Following the All Progressives Congress (APC) description of the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party PDP, Atiku Abubakar, as leading “a gang of selfish and mercantile politicians”, who cannot withstand the credentials of its candidate, President Muhammadu Buhari, the PDP candidate has fired back.
Atiku, in a statement from his campaign office, found the APC description as very curious since he dedicated his birthday, not to himself, but to celebrating the 100 or so heroes of the 157 Taskforce Battalion of the Nigerian Army who lost their lives to Boko Haram at Metele in Borno State.
He wonders why the APC cannot do same or at least speak out on the massacre.
His campaign office states: “That the Waziri Adamawa asked for anyone who wished to give him birthday gifts to instead endow such on the families of the slain heroes is the opposite of selfishness.
“Ironically, the All Progressives Congress that is now accusing Atiku Abubakar, has not seen fit to pay tribute to these gallant men who gave their lives in order to secure the lives of others. As a party, they have not issued even one statement condoling with the slain or their families, neither have they offered any tangible support to the families of these fallen heroes. Yet, they are accusing the Waziri, who has shown commitment to honouring these heroes, of selfishness.
“As a matter of fact, we now know through Premium Times report, that these real Nigerian heroes were killed on November 18, 2018 which was the exact time that the candidate of the APC, Muhammadu Buhari, invited the service chiefs to attend the launch of the plagiarised #NextLevel launch at the banquet hall of the Presidential Villa.
“The nation can only wonder if the Metele massacre could have been avoided if the APC and President Buhari had allowed the service chiefs to focus on their core duties, rather than on his ill fated re-election campaign.
“We at the Atiku Presidential Campaign Organisation commend the service chiefs for beating a hasty retreat from the event as soon as they discovered that President Buhari was trying to hoodwink them.
“It took Waziri Atiku Abubakar only a few hours to respond to the incident and express support, while it took the APC’s President Buhari a whole week to express “shock”. We therefore wonder who is truly ‘selfish’.
“It is left to Nigerians to compare and contrast who is a leader and who is a follower based on the conduct of these two parties.
“In any case, we would like to inform the APC of Waziri Atiku Abubakar’s call for financial support from well meaning individuals and Institutions for the survivors of the Metele massacre, and indeed for all who paid the supreme sacrifice in the frontlines for us to be safe. Seeing as the APC spent ₦100 million to buy front page advertorials in all the papers on that fateful day of November 18, 2018, we appeal to them to consider donating even 10% of that amount to the endowment for the families of our heroes as proposed by Atiku Abubakar.
“If they can spend ₦100 million to promote fraud, they should be able to spare at least ₦10 million to promote patriotism.”
According to the APC, Nigeria cannot afford to have a “fugitive occupying the highest office in the country.”
“From silly conspiracies on the shape of the President’s ear, a ludicrous allegation of a presidential body double named Jubrin from Sudan, tales on the #NextLevelNigeria campaign and the rested certificate issue, Nigerians have been entertained by the comical displays of the Peoples Democratic Party PDP.
“It is now clear that we have no credible opposition political party, but a gang of selfish and mercantile politicians that will do anything to return to elective office”, the APC stated.
Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the APC, Yekini Nabena said; “Again, a challenge the PDP presidential candidate, Alh. Atiku Abubakar must take up is coming clean on the nagging issue of his travel ban to the United States of America following his indictment for corruption in that country.
“To borrow the words of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, we must stop electing rogues, hooligans and criminals into public office.
“Truly, we cannot have a fugitive occupying the highest office in the country. Our great country, Nigeria deserves better.”
Nabena added: “The unwillingness of PDP Governors to financially support the 2019 Presidential campaign of Alh. Atiku Abubakar is already public knowledge. In fact, information is now rife that the Dubai meeting attended by Atiku and other PDP leaders was a last-ditch effort to raise presidential campaign cash from foreign financiers by mortgaging key national economic assets particularly the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation NNPC as payback.
“This disturbing development must be checked by relevant agencies particularly the recently established Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit NFIU, the country’s arm of the global financial intelligence Units FIUs mandated to collect information on suspicious or unusual financial activity suspected of being money laundering and then share such information with relevant anti-crime or regulatory agencies.
“Backed by their discredited cyber-thugs, the PDP in its desperate bid to remain in public reckoning continues to expose itself as a joke before Nigerians. The PDP should know by now that elections are not won through falsehood on the internet, but by valid votes of the electorate who are aware of who ruined the country and who is clearing the rot.”