The media office of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, in the February 23 presidential vote, has reacted swiftly to the allegation by the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, that its principal was not a Nigerian, describing the claim “idiotic, shameful and disrespectful”.
The APC had told the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal in Abuja that the former vice president hailed from Northern Cameroon, therefore not qualified to srun for the high office of president in Nigeria.
Atiku Abubakar was Nigeria’s vice president between 1999 and 2007. Before becoming vice president, he had won election as governor of his home state, Adamawa, in the 1999 general elections on PDP’s platform.
The allegation, by APC, levelled against the former vice president, came about three weeks after the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal granted the PDP candidate leave to serve his petition against the outcome of the 2019 presidential election on the APC, and his candidate and eventual winner of the vote, President Muhammadu Buhari.
But in its formal response to the petition, the APC hung a big question mark on Atiku’s nationality, saying he was not qualified to run for the March 9, 2019 presidential election in the first place.
However, Paul Ibe, Atiku’s spokesperson quickly picked the gauntlet and rubbished the APC claim, describing it as “idiotic”.
“It (the APC allegation) is disrespectful of the office Osinbajo occupies and others will still occupy in the future,” Ibe said. “This is the downside of excluding history as a subject in our schools. The APC is unaware that those in the defunct Northern Cameroon became Nigerian citizen a long time ago after a plebiscite. Are they trying to rewrite history or is this a case of dementia? It shows that the APC has no defence in this case. We are hopeful that the judiciary will dispense justice fairly.”