Damilola Aina, Abuja

Daily Courier – The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has lambasted the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) for fixing its national convention for working days thereby causing disruptions.

The former vice president also observed that the Sunday night dinner hosted by President Muhammadu Buhari for the party’s National Advisory Committee (NAC) was disconcerting coming at a time when the whole of the country and the rest of the world was in a sober mood, on account of the massacre in Owo, Ondo State.

A statement issued by Paul Ibe, Media Adviser to the presidential candidate noted: “Needless to say that the so-called primary election is standing on the backdrop of the reported claim of President Muhammadu Buhari to be given an opportunity to handpick his successor.

“With the blood of innocent worshippers flowing on the street of the Sunshine state, leaders of the APC are gathered in Abuja, treating themselves to sumptuous dinner in a manner that suggests lack of empathy to the mood of the nation.”

Atiku observed that the exercise to pick the presidential candidate of the party that kicked off on Monday in Abuja, is a referendum on the performance of the APC government, telling the party delegates that there is no need to let the party hand on to power for a day longer.

The statement added: “However, if the charade that the APC calls a presidential convention primary election is merely to handpick an anointed candidate, it is important to ask the managers of the ruling party why they elected to slate the so-called convention for a working day, thereby disrupting economic activities around the Federal Capital Territory.

“Even as delegates in the so-called election entered into the Federal Capital Territory, they must have been greeted with long queues of vehicles waiting to buy automobile fuel and darkness that continues to grim the capital city on account of seizures in electricity supply.

“Should the APC delegates ask themselves what they have been brought to Abuja for, they should know that primaries of their party is not about any of the individuals vying for the presidential ticket of their party, but a referendum on the APC’s scorecard in the past 7 years.

“Should the delegates be honest with themselves about the current state of affairs in the country under the watch of their party, they ought to know that allowing the APC to remain in power one more day after May 29, next year is an unpatriotic decision to make.

“For residents of the FCT who have been inundated with everyday stress as a result of bad governance by the ruling party, the choice of crucial working days – Monday and Tuesday – as days for the primaries of the APC is a callous and insensitive decision.

“It needs no mention that whoever is ‘handpicked’ as the APC presidential candidate in such despotic process cannot be any different from the authoritarian fervour of the APC’s establishment.

“Such a candidate, therefore, cannot represent the future of hope and brighter aspirations that Nigerians look forward to after the termination of the current state of anomie which the ruling party is known for.

“It is important to stress once again, that the 2023 general elections, more than anything else, is a referendum about the scorecard of the APC and Nigerians should not reward their failure with even a day more on the saddle.”