Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has berated the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) over its claim that he is not a Nigerian but a Cameroonian, hence was not qualified to run for election in the country.
Atiku, who was candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 presidential election, described APC’s claim as “ridiculous” and “pedestrian”.
The ruling party had made the claim through its lawyer, Lateef Fagbemi, in response to Atiku’s petition challenging President Muhammadu Buhari’s victory at the February 23 presidential election.
Fagbemi told the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal that Atiku was born on November 25, 1946 in Jada, Adamawa state, then in Northern Cameroon, hence he’s not a Nigerian national.
But reacting through his media aide, Paul Ibe, Atiku said rather than respond to his charges against them with facts, the APC is attempting to question his origin by unconstitutionally redefining the term ‘Nigerian’
“The fact that the APC chose to base its defence on the ridiculous assertion that the Waziri Adamawa is not a Nigerian should show to Nigerians the type of characters we have in the APC and its government, whose legitimacy runs out on May 29, 2019,” Atiku said in the statement issued on Saturday.
“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’.
“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).”
He added that he has committed his assets and talents to developing Nigeria “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,” said Atiku.