unleashed against our democratic order.
Nigerians have chosen democracy with its tenets, as a way of life, including justice and constitutional freedom it offers the citizens to determine who their leaders should be at any given time, and nobody, not even President Buhari, can take away this freedom and rights, under any circumstance whatsoever.
Nigerians know how the PDP restored, nurtured and allowed our democracy to thrive to the extent that it was possible for the opposition to win in a general election with President Buhari as the major beneficiary. The PDP allowed a free and fair election, respected the will of the people and handed over power to President Buhari, without any shenanigans that would have denied him victory.
Now that Nigerians are determined to vote out President Buhari from office due to his incompetence, divisiveness, executive high-handedness and corruption, he must not allow his ambition to set our nation on fire.
We therefore urge President Buhari to avail his mind to accept his imminent defeat when it eventually comes on February 16.
President Buhari should know that Nigerians have chosen Atiku Abubakar as their next President to return our nation to the path of national cohesion and economic prosperity. This national consensus is bigger than President Buhari or any other Nigerian for that matter.