The Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, has criticised the Peoples Democratic People (PDP) for suspending its campaign over Justice Walter Onnoghen’s suspension.
He described the action of the party as a ‘face-saving’ measure, saying the opposition party never gained traction in the first instance.
“Their campaign was over a long time ago; there is nothing to suspend,” the minister told reporters on Saturday in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital.
“We said it that their campaign had floundered. You can now see. What they are doing now is looking for a face-saving way out of a dead and buried campaign.”
The PDP had suspended its presidential campaign in Benue State in protest of the suspension of Justice Onnoghen as the Chief Justice of Nigeria.
Mr Mohammed, however, accused the party of crying more than the bereaved and asked if there was more to the suspension of the judge.
“We did not see why they should suspend their campaign anyway, but I can understand that their campaign was bound to end this way,” he was quoted as saying in a statement by his media aide, Segun Adeyemi.
The minister said while Nigerians have been trooping out in large numbers wherever President Muhammadu Buhari’s campaign ship berths, the PDP supporters have been dwindling by the day.
He also reacted to what he described as an outcry by some people and organisations over Justice Onnoghen’s suspension.
Mr Mohammed said the President had stated the reasons for his decision while swearing in an acting CJN on Friday.
He said, “For anybody who read Mr President’s address yesterday, two things stood out. The first is that additional evidence has just been revealed that the suspended CJN refused to declare millions of dollars in his possession.
“More worrisome is the fact that when the suspended CJN was confronted with the petition that he failed to declare his assets, he added that it was a mistake, that he forgot.”
On the constitutionality of the CJN’s suspension, the minister faulted those claiming that the President acted outside of the Constitution.
He insisted that the President suspended Justice Onnoghen pending the final determination of the cases against him at the Code of Conduct Tribunal.