The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Nigeria’s main opposition party, says the claim by the All Progressives Congress (APC), Nigeria’s ruling party, that Atiku Abubakar, its 2019 Presidential candidate is not a Nigerian, is “reckless and groundless.”
AfricaNews24 (AN24) recalls that on Friday, the APC’s lead counsel, Lateef Fagbemi faulted the candidacy of Abubakar, who was PDP candidate in the election, claiming that the former Vice President is a Cameroonian and not a Nigerian citizen.
APC, hence maintained that the Presidential candidate petition against President Muhammadu Buhari, its own candidate, should be dismissed for lacking in merit.
Reacting in a statement issued by its Publicity Secretary Kola Ologbondiyan, PDP said the allegation by the ruling party was a disingenuous claim designed by the APC to overburden, distract and bog down the presidential election petition tribunal with trivialities, lies, and falsehood, so as to derail the course of justice.
The opposition party noted that the claim was a calculated attempt by the APC to trivialize and divert attention from the compelling issue of their criminal rigging of the 2019 presidential election.
Ologbondiyan added, “Such diversionary tactic has however only helped in further exposing the fact that the APC has no answers to the plethora of overwhelming evidence before the tribunal that the election was won by Atiku Abubakar and the PDP.
“Whereas Atiku Abubakar’s citizenship by birth, even under our constitution, cannot be contested, it is indeed the biggest irony of the year, that Atiku’s citizenship is being disputed by individuals whose ancestry has always been a subject of debate.
“These individuals include those who, being not sure of their origins; have no love for Nigeria and even refused to be on the side of our nation at the 1985 summit of the defunct Organization of Africa Unity (OAU) in Addis Ababa.
“Such persons prefer to deploy our national resources for infrastructural development in affiliated places outside the shores of Nigeria when our country is in dire need of attention.
“The apparent links were further manifested in the participation of aliens in the campaigns of a particular Presidential candidate in Kano.
“Moreover, this claim by APC appears to contain explanations as to why its administration has remained insensitive to the challenge of an insurgency, general insecurity and economic travails of Nigerians in the North East, particularly in Adamawa, Yobe, Borno and Taraba states.
“In any case, Nigerians should not despair as the PDP and Atiku Abubakar will not be distracted in the pursuit of our mandate.
“The PDP has implicit confidence in the competence of our legal team to handle the diversionary antics and technicalities of the APC to unnecessarily overstrain the tribunal and derail the course of justice in the matter,” the statement added.