by Stanley Azuakola
The National Leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, is used to taking potshots at the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), but certainly not receiving them. So he finds himself in an uncomfortable position this week, being on the receiving end of a PDP lashing over his attendance of the United States’ Democratic Party National Convention.
The problem, according to the PDP, is not that Tinubu attended the Democratic Convention, but that he claimed to have been specially invited to attend the event by Obama campaign staff. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) disclosed that it had information which showed that the Democratic Party did not extend any special invitation or recognition to Tinubu. Various media reports, had carried that news.
The PDP’s position was contained in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Chief Olisa Metuh:
“The usual desperation of Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu and his party to court attention at all cost has taken an international dimension.
“This time, Senator Tinubu who prides himself as the national leader of the ACN has been basking in a delusory frenzy of being ‘specially invited’ to the just concluded Democratic National Convention which held in Charllotte, North Carolina in the United States of America.
“When the former British Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli said that no government can long be secure without a formidable opposition, what he had in mind was a focused and constructive opposition whose view would be an alternative to government in power. He never envisaged an opposition that is founded on fraud and deceit, all in an effort to buy cheap popularity and run down the government in power.
“Whenever we in the PDP say the ACN is not offering and cannot offer Nigerians any alternative, it is because we know that the foundation and the leadership of the party is based on fraud and deceit.
“While Tinubu and his co-travellers are still humouring themselves on being recognised in the international circle as leaders of opposition for attending the convention, it has since been revealed that the man actually laboured vigorously to purchase his invitation.”
“We do not really question Tinubu’s right to engage in any form of political tourism but we find it reprehensible that he could go to that extent to fraudulently establish importance for himself and his party. It is laughable and unfortunate. Neither a political party nor a politician worth the onion needs to live a lie to create enough effect and acceptance before the people. We therefore wonder at the driving motivation behind ACN’s desperate maneuverings. Is the ACN just a political party with a constitution and manifesto devoid of moral code for members? It appears it is.
“With over half a decade of independence behind us and with generations of eminent Nigerians at the national and international levels, it is painful that our people are being subjected to denigration by a foreign political party on the account of fraudulent claims of an international alliance by the ACN.
“The PDP is not surprised at this merchandise of falsehood by the ACN because evergreen in the memory of Nigerians is the doubtful background of the so-called national leader of the ACN, not excluding his state of origin, his date of birth and educational qualifications.
The statement further said that “very laughable in Tinubu’s image laundering trip to the US is the presence in the delegation of the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Adeyemi Ikuforiji who is standing trial on corruption charges.
“We wish to remind the ACN that no amount of “black market” convention trip or pseudo endorsement abroad can improve its political fortunes at home. Endorsement belongs to the people of Nigeria and not even the fraudulent manipulation of the media can earn this.”
We can’t shake off this eerie feeling that the ACN will not be responding to this one, anytime soon.