Jonathan, PDP Under Fire Over Buhari ‘Death Threat’

There was outrage yesterday over an advertisement placed in some national newspapers in support of President Goodluck Jonathan’s re-election campaign.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on whose platform the president is contesting, was under fire over the advertisement placed by Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose.
The advertisement titled “Nigerians be warned”, quoted a Bible passage saying “I have set before thee life and death…”. It has photographs of the late Heads of State Gen. Murtala Muhammed, Gen. Sani Abacha, the late President Musa Yar’Adua – all of who died in office and the photo of Gen Buhari, “age 72 from NorthWest again”. “Will you allow history to repeat itself? Enough of state burials. Nigerians vote wisely. Vote Goodluck Jonathan. Northern presidency should wait till 2019,” it said.
The Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) described the advertisement as “reckless”, adding that PDP leaders have turned themselves to God.
President of the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON), the advertising regulatory body in Nigeria, Mr. Lolu Akinwunmi, described the advertisement as “unconventional, shocking and controversial”.

Gen. Buhari, on his tweeter handle thisIsBuhari, said: “How can his (Jonathan’s) campaign be talking about dead ex-leaders, jogging around the stadium and outright lies about my health?”

The All Progressives Congress (APC) described the advertisement as “choosing death for our candidate”.
The party accused the PDP of threatening Gen. Buhari’s life and paying lip service to the Abuja accord signed last week by the parties to ensure a violence-free election.
The Director of Media and Publicity of the Buhari campaign, Mallam Garba Shehu, said in a statement that “the PDP and its surrogates should be held responsible if anything happens to Gen. Buhari, before, during and after the elections”.
The APC Presidential Campaign Organisation advised President Jonathan and the PDP leadership to take charge of their campaign before their surrogates plunge Nigeria into confusion and anarchy.
It urged all APC members and millions of supporters of Gen. Buhari across the country to remain calm and not play into the hands of the PDP hatchet men to be provoked and thereby, giving them the much-needed excuse to abort this democracy before or after the elections.
Shehu said: ”This is the height of desperate tactics by the PDP, which is capable of degenerating into unnecessary bloodshed and destruction. They are choosing death for us. This is not politics. We are, therefore, asking our supporters to stay calm and be law-abiding.”
“Even as a candidate, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan has a duty to lead the country with responsibility up until May 29, when a new President will be inaugurated,” he said, adding that the on-going campaign on Gen. Buhari’s health, using forged medical reports, and now suggestions of death are reeking of plots to eliminate him (Buhari) before or after he wins.
The Organisation added that “the world is watching and that if anything happens to Gen. Muhammadu Buhari before, during or after the elections, under the pretext of X, Y or Z, we shall be left with no option than to conclude that the PDP and their surrogates are to be held accountable”.
“All APC members and millions of supporters of Gen. Buhari across the country should not play into the hands of the PDP hatchet men to be provoked and thereby, giving them the much-needed excuse to abort this democracy before or after the elections.”
The APC stressed that it is committed to the peace accord signed by political parties under the supervision of the former Secretary General of the United Nations, Dr. Kofi Annan and the former Secretary General of the Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku.
It asked the police, the SSS, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the advertising regulatory agency in Nigeria (APCON) to do their jobs by not allowing these dangerous threats to democracy go unchecked.
“Once again, the APC campaign advises all its supporters to strive to stay above the ‘rofo-rofo’, which is clearly designed to provoke our supporters to help the PDP’s sinister agenda to abort this hard fought for democracy in view of their impending defeat in the forthcoming general elections,” Shehu said.
The APC Campaign said petitions were being sent to APCON, INEC, DSS, the Police and concerned newspapers involved “to protest this malicious death wish”.
Also yesterday, Baraje, a one-time national chair of the PDP, now a member of the campaign council of the Buhari/Osinbajo Campaign Organisation, condemned in strong terms and in its entirety the advertisement.
He described it as “high sense of irresponsibility and an insensible act.”
Baraje said the advertisement was “not only reckless, uncalled for, but a type that can cause anarchy and crisis in the country.”
He expressed surprise that the publication by Fayose came a few days after President Jonathan, Gen Buhari and other presidential candidates signed a non-violence agreement for peaceful elections next month.
Baraje said: “There is a limit to the tolerance of well-meaningful Nigerians to such inflammatory statements such as that of Governor Fayose. This shows the extent of the desperation of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party.”
He drew the attention of Nigerians and INEC to the inciting statement credited to Fayose, asking them to call the governor to order.
Baraje said: “Such a statement apart from having the tendency to cause anarchy and acrimony, the PDP seems to be preparing grounds for violence a few days to the general elections “Fayose should not dare God by asking Nigerians to chose between life and death which made him to refer to General Buhari, the APC presidential candidate in a news and pictorial advertisement sponsored in front page of a national daily as a dead man due to his age.
”With the statement credited to the Ekiti State Governor and the statement by the PDP Chairman, Alhaji Adamu Mu’azu that the PDP is a party of injustice and a party that lacks equity where monkey dey work baboon dey chop, the present leaders of the APC have been vindicated by their move to leave the PDP enmasse and defect to the APC.”
He warned the leadership of the PDP against bringing such injustice to the nation.
“Nigerians should be patient and not take the laws into their hands because the ruling party (PDP) is already jittery about the impending outcome of the forthcoming elections which is already favouring the APC considering the massive support the APC has been receiving from all campaigns they have embarked upon,” he cautioned.
Baraje drew the attention of the Inspector-General of Police, the INEC Chairman, DSS and other security agencies to the inflammatory statements originating from the PDP and its candidates particularly Governor Fayose.
He urged the security agencies to “do something urgently so as not to cause crisis in the country.”

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