Borno: Presidency’s bribe for boo claim diversionary ― PDP

The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has faulted the claim by presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, that people might have taken a bribe to boo President Muhammadu Buhari during his sympathy visit to Maiduguri on Wednesday, saying that it was an attempt to divert attention from the fact that the people have lost confidence in the President.

Shehu had been quoted as making the allegation in an interview with the Hausa Service of the BBC on Thursday.

But in its reaction, the PDP said in a statement issued by Kola Ologbondiyan, its National Publicity Secretary, that the Buhari Presidency should stop chasing shadows, end its resort to falsehood and blackmail as well as take a lesson from the widespread booing that greeted President Buhari during his “failed media stunt” visit to insurgency ravaged Borno state on Wednesday.

The main opposition party informed that its position was predicated on the allegation by the Presidency that the people of Borno were paid to boo the President “even when his ordeal was clearly self-inflicted following his Presidency’s continuous aloofness to the plight of Nigerians and communities being daily ravaged by terrorists, bandits and insurgents.”

The party said President Buhari should rather accept the bitter truth that Nigerians no longer have confidence in him, instead of allowing his aides to insult and smear the already hurting people of Borno State, for expressing their discontentment over the failure of his administration to take steps to end the scourge of terrorism in the country.

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The statement added: “It is indeed an unpardonable height of thoughtlessness and leadership failure for the Buhari’s Presidency to accuse victims of terrorism; a brokenhearted people, including those who have been orphaned, widowed, maimed, rendered homeless and living in agony and fear, of being bribed to boo the President during his media stunt visit.

“Our party holds that an honest and concerned Presidency would be more interested in taking decisive steps to tackle the security challenges which has festered under it, instead of engaging in shadow-chasing, blackmail, propaganda and unnecessary media stunt visit, which itinerary did not include the victims of the attacks.

“Moreover, during the visit, Mr President had no significant soothing words of assurance for the people; he had no decisive policy thrust to track down the killers, yet his handlers expected the mourning people to clap.”

The PDP noted that the reaction of Nigerians in Borno represented the opinion of the majority of citizens and the international community.

The PDP further said: “The attempt by the Buhari Presidency to divert attention by accusing Nigerians is therefore completely unacceptable.

“The Buhari Presidency should indeed search its conscience regarding its manifest failure to decisively act in the face of escalated insecurity in our country under its watch.”

The party also charged the Buhari Presidency to further gauge the feeling of Nigerians by visiting other states of the federation and by road, “perhaps after that it would finally dawn on it that Nigerians, across the board, no longer have confidence in the Buhari administration.”

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