The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) national campaign council for the Edo governorship election has described the admission by the Presidency that Adams Oshiomhole and Professor Ibrahim Gambari met at the Presidential Villa as a confirmation of the leaked video on a clampdown plot.
A leaked video on Tuesday, had shown Oshiomhole, a former national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Gambari, the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari purportedly discussing at the Presidential Villa on how to arrest certain individuals ahead of the September 19 election.
Denying the video, the president’s spokesman, Garba Shehu said 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.”
But in a statement by its national spokesman on Wednesday, the PDP claimed that the Presidency’s acceptance of a meeting between Oshiomhole and Gambari “confirmed our nation’s worst fears.”
The statement read in detail: “It indeed speaks volumes that the Buhari Presidency is trying to rationalize the plot by the godfather of the APC candidate, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, Adams Oshiomhole, who was captured on the trending video, plotting to use compromised security operatives to clampdown on certain unnamed Nigerians to achieve political suppression and rig the Edo governorship election.
“Of course, the Presidency and the APC cannot post a denial because they have been caught and exposed by the Nigerian people, who generally detest their lies, propaganda, underhand methods, resort to violence and rigging of elections.
“By describing the discussion by Oshiomhole and Prof. Gambari, in which Oshiomhole was heard finalizing a plot to clampdown political rivals, as “an innocent conversation”, the Buhari Presidency has further exposed its complicity.
“This convoluted admission by the Presidency speaks more of the conversation that must have held behind closed doors with President Muhammadu Buhari.
“Nigerians were further alarmed by the admission that Oshiomhole, the face of the APC campaign, was at the Presidential Villa for discussions on “emerging incidents of violence in the run up to the election” as well as the “use of law enforcement”, in an election in which he and the APC have displayed a desperation to grab power at all costs.
“The question is: when did Oshiomhole become the National Security Adviser (NSA). When did Oshiomhole become a service chief? Is Oshiomhole holding any statutory position in the government or even in the APC, as a party, to warrant a security meeting with the President, if the meeting was not for ulterior partisan purposes on the Edo election?
“This development also points to the obvious fact that the security architecture of our nation has been abandoned by statutory officials and now vested in political hooligans as well as characters like Oshiomhole for suppression of innocent Nigerians and rigging of elections.”
The opposition party further argued that if the meeting was indeed focused on genuinely curbing violence, as being claimed by the Presidency, “why were leaders of other political parties and other stakeholders in the Edo governorship election not invited? Why was this meeting centered on the arrest and clampdown of political rivals?”
The party maintained that it was worried by the discussion between Oshiomhole and Gambari “because of the history of electoral violence that has characterized elections under this administration.”