There was exchange of hot words yesterday between the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), over President Muhammadu Buhari’s real date of birth.
The fight was triggered by the President himself over his declaration that he had all the while believed he was 74 this year until being told that he actual was 75 this year, with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), calling for his resignation.
The party’s Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Diran Odeyemi, in Osogbo, Osun State, described the President’s utterance as a “national disgrace.”
However, APC National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, said the call for the President’s resignation by the PDP was “totally stupid and unnecessary,” insisting that the opposition party lacked “the morality to see the innocence in Buhari’s admittance.”
The PDP claimed many Nigerians and the global community must were taken aback that a 21st century leader of a country like Nigeria did not know his real year of birth
“How many other inconsistences are in Mr. President’s biodata submitted to Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC)? We are sure there are more. And the world is waiting on the body to give details about our President,” the party said.
Odeyemi continued: “We advise INEC to revisit those forms President Buhari filled in all elections he had participated in, especially those he filled before the 2015 elections to unearth other inconsistences therein.
“In a normal clime, electoral umpire would have set in motion verification modalities to avoid further national embarrassment and expose Mr. President.
“Come to think of it, a leader that does not know his real age, could not be said, to have sound knowledge of the people and country he governs, let alone knowing the peculiarities of the governed. This is simply not the kind of president Nigeria needs at the moment.”
The party stressed further that, “not too long ago, Nigeria became a laughing stock with the inappropriate designation of the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, as President of West Germany by President Buhari.
“We recall President Buhari once admitted that his age would slow down his performance in office. For a country that could fall into emergency situation anytime, like the present government-failing induced fuel scarcity, we don’t need a president that forgets things easily.
“We advise Mr. President to consider turning in his resignation letter to avoid further slowing down the country because of his age, and to also safe our corporate image as a country that has a president with occasional memory failure.”
Odigie-Oyegun responded: “The comment by Mr. President was too minor an issue for discussion. Why should we start debating over his one-year difference in age?
“What should interest anybody is the share honesty and simplicity of that man. The man is so simple, so unassuming, so straightforward and that should be what people should admire. How many Nigerians are like that?
“If PDP is calling for his resignation, it is because they don’t have any rectitude and morality to see anything significant in President Buhari’s statement and what it says about the man.
“They are in an entirely different world that lacks total morality and any reference to truth. They don’t know anything about truth any more.
“I repeat it should not be subject to any discussion. It was such a waste of energy.”
Speaking earlier, APC National Publicity Secretary, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, said that the ruling party was not obliged to react to everything from the PDP:
“I don’t want to react to such thing. Must I react to every statement and issue from the PDP? The man was talking about his health and said that he thought he was 74 years.
“What does that mean? Do they want to say that the man is no longer qualified to be the president of Nigeria because of that? My reaction is that I don’t feel obliged to respond to every statement whether it makes sense or not.”