Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in an apparent response to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) over his emergence as PDP presidential flag bearer, said that his emergence has brought confusion to the camp of the APC.
He noted that this was the reason why the President Muhammadu Buhari’s camp felt that he won the PDP ticket as a result of money politics.
The former Vice President noted that at the 2019 presidential election, Nigerians would choose between him “a job provider” and President Buhari “a lifeless candidate”.
The ruling party following Atiku’s emergence as PDP candidate had described the former VP as “a desperate, corrupt and unreliable politician” who had entrenched the anti-democratic practice of offering cash in exchange for votes.
Consequently, Atiku’s media office in a statement on Monday in Abuja, said that the Buhari camp already know that the era of favouritism had come to an end in the country.
“We are not surprised that there is confusion in the President’s camp. We expected that they would be thrown into a catatonic state knowing that Atiku Abubabakr’s emergence automatically means the coming to an end of their ignominious reign.
“That much was admitted by the President’s former running mate, Pastor Tunde Bakare, when he praised the emergence of Atiku as an ‘eagle’ and ‘a cosmopolitan wazobia’ politician.
“Obviously, Pastor Tunde Bakare has foreseen that the era of 97 per cent versus five per cent has come to an end with the emergence of the pan-Nigerian Atiku Abubakar,” Atiku’s media office said.
The group further stated that even the wife of President Buhari had condemned the primaries of the ruling party.
“We ask, how can the Buhari Campaign Organisation disparage the PDP primary that produced Atiku, when even the President’s own wife, Aisha Buhari, has condemned the APC’s primary?
“Not only did Mrs Buhari condemn the APC’s primaries, she described them as ‘unfair’ and lacking in integrity. Who can know President Buhari better than his wife?”
Former Vice President Atiku further stated that all the 11 aspirants that contested against him had accepted his victory, but Buhari who was the sole candidate of the APC, was being challenged by 5 aggrieved aspirants.
“11 aspirants contested against Atiku, during the presidential primary of the PDP. Every single one of them accepted his victory.
“President Buhari was the only candidate cleared by the APC to contest its primary. Yet, a coalition of five aspirants is challenging his victory. That alone tells Nigerians his emergence is fraudulent.”
Atiku further debunked the allegation of corruption against him, saying that he is the most investigated politician in Nigeria, and the President would have arrested him if he had found him wanting.
“Nigerians know that Atiku Abubakar is the most investigated politician in Nigeria and any smear by the Buhari administration remains just that.
“With the vindictiveness of President Buhari, he would have arrested Atiku if he had been found wanting.
“However, to set the record straight, we want to remind Nigerians that the PDP’s primaries were genuine, free and fair. Atiku Abubakar got 1,532 votes in a contest televised live to millions of Nigerians. The APC’s primary, on the other hand, was a study in dictatorship and corruption. The sole candidate, Muhammadu Buhari, scored almost 15 million votes. How could that occur without rigging or manufacturing of faceless voters?
“No wonder Transparency International rated Nigeria as more corrupt today under Buhari, than just three years ago when the PDP was in power.
“The scandals are too numerous, including the $25bn NNPC contracts awarded without due process, the several padded budgets, the $41m Ikoyi Apartment scandal, the recall, reinstatement and double promotion of an alleged pension thief and Buhari financier, Abdulrasheed Maina, the N200m grass cutting scandal, and many others too numerous to mention.”
Atiku further stated that the choice before Nigerians in 2019 is between a lively candidate with record of providing 50,000 jobs to Nigerians in his private businesses versus a lifeless candidate.
“The choice before Nigerians in 2019 is a simple one. Nigerians have a choice of electing a lively candidate with a record of providing 50,000 jobs to Nigerians in his private capacity versus the lifelessness (apologies to President Donald Trump) of a candidate under whom Nigeria lost 11 million jobs and became the world headquarters for extreme poverty.
“Nigerians have a choice of a man who will provide an efficient and business-friendly solution to the herdsmen crisis and a man whose government said ‘giving land for cattle ranching is better than death.’
“It is very obvious that faced with such a choice, Nigerians would definitely vote for the man who will Get Nigeria Working Again, hence we are not surprised by this desperate statement from the Buhari administration that is so shameless that they made a man implicated in framing a man of God on spurious charges as their spokesman.
“If he can lie against a man of God, should Nigerians believe anything he says about the PDP and its candidate?”