The Spokesperson for President Muhammadu Buhari Campaign Organisation, Festus Keyamo (SAN), has challenged the Peoples Democratic Party and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, to come out with proof of corruption against President Muhammadu Buhari, if they have any.
He said Nigerians, especially the media, must always demand evidence of any accusation levelled against the ruling All Progressives Congress before the opposition party could be taken seriously.
Keyamo said this in response to an allegation by Atiku through his Special Assistant on Public Communication, Mr Phrank Shaibu, that members of the President’s family now own substantial shares in Etisalat Nigeria, which has an estimated $2bn (about N727bn at N360 per dollar) of its estimated $20bn global net worth.
Atiku while citing a report also claimed that the first family had acquired mouth-watering shares in Keystone Bank with total assets of $1.916bn (equivalent of N307.5bn) and purchased about N3bn worth of shares in the new Pakistani Islamic Bank.
Saying that Atiku and the PDP deserved no attention, Keyamo urged Nigerians to demand proof from them whenever “they make their spurious and wild allegations” before they could listen to them.
“Before Nigerians can listen to them, they (PDP and Atiku) must show some modicum of proof before we can respond; otherwise they will wake up every morning and start making wild, fictitious accusations. These are useless and stupid allegations they have been churning out to show they are clueless,” he said.
Atiku had also stated that the reported N1.7bn donated by Nigerian farmers to the campaign of President Buhari contravened Section 91 (9) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended), which says, “no individual or other entity shall donate more than N1m to an aspirant or a candidate.”
He added that Section 91 (2) of the Electoral Act further stated that a presidential candidate could only spend a maximum of N1bn.
But Keyamo argued that the law did not stop people from donating beyond the spending limit.
“The law only says N1bn is your spending limit, it didn’t say people cannot donate more. When you receive more you can veer them into other things like charity or party activities other than campaigning,” he said.
However, the PDP on Thursday challenged President Buhari to explain to Nigerians how his family members got N1.032tn they allegedly invested for the acquisition of Etisalat Nigeria and Keystone Bank Plc.
The party urged Buhari to jettison the thought of going ahead with his re-election campaign without clearing the issue.
It stated that the matter directly bordered on his integrity both as a person and the exalted office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, during a media briefing in Abuja, also said Nigerians were not interested in mere rhetoric or attempts by the Buhari Presidency to divert public attention from the issue at hand.
He stated that the PDP demanded that Buhari, who prides himself as Mr Integrity, addressed the issues in person.
He alleged that Buhari’s refusal to personally address the matter meant consent.
Ologbondiyan said, “The PDP Presidential Campaign challenges President Buhari to explain how his family members came about the sum of N1.032tn for this scandalous acquisition.
“This is not an issue for Buhari’s aides to howl about in the media; it touches directly on his person, particularly his perception as a symbol of the talakawas. He must therefore address them.
“It is a norm that he who comes to equity must come with clean hands. President Buhari and his family members have entangled themselves in corruption. Mr President’s hands can no longer be said to be clean until he proves otherwise.”
He added, “The PDP PCO wants Nigerians and the whole world to note that President Buhari’s refusal to personally address this matter means consent.
“We, therefore, dare President Buhari to put forth a denial on this disclosure by our candidate and we will spare no thoughts in furnishing the public with details of his corrupt activities within and outside Nigeria.
“Nigerians will also recall how the Buhari Presidency muted the case of the aide of the First Lady, Mr Baba-Inna, who was arrested in September this year over accusation of receiving N2.5bn from politicians, businessmen and women on behalf of the First Lady.”
He urged Nigerians to recall how the Buhari Presidency allegedly covered up the confession of one Amina Mohammed, paraded by the Department of State Services.