The President Muhammadu Buhari Campaign Organization, a group authorized to speak for the president ahead of the 2019 elections, has reacted to the emergence of former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), presidential candidate.
While telling Nigerians to be worried about the credibility of Atiku, the President’s campaign team said the ex-VP was only able to win the primary because he bought delegates’ votes.
In a press release signed by its spokesperson, Festus Keyamo, SAN, the group said the former VP did not win the election on a free and fair basis but induced the delegates financially.
The statement read, “We wish to congratulate His Excellency, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar on his emergence as the candidate of the PDP in respect of the forth-coming 2019 Presidential Election.
“However, we note with interest all the reports in the media as to massive vote-buying at the PDP primaries (especially with foreign currency). We contrast this with the speech of President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2014 APC Convention when he said as follows:
“I have always served Nigeria to the best of my ability. I have always tried to give more to the nation than it has given me. This is the principle of service that has guided my public life. Thus, I am not a rich person. I can’t give you a fistful of dollars or naira to purchase your support. Even if I could, I would not do so. The fate of this nation is not up for sale.”
“There were also media reports in the 2014 APC National Convention that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar freely used the same method of massive vote-buying in foreign currency, but he came a distant third. Till date, he has not denied those media reports. The claim therefore that the process that produce him now as a candidate of the PDP was free, fair and transparent is suspect.”
“It is therefore clear that going into this election the issues that will agitate the minds of Nigerians most would be centered around the credibility of the candidate of the opposition and the kind of values he brings into our politics.”
“Nigerians would ask themselves whether he can be trusted with our national resources with this proclivity for ‘dollarising’ the political arena, thereby taking us back to the warped values from which President Buhari is trying to extricate the nation. One wonders what such a candidate would do with public funds.”