Spokesperson of the Tinubu-Shettima presidential campaign, Festus Keyamo on Friday replied his counterpart in the Peoples Democratic Party, Dino Melaye, describing the opposition party as a leopard that cannot change its spot.
Mr Melaye had earlier issued a statement claiming the APC was not ready for elections and governance.
In his rebuttal, Keyamo described Melaye’s statement as “most ironic and unfortunate.”
He also called on the PDP to concentrate on “rescuing itself before even thinking of ‘rescuing’ Nigeria.”
Read the full statement below:
PRESS RELEASE BY THE TINUBU/SHETTIMA PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN COUNCIL:
PDP HAS SHOWN IT IS A LEOPARD THAT CANNOT CHANGE ITS SPOT
Our attention has been drawn to a statement by the PDP Campaign Council alleging that the APC is not ready to govern Nigeria.
This most outlandish statement, coming from the PDP at a time it has become the theatre of the most absurd in this country, is most ironic and unfortunate. It reminds us of the Yoruba parable of the audacious thief summoning the effrontery to accuse the farm-owner of illegal trespass before the farm owner could raise the alarm.
Firstly, in the past few weeks, the PDP has entertained Nigerians with scandalous issues that show the party remains a clear and present danger or threat to Nigeria’s treasury and equity. In the last few days, the public space has been inundated with allegations made by no less a person than a prominent Governor of the PDP accusing its National Chairman of being patently corrupt and of collecting a bribe of N1 billion from one of its candidates. The Governor even threatened to ‘reveal more’ if there was a denial. The Party Chairman, Ayu, is yet to deny or debunk this allegation for fear of being stripped totally bare in public. Is this the party that claims it is ready for governance and that Nigerians can trust? A party without any iota of shame?
Instead of hiding his head in shame, the same Ayu went on a bribing spree, crediting the accounts of members of the NWC in a desperate and laughable attempt to hang on to office. Is this the party Nigerians can trust? Is this the party ready to govern Nigeria?
Meanwhile, some Governors within the PDP have openly expressed reservation as to the capacity of the party leadership to deliver on its often touted promise to restructure and unite Nigeria when it is getting increasingly clear they are incapable of restructuring and unifying their own party to start with. This is owing to the fact that their party has a Northern Presidential candidate and a Northern Party Chairman and also ignored the principle of zoning because its perennial presidential hopeful cannot cede the opportunity to others in the spirit of national inclusion and cohesion, having consistently put his own personal interest above national interest. These concerns were expressed by some PDP Governors themselves. It is like hearing from the horse’s mouth. Need we say more? These frank and honest Governors are doing the Lord’s work for us.
Every week, we are treated to a new revelation about the PDP crises and its profligate and thieving nature. A leopard can hardly change its spot, which means that the PDP is not repentant of its old ways. Certainly, Nigerians are not ready to be deceived again by these comic characters.
We can all vividly recall the famous Dasukigate where money allocated for national security was shared among party chieftains whilst Boko Haram was ravaging the country. We are yet to recover from that trauma and the PDP is showing us that their patented technology for sharing sleazy funds is alive. It appears all their pipelines for siphoning and redistributing public funds are still very much intact and are, in fact, steaming to return to full operation.
On our part, our party has shown its commitment to be fair to all regions in the country. Whilst the PDP was breaching its own Constitution on power rotation and fairness, the APC Governors rose above primordial sentiments and rejected a move to Zone the APC Presidential ticket to the North, insisting that power must shift to the South after President Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure. This is a party that believes in fairness and equity and all Nigerians can attest to that.
Our party, being the largest party in Africa, has to consult far and wide with every critical stakeholder on campaign plans. We have put together a very strong women’s campaign team because we understand what it means to be inclusive and diverse and we are fully committed to the empowerment of women in the scheme of things. As a result, the women must have their say as to how campaigns should be run.
On 31st May 2018, President Buhari, who is the leader of our party, signed the Not-Too-Young-To-Run Bill into law. The APC also has a very extensive and broad youth campaign team. This is a party ready for Nigeria; it is a party ready to address squarely the real issues affecting Nigerians.
Our Presidential candidate has a track record. He has held Executive office; he has pioneered transformational changes. As at today, the IGR in Lagos has grown by 7400% from 1999 to 2021. This is one of the relevant issues that should animate public conversation at this moment; not the cacophony of sounds and fury from the PDP that signifies nothing.
We advise the PDP to desist from its hallucinations and concentrate on rescuing itself before even thinking of ‘rescuing’ Nigeria.
Festus Keyamo, SAN, FCIArb(UK)
*Director of Public Affairs and Chief Spokesperson, Tinubu/Shettima Presidential Campaign Council.
* Minister of State, Labour and Employment,
Federal Republic of Nigeria