The Peoples Democratic Party has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately order the arrest of former National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Adams Oshiomhole, and Chief of Staff to the President, Prof Ibrahim Gambari, over a video in which the duo were discussing the ‘arrest’ of unnamed persons.
In the video seen by SaharaReporters, Oshiomhole was seen walking briskly alongside Gambari at the Presidential Villa and muttering, “Arrest…deal with and the whole… will change.”
Gambari responded, saying, “We will go beyond.”
According to the PDP, the video implied that the APC-led government was plotting the arrest of key opposition figures ahead of the September 19 governorship election in Edo State.
Kola Ologbondiyan, the party’s spokesperson, said that the video had validated earlier revelations of plots by Oshiomhole and the APC governorship candidate, Osagie Ize-Iyamu, to use compromised security operatives that are being mobilised by certain individuals in the Presidency to arrest innocent Nigerians including traditional, faith-based and community leaders on trumped up charges ahead of the Edo election.
He said, “Nigerians and the people of Edo now know those to hold responsible should there be cases of illegal arrests, assassinations and unexplained killings, sudden disappearances of prominent people, accidental discharge by federal security operatives and mysterious accidents in the course of the Edo governorship election.
“The PDP National Campaign Council on Edo governorship election charges President Buhari to reassure Nigerians by immediately ordering that Oshiomhole and Prof Gambari be pulled in for questioning over the video.”
But the Presidency dispelled the allegations.
Garba Shehu, the presidential spokesperson, described the video as “an ingenious patchwork of mischief extracted from an innocent conversation focused on the emerging incidents of violence in the run-up to the election”.
He said, “It is very important to strongly dispel misguided messaging amongst commentators, rights activists, advocates and journalists who have been reacting to a trending short video clip, alleging that the Chief of Staff, Professor Ibrahim Gambari and Chief Adams Oshiomhole, the former All Progressives Congress, APC chairman had hatched a plan to arrest opposition individuals ahead of the September, election in Edo State.
“It is equally a fact that various political parties campaigning in Edo have levelled accusations of violence against one another. In such a heightened state of uncertainty, responsible leadership must ensure that elections are conducted in a peaceful manner and if warranted, judicious use of law enforcement to protect lives and properties of citizens is mobilised thus preventing criminal elements from subverting the democratic process.”
Shehu said President Buhari does not support violence of any sort and its propagators will be brought to justice.
He added, “Equally important is that the persons in the video, Prof Gambari and Comrade Oshiomhole have a history and track record of working to protect the rights of Nigerians and humanity of all walks of life, especially the poor and marginalized; and as such will not be found encouraging any conduct that runs counter to these values.”