Iyobosa Uwugiaren in Abuja
The All Progressives Congress (APC) last night accused the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the February 23 presidential election, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, of parading himself as alternate president of Nigeria by making public statements on issues, which constitutionally should be reserved for the duly elected head of government or his designees.
In a strongly-worded statement issued last night by the National Publicity Secretary of APC, Malam Lanre Isa Onilu, the ruling party warned Atiku against what it described as “felonious utterances” that could earn him serious criminal charges.
“As a party, we would have thought that Alhaji Atiku who in the past occupied such high office as the country’s vice president would clearly understand the workings of government, particularly as it bothers on national security, foreign policy and our international engagement.
“We have noted Alhaji Atiku’s incessant habits of releasing statements on public issues as if he were an alternative President of this country and with a clear intention to undermine President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC-led government.
“In recent times, Alhaji Atiku has demonstrated lack of regard for the sovereignty of the office of the President and Nigerian government through condescending statements.
“He has made several of such statements regarding the activities of the Nigerian military, issues of national security, and international relations,” the ruling party alleged.
APC added that the latest of such statements was the one he made on the emergence of Mr. Boris Johnson as Prime Minister of Britain even when President Buhari, who it said had the responsibility of making an official statement on such matter, had made the position of the country known.
“We note with serious concern that Alhaji Atiku has been throwing himself around as a shadow President of Nigeria. We would like to state clearly that such position could only be found under the parliamentary system; it does not exist under the Presidential system of government that we practice in Nigeria.
“Alhaji Atiku, like every Nigerian citizen, should understand that being a candidate for an elective office, including that of the President, does not confer on him a sovereign status. Atiku’s continuous portrayal of himself as a shadow President under our system borders on felony and makes him a patent impostor.”
The ruling party further explained that there can only be one democratically- elected and legitimate government at a time in this country, saying that clearly is the administration of President Buhari.
The party also reminded Atiku that issues of national security, foreign policy and international engagements are not matters to be exploited to achieve mischievous political ends.
According to APC, “we reiterate that Atiku has lost the 2019 presidential election and it would be unhelpful to him to continue to make a mockery of our country.
“We expect Atiku to quickly address himself to the stark reality of his loss and move on. Our laws are clear on all acts of criminalities, in this case, a clear case of felony.
“Nigerians expect that the enforcement of relevant laws should apply to every Nigerian, irrespective of class and status. This government would not be found wanting where it is required to take decisive actions.”