The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has said that it remains on the moral high ground compared to the All Progressives Congress, APC, as far as its commitment to issues-based campaigns is concerned.
In a statement Tuesday, National Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Olisa Metuh, dismissed the claim by the APC that the description of its presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari as “semi-literate jackboot” by the PDP National Secretary, Wale Oladipo, amounted to reneging on the commitment.
According to Metuh, “In the PDP, we occupy the moral high ground as far as our commitment to issues-based campaign is concerned. Our word remains our bond. Since we made that commitment, we have focused on issues.
“We have also taken up the responsibility of drawing the attention of Nigerians to the obvious cases of incompetence and failings of the APC and those who aspire to the leadership of our nation through that platform.
“There has never been any instance that we have maliciously attacked the characters of those on the presidential ticket of the APC; rather, we have been alive to our responsibility of offering public service so that Nigerians will not be deceived.
“The particular statement by Professor Oladipo, referred to by the APC, which we even consider as complimentary, does not in any way compare with the many instances of vicious, malicious and provocative attacks on the person and office of our presidential candidate, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, after we made the commitment to engage in a decent campaign.
“It is on record that a few days after the commitment alluded to by the APC, Kano State Governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso, attacked the person of President Jonathan, describing him as an ‘incompetent commander-in-chief.’ No personal attack could be more vicious and unconscionable.
“Similarly, the Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, has consistently prosecuted a hate campaign against President Jonathan, describing him as ‘an enemy of Rivers people’. I ask the APC and my friend, Lai Mohammed, if this destructive campaign sounds like a love song to him?
“Also, the National Chairman of the APC, Chief John Oyegun, at the church event to mark the 60th birthday of APC Deputy National Chairman (South), Chief Segun Oni, in Ifaki-Ekiti, attacked the person of President Jonathan describing him as ‘a misfit’ for the presidency of the nation.
“Even my friend Lai Mohammed is not blameless. For him to declare to the world that President Jonathan was responsible for the killings of Nigerians by Boko Haram insurgents, when he knows those whose utterances and clandestine activities fuel the insurgency, smacks of political mischief.
“To worsen the entire matter, the APC presidential candidate himself, General Muhammadu Buhari, is complicit in the propagation of personal attack over and above issues. It was insulting for Buhari to say, as he did in Sokoto last Sunday, that ‘no right-thinking Nigerian will vote for Jonathan.’ Is this the APC’s understanding of an issues-based campaign.
“It is important to point out that President Jonathan has never, ever, whether before or after he became the candidate of our party, attacked the character or person of General Buhari. In his declaration speech and acceptance speech after he was nominated as presidential candidate of our party, there was nowhere in the speeches or speeches made on subsequent occasions in which he attacked the person of Buhari.
“We would like to state that, in furtherance of their deliberate and calculated attacks on President Jonathan, the APC has been using fronts and sponsored agents in the media and social media to make caricatures of President Jonathan.
“For the avoidance of doubt, we want to assure the APC that we remain committed to issues-based campaign as this will give us a clear head-start over them. We will campaign on our record of verifiable achievements; we will campaign on the fact that Nigeria can never go back to the past; we will campaign on issues and ideas built around our continuing agenda to transform our nation going into the future.
“Nevertheless, we are fully prepared, ready, willing and able to defend all personal attacks on the President and the leadership of our great party.