By Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the just concluded election, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has fired back at the ruling All Progressives Congress led government, saying it is the nationality of those who made Nigeria extreme poverty capital that is in doubt, not his.
The former vice president had filed a petition at the Presidential Election Tribunal sitting in Abuja to challenge the outcome of the February 23, 2019 presidential election.
However, the APC in its formal response to Atiku’s petition on Friday told the Tribunal that Atiku was not a Nigerian, adding that he is not eligible to contest the election on grounds of his nationality.
Responding through a statement by his media aide, Mr. Paul Ibe, Saturday, Atiku said the fact that the APC chose to base its defence on the ridiculous assertion that he was not a Nigerian should show to Nigerians the type of characters in the APC and its government.
The former Vice President insisted that his case was on facts and statistical evidence, and challenged both the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the APC, to disprove his factual submissions.
Atiku stated: “Dear citizens of our beloved country, Nigeria, His Excellency, Atiku Abubakar, told us previously that he has verifiable and incontrovertible evidence to show that the last Presidential elections were fraudulent, not credible and did not reflect the will of the Nigerian people, and he has been vindicated by the response of the All Progressives Congress and its candidate, President Muhammadu Buhari, to his petition to the Electoral Tribunal hearing the petition he filed.”
“The position of the APC is so pedestrian and shows such straw clutching desperation on their part, that I shall not dignify it with an answer. Our lawyers would, of course, do the needful in court.
“But the point I want to draw the attention of Nigerians to is that both the APC and its candidate have by this infantile logic admitted to the fact that they trampled on the will of Nigerians and that their only defence is to attempt an unconstitutional redefinition of the term ‘Nigerian’.
“I make bold to state that those who have made Nigeria the world headquarters for extreme poverty are the very people whose Nigerianness should be in doubt, and not a man, who worked with President Olusegun Obasanjo to double the per capita Income of our nation in less than eight years.
“I am, however, confident in the Nigerian judiciary, as well as in the Nigerian people. I trust that the Tribunal will treat such a claim with the contempt it deserves. We must maintain our fidelity to the rule of law and to our fountain of origin, the 1999 Nigerian Constitution (as amended).”
The statement further noted that: Atiku Abubakar has served our nation diligently in various capacities, from the civil service, where he rose through merit, to the top of his chosen field, to public service, where, by the grace of God, he was the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“Moreover, he has committed his assets and talents to developing our nation through the provision of tens of thousands of direct jobs and hundreds of thousands of indirect jobs.”
to Nigerians the type of characters we have in the APC and its government, whose legitimacy runs out on May 29, 2019.