By Dapo Akinrefon
- Mr Kola Ologbodiyan is the National Publicity Secretary of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP. In this interview, the PDP spokesperson accuses the Buhari administration of intimidating members of the party. He also decries the proposed Operation Python Dance to be conducted by the Army. Excerpts:
Your party has threatened to withdraw from the Peace Accord for the 2019 polls. What informed this decision?
We are a signatory to the peace pact because we believe that the elections must be conducted in an atmosphere of peace, justice, fairness and equity.
But what we are witnessing is that while the PDP wants a peaceful conduct of the polls, our contemporaries in the APC are carrying as if they are not prepared to honour the spirit and letters of the peace accord.
The APC and the Buhari Presidency are harassing the members of the PDP and intimidating us. They have refused to respect the rule of law, seeking to undermine our democracy and subdue our constitutional rights. As stakeholders in the political process, we came together, reviewed the situation and concluded that if the National Peace Committee can not call this government and the APC to order, we could as well review our signatory to the accord.
Gov Ganduje shut down Kano Stadium, thereby preventing the PDP from holding its presidential rally there but later rescinded his decision. How do you see this development?
Ganduje’s decision was predicated on our protest to the National Peace Committee. There is a tendency with the APC and the Federal Government to appropriate public institutions as if they are personal properties. We totally reject this tendency.
Today, we have been denied the use of the Old Parade Ground, Garki, Abuja, after we had paid and fulfilled all their requirements. What manner of democracy is that?
Angry reactions have trailed the army’s proposed Operation Python Dance in the South-East. What is your take?
Operation Python Dance at this period is a strategy to get the military involved in the process of our election. As a party, the PDP cautions the military not to allow herself to be dragged into muddy politics.
Why is your party calling for an extension of the deadline for PVCs collection?
The PDP sought extension of the deadline for the collection of the PVCs in response to the wishes of Nigerians. There are too many PVCs out there that have either not been distributed or Nigerians are being denied their collection. We urge INEC to release these PVCs to genuine owners.
How optimistic are you that your party will win the elections?
The PDP is very optimistic and we are set to win presidential and other elections.
President Muhammadu Buhari has failed to deliver on his three-point promises of revving the economy, fighting insurgency and fighting corruption.
Rather than improving on the robust economy that was handed over to him by President Goodluck Jonathan, President Buhari, out of sheer incompetence, took the economy to the woods. Life, in every measure of appraisal, has gone miserable. On this account alone, majority of Nigerians will reject President Buhari at the polls come February 16.
In the area of fighting insurgency, President Buhari has failed woefully so much so that even residents of his home state are fleeing to Niger Republic. On the fight against corruption, all you need to do is look around Mr President and the picture you find will will show you if, in truth, President Muhammadu Buhari has fought corruption.
When you add these factors to the number of Nigerians that have abandoned the ship of APC, including those who will work for the people’s candidate, Atiku Abubakar, from within the Buhari Presidency and inside the APC, you will agree with me that we are coasting to victory and we shall get Nigeria working again.
Do you trust INEC to conduct credible elections?
Nigerians are more than ready to get INEC do the right thing.