The PDP as well as many commentators had picked out a part where the word ‘arrest’ was mentioned and had imputed many interpretations to it.
However, a Presidency source, who spoke anonymously, told State House correspondents that the opposition party chose a wrong person, the Chief of Staff to the President, to malign.
He noted that the many efforts so far put into discrediting Gambari had continued to fail in the face of his solid credibility.
The source was reacting to the recent call by the PDP to the United Nations (UN), the European Union (EU) and other international bodies to place visa restriction on Gambari, Oshiomhole, and other individuals as punishment for allegedly plotting to truncate democracy and good governance in Nigeria.
”But despite the Presidency’s clarification and assurances by President Muhammadu Buhari and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to ensure free and fair poll in the state, the PDP has called on the international community to deny visas to members of the APC for plotting to endanger democracy and enthrone bad governance,” the source maintained.
At press conference last week, National Chairman of the PDP, Uche Secondus, had said: “We wish to also draw the attention of the international community to this gross abuse of power to undermine the democratic process by critical staff that should defend it.
”We demand appropriate sanction of the individuals involved in this anti-democratic act; they should be given visa restrictions to any democratic countries.”
President Muhammadu Buhari receives the immediate past chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Adams Oshiomhole at the Aso Rock Villa. [Twitter/@NigeriaGov]
But the Presidency source said Gambari was only doing his job of leading the former APC National Chairman to meet with the President and besides, Oshiomhole had repeated what he said in the video at a press briefing after meeting with the president.
Oshiomhole, had while briefing State House correspondents, after meeting with President Buhari, said he came to plead with the President to ensure security for the upcoming Edo State governorship election, citing threats of violence by the opposition.
“Lastly is to say that the outgoing governor is talking more about violence and violence. You must have watched him on Channels Television where he said he will meet violence with violence and we are saying no, there will be no violence.
”It will be like celebrating Christmas or going to do a plebiscite between MoU, which Edo people have now codenamed ‘memorandum of underdevelopment’ and a governor with a clear simple agenda, which is the product of his brains.
“So, I shared these with Mr President and I said all we just need is good security. If APC man commits an offence, arrest him, if a PDP man commits an offence, arrest him.
”Once it’s not all about sermon; sermon does not change the heart of the devil. What changes the heart of men is the fear of sanctions.
”Once one person is arrested from APC, another person is arrested from PDP, if they are found involved in unlawful possession of firearms and they misuse those firearms and they are arrested and prosecuted, the message is clear.”
The Presidency source, however, wondered why the PDP had decided to mudsling with what he described as “an incomplete information”, saying no one knew how the conversation started or how it ended.
“What PDP is doing is called ‘playing the devil’s card’, which is all about suggesting ideas into people’s heads, the truth does not matter in such an atmosphere.
”What I am convinced of is that even the leaders of the PDP know what they are doing is wicked and unethical, but since it is politics, they believe anything goes.
“How do you know the ‘arrest’ in the conversation is for PDP elements? The target in this mudslinging is the Chief of Staff to the President, but their mistake is that this is not a man for this sort of politics.
”He’s way above petty politicking. He’s a career diplomat and hardly interested in this kind of politics, those who know him, know this much about him”, he said.
It would be recalled that Gambari was appointed Buhari’s Chief of Staff after the death of Abba Kyari in May.