By Emmanuel Mogbede
The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) has advised the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to look for more creative ways of executing its presidential campaign rather than demonising INEC and other national institutions.
The BMO gave the advice in a statement by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke on Sunday in Abuja.
The BMO said the advice followed series of attacks by the PDP and its Presidential candidate, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, especially on top INEC officers.
The organisation noted that the PDP had resorted to bullying tactics because of the reality that its presidential candidate, the former Vice President, had no chance to upstage President Muhammadu Buhari in the coming election.
“Now that PDP’s presidential campaign has stalled and lost steam almost as soon as it began as a result of lack of support, even among its leading members, it thinks the best way is to blackmail everyone at INEC,” it said.
The BMO wondered how the PDP could accuse the commission of making a U-turn on the use of smart card readers for the upcoming election.
It also wondered why the PDP was raising dust over the appointment of Amina Zakari as the head of INEC’s in-house coalition centre committee, a role it noted she played in 2015.
“It is good that INEC has given the party the response it deserves, but we know that all these are diversionary tactics to deflect attention from a campaign that is nothing to write home about.
“We see it as an admission of failure, even before the first ballot, based on the reality on ground,” the BMO said.
It, however, urged the PDP to do more to convince skeptical party leaders to embrace its presidential candidate to ensure a semblance of a contest in February instead of seeking to use INEC as an excuse for its impending defeat.
The BMO said what the PDP Presidential Campaign Council did not want Nigerians to know was that most of the party’s founding members and those it expected to fund its campaign activities had turned their backs on its candidate.
It added that while some PDP governors had big re-election battles on their hands, some were just not interested in rallying round a candidate with the “type of baggage Atiku had, even by PDP standard.”
It noted that even some PDP governorship and National Assembly candidates had the image of the President Muhammadu Buhari on their campaign posters rather than that of Atiku Abubakar.
The BMO decried what it described as the use of local and foreign trolls by PDP to further its goal of discrediting INEC and other national institutions.
“Aside from hiring foreign hacks to malign the country, PDP is shamelessly using its members who are embedded in a so-called coalition to push out false narratives and fake news.
This, the BMO said, was part of efforts by the PDP to give the impression of an opposition coalition against President Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC).
It, however, added that President Buhari had enough goodwill and support, especially among discerning Nigerians who were aware of the massive infrastructure development across the country, to coast to victory in the elections.
It maintained that President Buhari still enjoyed the support of majority of those who gave him what his supporters refered to as the 12 million vote bank in 2011 which increased to over 15 million in 2015.
“Add that to the millions of beneficiaries of Africa’s largest social welfare scheme and those who are witnesses to new road and rail projects.
“Then it is safe to say the opposition party and its minions have already accepted defeat more than one month to the Presidential election,” the group said.