Adams Oshiomhole, National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has called for a stop to the "irresponsible lies" against him regarding receiving bribes from politicians.
Oshimhole noted that "if the exercise of the APC primaries were to be about money-taking or money-making, the state governors, some of whom are embittered about the outcomes in their states, were in a better position to dish out mega bucks".
A statement on Thursday by Simon Ebegbulem, Chief Press Secretary to Oshiomhole, titled 'Alleged Bribe-taking: This Nonsense Must Stop', accused "some top elements in the top hierarchy of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)" or working with some APC members.
The statement read: "The attention of the National Chairman of the All Progressives Party (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomole has been drawn to a rash of libellous reports by disgruntled persons aimed at maligning his hard-earned reputation.
"The primary elections of the APC, which were at the root of these malicious attacks, have come and gone, but it is understandable that those who lost out in the transparent exercise conducted by the party under the leadership of Comrade Oshiomhole have been exercising their rights to protest.
"It is curious to note that some elements in the top hierarchy of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) appeared to be too eager to see the exit of the APC Chairman from office and may be working in tandem with certain APC members. While it makes sense for PDP to wish for cure for their headache that Comrade Oshiomole has become, it should not be taken for granted that anyone can get away with any action that is capable of tarnishing the unassailable integrity of the APC Chairman.
"We are aware that part of the strategies discussed in Dubai, where the PDP leaders recently visited and held their meeting, was to continue to dish out lies against top APC leaders with a view to distract the leadership of the APC ahead the 2019 general election. But they have failed because the National Chairman and APC leaders are focused and will never be distracted."
He also threatened to take legal action against those making "unsubstantiated allegations" against Oshiomhole.
The statement continued: "However, it is time these irresponsible lies stopped; otherwise, anybody who continues to make unsubstantiated allegations against the person and character of the National Chairman should be ready to provide proofs in a court of law. It cannot be just a political game to smear the character of Comrade Oshiomole by people whose track record is unenviable.
"We want the public to note that if the exercise of the APC primaries were to be about money-taking or money-making, the state governors, some of whom are embittered about the outcomes in their states, were in a better position to dish out mega bucks. But the National Working Committee of APC under the leadership of Comrade Oshiomole was motivated by higher ideals and the pursuit of noble democratic principles.
"It is sad that instead of commending the National Chairman for resisting criminal overtures to compromise him, he is being relentlessly harangued, abused and accused of receiving phantom bribes. This is a callous and wicked enterprise. The National Chairman's credibility is unassailable. His reputation as president of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) is a matter of fact. Significantly, as NLC president, he fought the PDP-controlled Federal Government in furtherance of pro-people policies without collecting money to compromise the struggles.
"He rode on the crest of his credibility and reputation to step in the saddle in Edo State as governor for eight years where he turned around the fortune of the state. Indeed, owing to his performance in Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole was able to get the people's support to ensure victory for APC governor as his successor.
"The National Chairman views the current attempts to tarnish his image as uncalled for and has vowed that he will seek legal redress against anybody or media, whether the traditional or in the social media, who makes such unsubstantiated allegations henceforth.
"Enough is enough. We urge our respected media outfits to exercise caution not to be used by unscrupulous elements. Except such persons or media house can provide evidence."