The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has attacked President Muhammadu Buhari over a statement in which he described governors elected on the platform of the party as peddlers of fake news.
The PDP governors’ forum had in a communique on Monday, tackled Buhari's administration over its action.
“The mere ego of Mr President is not enough for such a drastic action that deprives millions of Nigerians of such an affordable means of expression and communication. We hope that this is not a harbinger or early warning signs of descent into dictatorship,” the PDP governors had said.
Reacting in a statement on Wednesday, Garba Shehu, a presidential spokesman said the PDP governors are sad over Twitter’s suspension because it has affected the opposition party’s ability to spread fake news.
“The PDP grieves over the Federal Government’s action over Twitter – for it represents the curtailment of their ability to use the platform to spread fake news and invented stories to the detriment of community and good-neighbourliness between the peoples of Nigeria,” Shehu said.
“The PDP Governors propose no solutions to any of our nation’s challenges in the face of COVID and global economic downturn: instead, they grasp for more money and mourn their lack of access to social media to spread falsehoods and hate.
“Their statement is evidence, if any were needed, as to why the President and the APC ended the PDP’s one-party rule in 2015, were re-elected by an increased margin in 2019, and why their winning trend is set to continue far into the future,” Shehu said.
Responding to the statement by the Presidency on Thursday, Kola Ologbondiyan, National Publicity Secretary of the PDP said governors were called names because they pointed out Buhari’s failures and proffered solutions to the challenges facing the nation.
The statement read, “For the avoidable of doubts, the PDP insists that our governors are responsible and responsive leaders, who have always shown concerns towards the plight of Nigerians.
“It is on record that they attend to the wishes of Nigerians in their respective states and do not by any whim, recourse to the peddling of fake news and lies like the Buhari Presidency and his All Progressives Congress (APC).
“Nigerians will not forget how President Buhari and his party came to power by means of fake news, lies, falsehood, fake promises, deceit, beguilements, and negative innuendos, a scope they have widened and deepened in the last six years.
“In fact, it is equally on record that never in the history of Nigeria have we had a Presidency that so thrives on lies like that of President Buhari, to the extent that Nigerians have even given one of his ministers the public the appellation of a “liar”.
“Even most recently, President Buhari openly resorted to false claims when he told Nigerians that his administration has pulled 10.5 Nigerians out of poverty in the last two years, only for the World Bank to do a fact check and discovered that, to the contrary, 7.8 million Nigerians have rather been dragged below the poverty line in the last 12 months.”
He continued, “It would also be recalled that in fishing for lies to justify its unwarranted ban on Twitter, the Buhari-led Federal Government alleged that Twitter makes “billions of naira” in Nigeria, only for fact checks to reveal to the contrary.
“Nigerians have not forgotten how the Buhari administration scammed Nigerians with a non-existent national carrier for which billions of naira was funnelled out of the treasury, in one of the biggest lies a government ever told its citizens.
“Since the Buhari Presidency has called itself out on its tradition of lies and falsehood, the PDP will not hesitate to publish the Buhari and APC compendium of lies, as told to Nigerians.
“It is also ludicrous that President Buhari whose Presidency is a known sanctuary of corruption could attempt to point accusing fingers at governors elected on the platform of the PDP just because they pointed to the evident mismanagement of our petroleum and other national resources.
“This is an administration which has not been able to account for over N15 trillion reportedly stolen from NNPC coffers including the N9.6 trillion detailed in the leaked NNPC memo, the reported N1.1 trillion worth of crude stolen with 18 unregistered vessels, the over N2 trillion siphoned through various subsidy scams and other reported frauds in agencies such as FIRS, NPA, NDDC, NEMA, NHIS, among others.
“It is on record that, unlike the PDP administration that exposed and prosecuted any official accused of any misdemeanour bordering on corruption, President Buhari, in a very recent global interview admitted that his government and party are infested by corrupt people and that instead of exposing and prosecuting them, he devised a way of “easing them out”.
“The Buhari Presidency and the APC must know that their unwarranted attacks on our governors cannot sway the public or divert attention from the atrocities of the Buhari administration.”