The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, has described the claim by All Progressives Congress (APC) that he is not a Nigerian, as an attempt at unconstitutional redefinition of the term ‘Nigerian.’
The former vice president, in a statement by his media aide, Paul Ibe, further noted that the claim is not just pedestrian but a reflection of the characters in the ruling party.
Atiku stated this while reacting to APC’s declaration at the election petition tribunal that he was not eligible to contest the recent presidential election because he is not a citizen of Nigeria.
The ruling party, while responding to Atiku’s petition to be declared winner of the election, specifically told the election tribunal sitting in Abuja that Atiku is a Cameroonian and not a Nigerian.
Responding to the claim, Atiku said, “The fact that the APC chose to base its defence on the ridiculous assertion that the Waziri Adamawa is not a Nigerian, should prove to Nigerians the type of characters we have in the APC and its government, whose legitimacy runs out on May 29, 2019.
“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’.”
He added that the response of the APC and the president has vindicated his declaration that verifiable and incontrovertible evidence showed that the last presidential elections were fraudulent, not credible and did not reflect the will of the Nigerian people.
The former vice president stressed that he based his case on facts and statistical evidence and challenged both the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the APC, to disprove his factual submissions.
“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 added,
“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.
“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,” he noted.