The presidency said on Sunday only the All Progressives Congress (APC) had the privilege of using the Presidential Villa, Abuja, for its meeting or other activities.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, who stated this when he featured in a Channels TV programme, Politics Today, said the APC enjoyed the privilege because it won the last two presidential elections in the country and President Muhammadu Buhari enjoyed the benefits of incumbency.
He added that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and other political parties cannot enjoy such privilege because of their defeat in the elections.
The presidential aide was reacting to criticisms from the PDP that Buhari erred by dissolving the APC’s National Working Committee (NWC) and inaugurating a caretaker committee at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa.
The opposition party had on Friday chided President Buhari and APC for allegedly using the Federal Executive Council (FEC) Chambers in the State House and government for the party’s activities.
The presidency later fired back on Sunday evening and described as “stubborn opinion,” claims by critics of the current administration who accused the president of holding a political meeting at the seat of power.
Shehu said: “Incumbency confers on a leader a number of advantages. The chairman of the PDP cannot say today ‘give me a room in the Villa, I want to go and sleep there’. They will not admit him because he didn’t win an election.
“The opposition cannot go to the Villa and say give us a conference room, we want to use it. You have to win an election to go in there. Those who won elections before us have used the Villa. When we have finished our own term we will leave and new people will come to come and occupy it.
“The incumbency advantages are there. That is the essence of winning. If you lose, you don’t get there.”