Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the All Progressives Congress presidential candidate, has said that the 2023 Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar is a ‘Tribal Jingoist’.
Tinubu’s comment is coming a day after footage of Atiku campaigning in the North went viral on social media.
In the viral video making round, the Adamawa born politician was heard telling Party faithful that the North does not need a Yoruba or an Igbo President only a Northern one. The video has drawn widespread condemnation.
Tinubu, in a statement on Sunday, signed by his Director, Media and Publicity, Bayo Onanuga, added that Atiku’s ‘Tribalism’ was the reason why the PDP was in crisis. He stated that Atiku has refused to persuade the national chairman of the PDP, Iyorchia Ayu to resign because he is also from the North.
The PDP’s zoning arrangement stipulates that if the Party chairman is from the North, the Presidential candidate will come from the South.
This is the reason why Rivers state governor, Nyesom Wike alongside 4 other governors have refused to participate in Atiku’s campaign.
The statement read; “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.”
“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 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.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.”
“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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