With the camps of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu at each other’s throats over the health and corruption standing of their principals, the Labour Party’s presidential candidate, Mr. Peter Obi, appears to be banking on the hot exchanges telling Nigerians the “sick” country does not need a future sick president.
“This country is sick and should not be handed over to a sick person. I am not saying that anyone is sick. We have been here for over two hours, we don’t want people who can’t stand for 30 minutes,” Obi stated at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, which he visited as part of his campaign rounds.
He adds: “In the United States during elections, they go for debates. Somebody once asked Barack Obama questions that were personal and he answered. But here in Nigeria, somebody wants to contest elections, we don’t know his real age, we don’t know his name, we don’t know the schools he attended. Nobody knows his real identity and he is pushing to lead everybody.
“My name is Peter Obi. I can say I went to Christ The King College, and went to the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Both the VC today, the DVC today, were my schoolmates. We came to university the same year and left the same year. The people I went to school with, I can see them here today, my seniors and my juniors. How come we now have people who do not have classmates? This is very important…
“Afe Babalola once told me he never had the opportunity of going to a formal school. There is nothing wrong with that. There are so many people who have done well in life and never went to formal school.”
Recall that on Wednesday, it was reported that a spokesperson to Tinubu, Mr. Bayo Onanuga, making reference to allegations by a former media aide of Atiku, Mr. Michael Achimugu, stated: “It’s time for Atiku Abubakar, the 76 year-old presidential candidate of Peoples Democratic Party to come clean over two issues clouding his campaign: his health status and his scandalous confession of how he colluded with his former boss, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo to fleece the Nigerian treasury, using the special purpose vehicles after he became Vice-President in 1999…
“Atiku is also not talking about his health status even when his hirelings daily make futile attempts to divert public attention to his main rival by cooking up lies upon lies. Whereas Atiku is the candidate that Nigerians should be sorely worried about. The lies of several years and the various diversionary tactics are no longer sustainable. Atiku’s edifice of lies is about to crash on him. The PDP presidential candidate is certainly not okay, the papering efforts notwithstanding…
“We have it on good authority that Atiku indeed fell ill, while missing on the field. He was indeed in the UK for some medical help, though handlers camouflage that he was there on the invitation of some British officials at Whitehall, in a mimic of the earlier visit of the APC rival, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
“Despite the efforts by his handlers to showcase Atiku as healthy and physically fit to endure the rigours of the presidential campaign, pictures from rallies have belied this. Campaign pictures sometimes showed him being helped to descend steps at stadia. Sometimes, he walked with apparent handicap, dragging his feet.
“The irrefutable insight into Atiku’s health status was the revelation by his divorced wife, Jennifer Douglas last year that Atiku was admitted to a German hospital for operation, amid their bitter divorce.
In a viral letter published February 2022, Jennifer quoted Atiku’s self admission that he was in Germany for medicals, which explained why he was unable to retrieve his belongings from a Dubai house that Jennifer had taken over.
“I hear you have moved to Dubai to take over the house. I am still in Germany for my medicals.* Make sure all my properties including (redacted) are intact so I can collect all my properties. I wish you well’”, Jennifer quoted Atiku as saying.
She then responded to him: “ Excellency, I am left with no other option as we need to get on with our lives amicably. I hope your medicals are coming up good. I wish you well too’.
“A man who wants to rule Nigeria and wants Nigerians to repose some trust in him must immediately and honestly address these twin issues: his health and his legendary corruption.”
In response to the questions raised on Atiku’s health and corruption status, the Waziri Adamawa’s camp unleashed its own allegations of the health challenges of Tinubu, alleging that he has Parkinson disease and cannot walk erect unaided.
According to a statement by a spokesman of Atiku-Okowa Presidential Campaign Council, Kola Ologbondiyan: “For clarity, Parkinson’s disease is a brain disorder which symptoms include shaking hands, stiffness of limbs, difficulty with coordination, problem with balance when walking; articulation disorder, memory problems as well as general mental and physical weakness which are all being witnessed in the APC Presidential Candidate.
“This perhaps accounts for the desperation, the endless gaffes, the articulation errors, the incoherence, the many blunders and disconnection from reality for which Asiwaju Tinubu has become the butt of weird jokes among Nigerians and internationally.
“It is rather unfortunate that the APC Presidential Candidate, who cannot stand erect or walk up an elevation unaided, who is plagued by visible tremor of the hands, who palpitates at the slightest physical exertion and who is reported in the public space as being challenged by incontinence could attempt to speak on the health status of any Nigerian.
“Moreover, some medical professionals have associated certain cases of nerve cell death with narcotic use and unhealthy lifestyle and our campaign urges Tinubu to examine himself in that regard.”
“Furthermore, Nigerians find it incongruous that the tarnished Asiwaju Tinubu who is badgered by a smelly criminal past including the $460,000 forfeiture sentence for narcotic related offence by a Court of competent jurisdiction in the United States; alleged looting of Lagos State treasury and stripping of her property; cases of forgery, impersonation, perjury, inconsistencies in name, age as well as questionable educational background, ancestry and genealogy could attempt to speak on corruption and integrity.
“Asiwaju Tinubu should rather hide his face in shame given his malodorous activities for which well-meaning Nigerians have dissociated themselves from his Presidential Campaign.
“In any case, Nigerians are aware that Tinubu is not ethically, physically and mentally fit to hold office as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, unlike the decent, honest, physically, mentally and emotionally fit Atiku Abubakar, who exhibits the manifest readiness, intellectual alertness, capacity and experience to lead our nation at this critical time.
“Those pushing Emilokan’s candidature cannot claim to be unaware that he is not fit to preside over a country of 200 million people. They just don’t wish Nigeria well.”
The statement further read: “The campaign also describes as ludicrous the failed attempt by Tinubu , the famed Lagos property stripper, who has gained notoriety as corruption personified and the living example of the ‘artful dodger” , to impugn the impeccable character and integrity of the incoming peoples’ President, Atiku.”