The opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on Sunday, July 5, has described the call by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) for the arrest of some of its prominent members over alleged linked to suspected fraudster, Raymond Abbas, popularly known as Hushpuppi, as reckless and irresponsible, saying it further exposes a victimisation agenda of the ruling party.
In a statement by its spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan, Sunday evening, PDP said the alleged fabrications have exposed how the APC administration has been using agencies under its control to frame innocent opposition members, dissenting voices, rival political parties and perceived opponents of the government on trumped-up charges under the guise of fighting corruption.
The APC had accused a former vice president, Atiku Abubakar; immediate past Senate President, Bukola Saraki; a former speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara; a former senator, Dino Melaye, of links with Hushpuppi.
Hushpuppi, known for his lavish lifestyle on Instagram, has been extradited to the United States of America to face trial for alleged cyber-fraud, possibly money laundering, among other crimes.
Ologbondiyan in the statement accused the APC of trying to victimise PDP members.
“The desperate bid to frame innocent Nigerians who are not in any way involved with Hushpuppi, even after a very broad investigation by prominent investigators including the United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), leaves no one in doubt that APC government has been victimizing opposition members with fabricated charges.”
The PDP said it has been made aware that the statement by the APC is part of a design by certain power mongers close to the APC administration to commence a fresh clampdown on perceived political rivals within and outside the opposition circles, ahead of the 2023 general election.
“Nigerians should not be surprised when the APC will begin to list the names of innocent political leaders, including those who are now being persecuted in their party, on trumped-up charges, for political interests.”
“While our party has no link whatsoever with Hushpuppi, as the APC also acknowledged, Nigerians are aware that his pictures with some prominent Nigerians, such as former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, which the APC is frenzied about, do not suggest any affinity beyond the usual jostling by people, world over, to be photographed with leaders.”
He admitted that such happens to all prominent individuals, especially leaders, including President Muhammadu Buhari.
“It is therefore unfortunate that a ruling party, which is now led by a sitting governor, is spending its energy to frame innocent Nigerians instead of confronting the myriads of economic and security problems it caused the nation, in addition to finding solution to the serious demands of COVID-19 pandemic.”
“If the APC is indeed fighting corruption, it should have called for the investigation of its leaders who, as state governors, ministers and even APC National Chairman have been indicted for stealing and treasury looting.”
He said the party should instead channel their call for investigation to Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, who was seen on video clips allegedly collecting kickbacks.
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“The APC should be calling for the investigation of one of their state governors, who was seen on a viral video, stuffing his robe with gratification, in foreign currency, as well as their candidate in a forthcoming election, who has been declared by a former APC National Chairman as a treasury looter, who is only good for “night meetings” and not fit to be state governor.”
The PDP also cautioned the APC to steer clear of its members and other hard working Nigerians, in various fields of endeavor, who are perceived to be opponents of the APC.
The opposition party said it will not be distracted by the APC, which, it said, has gone into panic mode over its imminent electoral loss in Edo and Ondo states.