-DAVID UMAHI, EBONYI; IFEANYI UGWUANYI ENUGU ALSO ON THE DOCK
BY CAMI EZENWA
Could it be true that some stalwarts of the major opposition party in the country – the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), including the Deputy President of the Senate, Like Ekweremadu have sold out?
Is it true that they are now mules working for President Muhammadu Buhari, while pretending to advance the course of the PDP?
This is an allegation that the The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) has thrown into the public domain, alleging that PDP governors in both the south east and the north have now also aligned with the president.
The pro-Buhari advocacy group wondered why they are doing so, rather than wholly backing the presidential candidate of their party, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
Although the BMO, in a statement by its Chairman, Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary, Cassidy Madueke noted this as a sign of the President’s wide acceptability, observers wonder how the opposition could stomach members alleged to have indulged in such a clear case of anti-party activity.
In fact, according to the organisation, it is the fact that PDP governorship and National Assembly candidates in several parts of the country are running their campaign with posters bearing his image.
“It is a known fact that there is no living politician with the cult-like followership and support Buhari has in some parts of the country as a result of his legendary integrity, so it is not a surprise that several PDP candidates in Northern Nigeria have been openly canvassing for the President’s re-election.
“The question begging for answer is: why are these candidates not campaigning for Atiku Abubakar or put his image on their campaign posters?”
The organization also described President Buhari’s meeting with the Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun alongside the gubernatorial candidate of the opposition Allied Peoples Movement APM, Adekunle Akinlade, as a positive development, saying it was not necessarily a sign of President Buhari’s endorsement of the APM candidate.
This, it said, is especially as he had before now raised the hand of the APC candidate Dapo Abiodun as his preferred candidate during a recent visit alongside former Ogun State Governor, Olusegun Osoba.
“We are aware of some disquiet among APC members on seeing the picture of the President with Governor Amosun and the APM candidate on the front page of national dailies after the weekend meeting at the Presidential villa.
“But just as the Presidency has made it clear that the President would only back APC candidates, we don’t see the meeting as a contradiction of the stance.
“It in fact shows the acceptability that President Buhari enjoys across party lines as opposed to the recent stage-managed endorsement of the Presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party PDP Atiku Abubakar by insignificant political parties and politicians with no real electoral value”, the group said.
A report monitored from Vanguard for example, said the pro-Buhari group pointed out that the trend of support for President Buhari among PDP leaders began a few weeks ago with the visit by governors elected on the platform of the opposition party in the South East geo-political zone and the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu.
“Although the meeting was meant to be one where the governors were to show appreciation for federal government projects in the region, especially the contract award for the second Niger Bridge, it came at a time the political figures were at odds with their parties.
“On individual basis, Ebonyi State Governor David Umahi, has publicly left no one in doubt about his positive relations with the President whom he has hailed on several occasions for the infrastructural strides in the region, and of late his Enugu counterpart Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi had been pictured wearing a lapel pin with President Buhari’s image.
“What is now left is for the governors and Senator Ekweremadu to be pictured with the viral 4 + 4 hand sign”, the BMO sneered.