The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Saturday maintained that the All Progressives Congress (APC) has no legally valid candidates for the 2023 general elections because Governor Mai Mala Buni midwifed the process leading to the emergence of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party in violation of section 183 of the Constitution.
The party has, therefore, advised the ruling party presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, to return home and face other issues.
Addressing a press conference in Abuja on Saturday, PDP National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, stated: “The APC has become prostrate, handicapped and incapacitated to campaign as it has no legally valid candidate for the 2023 general elections.
“Recall that the PDP had on February 22, 2022, and March 8, 2022, cautioned that with its foisting of an illegal and unconstitutional leadership, the APC has become ‘legally defunct, structurally crippled and no longer a legitimate and valid vehicle to field candidates for elections under our laws.’
“The PDP had cautioned all aspirants in the APC then not to waste their resources, time and energy in the APC as they will be on a journey to nowhere. Today, the chicken has finally come home to roost.
“As you are aware, the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Friday, September 30, 2022, nullified the candidature of Governor Gboyega Oyetola in the July 16 2022 Osun State Governorship election on the ground that his nomination was invalid, having been conducted and submitted by Gov. Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State, in violation of Section 183 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).
“For emphasis, Section 183 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) provides that a state governor ‘shall not, during the period when he holds office, hold any other executive office or paid employment in any capacity whatsoever.’
“This judgment reaffirms the judgment of the Court of Appeal in the case of Jegede vs INEC that a violation of any provision of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) particularly as it relates to Section 183 portends grave consequences.
“The import of the September 30, 2022 judgment of the Federal High Court is that every decision made by Governor Mai Mala Buni as Chairman of the APC is null and void as you cannot place something on nothing and expect it to stand.
“Consequently, the Congresses as well as the National Convention which produced APC Excos including the Sen. Adamu Abdullahi-led NWC is void.
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“In effect, the primaries and Presidential Convention conducted by the Sen. Adamu Abdullahi-led NWC, including the nomination of Sen. Ahmed Bola Tinubu as the presidential candidate of the APC is invalid, null and void ab-initio.
“In any case, the APC candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has nothing to offer being the architect of the woes, calamities and life-discounting experiences faced by Nigerians in the last seven and half years.
“Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu should go home and face the issues of inconsistencies in his educational qualifications, name, ancestry, age as well as corruption allegations.”
The PDP spokesman, who reminded Nigerians of the flagging off of the party’s campaign in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State on Monday, gave reasons why its presidential flag bearer, Atiku Abubakar, is in the best position to rescue Nigeria from what he said is the APC misrule.
According to him, while the former Vice President was the chairman of, National Economic Council (NEC), the country recorded unprecedented growth in national productivity.
He added: “Atiku Abubakar as Vice President to President Olusegun Obasanjo was the Chairman of the National Economic Council.
“During that period, our nation achieved unprecedented national productivity, and secured $30bn overall debt relief from the Paris and London Clubs.
“Nigeria’s economy was revamped to become one of the fastest growing economies in the world with the stable exchange rate, foreign reserves rose from $2bn in 1999 to $43bn in 2007, power generation rose from average daily generation capacity of 1,800mw in 1999 to 4,000MW in 2007.
“Our country witnessed the liberalization of the telecommunication industry and the advent of GSM and Internet facilities in Nigeria
“Our country also witnessed a boost in private Small and Medium Scale Enterprises in Nigeria.
“More Nigerians opened investments in sectors hitherto controlled by foreigners including in the downstream and upstream petroleum sectors.
“Owing to the conducive economic environment, there was an increase in Foreign Direct Investment and more Nigerians in the Diaspora returned to establish businesses in the country; expanded and consolidated the Nigerian banking industry to make it operate and participate effectively in global banking businesses.
“Nigeria achieved one of the most profitable Stock Markets in the world with an average Return on Investment of over 31%.
“Our nation also achieved a consolidated Pension System both in the private and public sectors. (The APC has been seeking to siphon money from that Fund).
“Under Atiku Abubakar as coordinator of the economy, Nigeria achieved economic rebound after military rule. Today Nigeria and Nigerians need Atiku Abubakar to achieve a rebound after the misrule of the APC.”
On the campaign, Ologunagba asserted that the party will take it to all the States, Local Government Areas, Wards and Polling Units across the country “under the Unified Campaign Structure as approved by the National Executive Committee (NEC) of our Party.”
He said the campaign will be people-driven and focused on PDP and Atiku’s mission “to rescue, rebuild and redirect our nation from the abysmal misrule of the All Progressives Congress (APC).”
“From our consultations across the six geo-political zones of the country, it is clear that Nigerians across board, irrespective of religion, ethnicity and even political affiliations accept the PDP Presidential Candidate, H.E. Atiku Abubakar as the best Candidate with the practical experience, capacity, broad-mindedness and willpower to Unite our nation, Revamp our national economy, and guarantee security of lives and property in our country,” he declared.