The presidency on Tuesday denied Professor Ibrahim Gambari, Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari and Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, former National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) had concluded plans to arrest some opposition members ahead of the governorship election in Edo State.
It described the viral video of the two leaders allegedly planning the arrest as the handwork of mischief makers who had doctored the video before making it public.
In the video which has gone viral on the internet, Oshiomhole is heard telling Prof. Gambari, about “arrests” concerning the Edo state governorship election.
Oshiomhole is doing everything possible to make sure leaders of opposition party members are been arrested..
This is a big shame on the Buhari administration.
— Emma ik Umeh (Tcee )🇳🇬 (@emmaikumeh) August 18, 2020
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) jumped on the video and alleged the plan was to arrest its members ahead of the September 19 governorship election in Edo State.
Leaked Video: PDP Campaign Calls Out Presidency Over Oshiomhole’s Arrest Comment…Charges @MBuhari to Question Gambari
— Official PDP Nigeria (@OfficialPDPNig) August 18, 2020
However, the presidency in a statement released on Tuesday night by presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, denied any such plan adding that President Buhari will never support any act that stops the people from choosing their leaders at the polls.
The statement added that Gambari and Oshiomhole are people committed to protecting the rights of Nigerians as a whole and will never engage in such acts which it noted is against their core values.
The statement read: “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 Oshiomole, the former All Progressives Congress, APC chairman had hatched a plan to arrest opposition individuals ahead of the September election in Edo State.
“Firstly, it is important to state that the video was an ingenious patchwork of mischief, extracted from an innocent conversation focused on the emerging incidents of violence in the run-up to the election.
“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 mobilized thus preventing criminal elements from subverting the democratic process. This message has consistently been repeated by Mr President. He does not support violence of any sort and its propagators will be brought to justice. ELECTIONS MUST REFLECT THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE.
“Equally important, is that the persons in the video, Professor Gambari and Comrade Oshiomole 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.”