In its first formal response to the emergence of former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, as the presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) declared, yesterday, that Nigeria’s presidency is not for sale.
In a statement by the acting National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena, on behalf of the National Working Committee (NWC), APC congratulated Atiku on his emergence but warned that Atiku is not fit for the office as his scorecard is low.
“The APC congratulates Atiku Abubakar on his election as the PDP 2019 presidential candidate. This is in keeping with our belief in participatory democracy and the electorate’s right to freely choose from candidates in any political contest.
“However, in assessing candidates to be voted for during elections, Nigerians will normally consider the candidate’s background and antecedents. The pertinent question to ask about Atiku is what his scorecard in public office was?
“Regrettably, Atiku’s scorecard is abysmally low and he has proven to be an untrustworthy and unreliable character. A case in point is Atiku’s revealing altercation with his former boss, President Olusegun Obasanjo which exposed the level of corruption Atiku was enmeshed in.
“At the international level, Atiku has been reportedly place on the global watch list of the United States of America and has avoided travelling to the US; to avoid arrest and prosecution over a money-laundering and corruption case in that country.
“Really, is this the character and antecedent of a candidate Nigerians will be proud to vote for as our president, come 2019? Compared and contrasted with president Muhammadu Buhari’s consistent and principled stance on party affiliations, since 1999, Atiku has moved around different political parties – PDP, ACN, PDP, APC and now PDP, all in his blind and desperate pursuit of his ambition – The Presidency of Nigeria.
“It is therefore very clear that if Atiku loses the presidential election in 2019, he will again defect from the PDP to another political platform. Atiku is known as a super rich Nigerian who entrenched the undemocratic practice of buying votes of delegates. During the APC National Convention in 2014, he spent several millions of dollars to buy delegates votes and emerged third, after Buhari and Rabiu Kwankwaso.
“On Sunday, he reportedly bought over virtually all the PDP delegates and was declared winner of the PDP presidential primaries. With these huge expenses expended to secure the PDP ticket, how will Atiku recoup his “investment” if not from the public treasury should he win the presidency?
“President Buhari does not spend a kobo on delegates as he banks only on his proven personal integrity.”
Meanwhile, the APC NWC has fortified its national secretariat, deploying more police personnel at the entrance gate and the office of the National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, following gale of protests which grounded activities there.
Miffed by the destructive activities of the protesters since last week, from several states, complaining about the fallout of the primaries conducted across the state chapters of the party and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), the national leadership of the party ordered fortification of security at the national secretariat.
Yesterday, violent protesters from Kano complained what they tagged the imposition of Senator Kabiru Gaya on them.
The protesters, numbering over 50, had violent confrontation with the police that lasted several minutes.
The protesters from Kano threatened to shift loyalty to the PDP should the national leadership submit Gaya’s name to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as candidate for Kano South senatorial district.