Emergence of new Buhari ‘campaign’ billboards unsettles PDP

THE sudden appearance of giant billboards in parts of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) celebrating President Muhammadu Buhari has unnerved the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which feared that it signalled an attempt to launch a self-succession bid for the president. 

Titled: Baba for All, the billboards have a photograph of the president clad in white babariga, his signature patterned long cap with his two palms clasped in a deliberate camera pose. Mounted at strategic locations in Abuja, they are accompanied by the Twitter handle @BabaForALLNG. 

The PDP believes that coming at a time the nation is inching towards the 2023 presidential election, the people behind the billboards may be toying with the idea of drafting the president into the race again contrary to the constitutional two-term limit. 

The PDP is also concerned that the APC is fishing for prominent opposition members as part of the plot to create a one-party state and implement the self-succession plot. However, the main opposition party is confident that if that is the plan of the ruling party, Nigerians will not allow them to have their way. The PDP national publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan confirmed the party’s anxiety over the billboards to the Nigerian Tribune, saying that it is curious that President Buhari, who is in the last half of his final term, should engage in billboard campaign. 

He said: “We have to confirm that about the fact that APC is working towards a one party state by bribing our members to join their party, by intimidating our governors to join their party, and it will surprise you to know that as a party, we believe that all these calculations are geared towards having a one party state and possibly, a self succession plot. “And despite the denials from the Buhari presidency, we are beginning to see signs that are compelling our party to raise questions about what the dispositions of President Muhammadu Buhari and his political family are about in 2023. 

“In case you are not aware, if you drive along the airport road in Abuja, you are going to see a big banner confronting you, titled ‘Baba for All.For a president who is in the late half of his second and final term, we are concerned as a party on the need for that billboard. “And if you look at the manner in which presidency apparatchik are chasing after our governors and members, you begin to wonder why they are doing it for the developments of APC, or whether they are doing it to suppress our political party and engineer the nation towards a one party state.

 “However, we believe and we hold strongly that Nigerians will not allow for a self succession, we also hold as a political party that nobody has been able to coerce Nigerians into ruling them without their support and the All Progressive Congress and President Muhammadu Buhari will not be exemptions to this determination of Nigerians.” The party spokesman affirmed that Nigerians, even members of the APC, were tired of President Buhari and his party judging by the feelings they now openly express. 

He added: “It cuts across the entirety of Nigerians, and I mean that feeling cuts across the entirety of Nigerians. So, at the end of it, Nigerians will not support another tenure for APC. And any plot to work on a self succession for the current administration of president Muhammadu Buhari is not only laughable but it will fail.” Ologbondiyan said the PDP would not be deterred by the shenanigans of the ruling but will be focused on rebuilding and repositioning to attract more members particularly women, the physically challenged and young Nigerians to its fold. He said the PDP was carrying out reforms to capture the youth demography by implementing programmes that would attract the youths and strengthen the conviction of all those who are already in the party. 

He further said: “But as you know even in youth demography, there is a huge number of those who have never voted before who have crossed the age of 18 and beyond since 2019 till date. “We are working assiduously in the party to see how we will capture those people. As you know in our party, women and the physically challenged are going to be strongly encouraged to participate in governance as well as politics in our new political activities. 

“We are also looking at reforming our manifestos and a committee instituted to take that into consideration in other for us to meet the challenges of our nation ahead of 2023. As you also know, we are currently engaging in the election of our zonal and state chapters to strengthen the participation of our members at those levels. That is what we are doing.”

 

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