The All Progressives Congress (APC) campaign council on Sunday chided the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar over his recent comment about the 2023 presidency.
Mataz Arising obtained a video of Alhaji Atiku on Saturday during an interactive session with Arewa Joint Committee at the Arewa House in Kaduna State, where he said the North only needs someone from the region as the next President.
Speaking at the event, the PDP candidate said Northerners need to vote for him rather than a Yoruba or Igbo candidate because he’s a Pan-Nigerian with a northern extraction that has built bridges across the country.
The statement has attracted several ‘knocks’ and criticisms for the former Vice President and the APC campaign council in a statement by its director of media and publicity, Bayo Onanuga said the development has further exposed Atiku as someone who does not have the interest of Nigerians at heart.
The APC statement accused Atiku of attempting to whip up ethnic sentiments in order to get votes.
According to Onanuga, Atiku is now exposed and he is now fully naked before the Nigerian people.
He said; “The statement of Peoples Democratic Party’s presidential candidate, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku to the effect that Northerners don’t need a Yoruba or Igbo president is the worst expression of ethnocentric opportunism ever uttered by a former Nigerian Vice President.
“This clearly demonstrates how low a man honoured with the second highest office of the Nigerian Constitution is willing to sink in search of a perennial wild goose chase after the highest office in the land.
“It confirms the argument that Atiku has feasted on such base, cheap, primordial sentiments to use the masses and the elite of the North as the ladder to ascend to power since 1989 without any dividends to show.
“Doubling down in his now infamous speech, Atiku said: “What the average Northerner needs is somebody who is from the north and also understands that part of the country and has been able to build bridges across the country.
“This is what the Northerner needs, it doesn’t need a Yoruba or Igbo candidate. I stand before you as a Pan-Nigerian of northern origin.”
He Is An Ethnic Bigot
Onanuga warned against voting Atiku whom he accused of disrespecting his party’s zoning arrangement because of his selfish, personal interest.
“In clear terms, Atiku who stole the PDP ticket, by a similar mindset, has cast himself as a northern candidate, who should solely be supported by the people from his region.
“We view Atiku’s public declaration which framed him as an ethnic and regional champion as unbecoming for a man who was once a former Vice-President of Nigeria.
“But we are not surprised by his desperate position. Atiku has resorted to whipping up ethnic sentiments, knowing that his chances of being elected have become a mirage.”
Atiku’s Many Sins
The APC stalwart went ahead to highlight some of the things the PDP candidate has done wrong in the race for the 2023 presidency.
Onanuga said Nigerians however can’t be deceived as they have seen through the person of Atiku as someone who can’t be trusted to represent them well at the highest political office in the land.
He predicted a loss for Atiku at the polls.
“He has himself, not anybody else, to blame for his expected electoral misfortune. First, he broke the fundamental rules of power rotation in his party and the country,” the statement continued.
“As if this cardinal sin was not enough, the PDP candidate has remained defiant in the face of pressure by preserving the two topmost posts in his party for people from his region.
“The Nigerian public now know better that a man who has been campaigning as a so-called unifier of our disparate groups, is a tribal jingoist, who has now totally eviscerated all pretensions to being a detribalised Nigerian.
“He is demonstrably the anti-thesis of a pan-Nigerian politician. Nigerians of goodwill, who, daily, seek a united and prosperous nation, should reject Atiku and his party at the polls next February.
“Atiku only pays lip service to national unity, despite that it features as one of the 5 cardinal points of his so-called “Covenant with Nigerians”. The facade is over, he is now fully naked before the Nigerian people.”
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