The Peoples Democratic Party on Friday insisted on having its presidential campaign rally in the Federal Capital Territory on Saturday.
The PDP said the alleged directive by the Federal Government to shut the venue for the rally was an act of desperation.
The PDP National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, in a statement said, “It may interest Nigerians to know that the PDP duly paid and got permission to host our mega rally at the Old Parade Ground in Garki, Abuja, only for the officials of the facility to inform our party this morning (Friday) that they had been ‘ordered’ to shut down the venue and frustrate our mega rally for no just cause.
“The overwhelming popularity of the people’s candidate, Atiku Abubakar, which points to an imminent crushing defeat that awaits President Muhammadu Buhari in the February 16, presidential election has pushed the Buhari Presidency into a panic mode.”
He added, “President Buhari has always been disheartened and jittery over spontaneous mammoth crowd of Nigerians at Atiku Abubakar’s rallies across the country, leading to the desperation to frustrate our rallies, resort to smear campaigns, vandalising of our campaign materials and the denial of venues in APC states, as was the case in Kano recently.”
Ologbondiyan, who is also the Director, Media and Publicity, PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation, said Atiku had become the rallying point in the people’s quest to return Nigeria to the path of national cohesion and economic prosperity.
He said, “The PDP therefore urges President Buhari not to allow his managers to further pit him against Nigerians with the shutdown of the venue for the PDP presidential campaign rally in Abuja.”