The Presidency says the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) position on the aborted visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to Zamfara on Thursday is an act that smacks of mischief.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the PDP had frowned at the sudden cancellation of the president’s trip to Zamfara, rejecting the reason of bad weather as advanced by the presidency for aborting the visit.
However, the President’s spokesman, Malam Garba Shehu, in a statement on Sunday, dismissed PDP’s position, describing it as an act that smacks of mischief.
Shehu explained that it would have gone against all well-known protocol worldwide for a serving president to suddenly embark on a road journey without this being planned ahead of the trip.
He said: ”Criticism of the President, in particular the one by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, for not proceeding with the journey, Sokoto-Gusau by road, a distance of about 200 kilometres shows, either a lack of understanding of presidential movements especially for a party that held that office for 16 years, or an act that smacks of mischief.
Whatever be the case, there must be a limit to trivialization.
All over the world, Commanders-in-Chief, serving or even those that have left office cannot hop into a car and go anywhere they want, at any time of the day.
In the United States for instance, a law going as far back as 1958 prevents past Presidents from traveling on public roads without assured security (how much more of serving Presidents).
When roads are closed for presidential movements here and elsewhere, consideration is also given to the safety of other road users, not just that of the President or even Governor.
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The statement on the issue by the PDP attacking the President for not making it to Gusau without this being planned ahead of the journey is shameful and disgraceful for a party that held the presidency of the country in the past. What is their own record?
It is sad for the country that the bankruptcy of issues have forced the PDP, so-called leading opposition party, to hang on to life by only telling lies.
And their caravan of falsehood has moved even more speedily following the inauguration of their not-so-new national executive at the end of last year.”
The presidential aide also frowned at those local political actors in Zamfara, using the aborted trip to score cheap political goals in the state.
It is equally important that local political actors who have seized upon the cancellation of the visit to describe it as a victory for this or that faction of the party, accompanied by songs, lyrics and videos to know that their joy is a short lived one.
As he promised in that broadcast, the visit to Gusau by the President is only a matter of time.
Given the right conditions of the weather and all other things, he will return, and in time to accomplish his mission,” he added.
NAN reports that the president had earlier on Jan. 27, in a broadcast to the people of Zamfara, expressed regret for not visiting the State as earlier planned on Thursday, due to inclement weather conditions. (NAN)