The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has berated the Presidency for politicising the posthumous national award on the acclaimed winner of the June 12, 1993 presidential election, Chief MKO Abiola.
It said that if there is any person to blame for Chief Abiola’s travails, it should be President Muhammadu Buhari for being part of the military coup in December 31, 1983, that toppled the then civilian administration.
The party also accused President Buhari of precipitating the circumstances that led to Chief Abiola’s travails.
In a statement issued by its National Publicity Secretary Kola Ologbondiyan, PDP alleged that President Buhari overtly betrayed his political inclination in the article published by the presidency, which relegated the virtues of Chief Abiola and dwelt on praise-singing of the president.
The opposition party noted that the presidency, in the article, relied on false performance indices and insinuations, ostensibly aimed to set up perceived political opponents of the current administration as Abiola’s traducers.
It said the publication also confirmed fears that President Buhari desperately seeks to use Abiola’s revered name and person to draw political capital ahead of the 2019 general election.
PDP said: “The presidency in its desperation went ahead to demean the exalted office of the president, as well as the import of the posthumous award, by sponsoring tweets to divert public attention from Chief Abiola and his virtues, to procure praises of President Buhari.
“If there is any person to blame for Chief Abiola’s travails, should it not be President Buhari who, on December 31, 1983, staged a military coup that destroyed democratic governance, locked up politicians without trial and set the stage for the deferment of democratic governance, which Chief Abiola paid the supreme sacrifice to restore?”
PDP also said that the presidency, by asserting that “detention without trial, even under the military was wrong” has directly indicted President Buhari, who, in 1984 clamped politicians into detention without trial; an injustice he recently boasted about.
“The re-branded and repositioned PDP stands with the memories of Chief Abiola and all the democratic ideals he represents.
“The party therefore urges all Nigerians not to allow the political posturing of the Buhari presidency to distract them from focusing on the person and sacrifice of Chief Abiola and other martyrs of democracy by remaining united in resisting all undemocratic tendencies of the Buhari-led All Progressives Congress (APC) administration,” it said.