The presidential candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, on Sunday, called on Nigerians not to elect his All Progressives Congress (APC) counterpart, Bola Tinubu, arguing that doing so would mean a transition from frying pan into fire. Atiku said this in a statement by his Special Assistant on Public Communications, Phrank Shaibu.
In a statement by Shaibu, Atiku maintained that Nigerians must not be deceived by Tinubu’s message of renewed hope, describing it as “hopelessness in disguise”.
The former vice president said in the statement, “It is one week to the election, and expectedly, campaigns have reached fever pitch. But amid the excitement and tension, voters must guard their hearts jealously, as the ruling APC will try to use every subterfuge and stratagem in its manual to deceive them once more. These last days are similar to the end time predicted in the Holy Books.
“Nigerians must not let themselves to be deceived by this ‘corn-man’ selling renewed hopelessness disguised as renewed hope. Your hope will be stolen from you if he is allowed to govern Nigeria. That, indeed, will be a state of hopelessness – hell on earth, frying pan to fire.”
Atiku said as part of an alleged grand deception, Tinubu, who started his campaign mid last year with a promise to continue with President Muhammadu Buhari’s “impeccable legacy”, had in the last three weeks been promising to reverse them.
He asked Tinubu to make up his mind on whether he was running on Buhari’s legacy or running against it so as not to deceive innocent voters.
The statement added, “Tinubu says the petrol scarcity and the naira shortage are aimed at scuttling his ambition. Later, he and his acolytes said they were only voicing out against the policy out of sheer concern for the masses.
“These are people who never muttered a word when students spent 10 months at home in 2020 and eight months at home in 2022 due to unprecedented university lecturers’ strike.
“These are people that never criticised the president at the height of the insecurity when schoolchildren were being abducted almost on a daily basis and when the naira witnessed a free fall that led to a sharp increase in the price of goods.
“Someone needs to tell Tinubu and his band of APC governors to, please, give up this irritating ostentatious performance of moral propriety. They are not angry about the naira redesign because they love the masses. They are only angry that their plan to unleash bullion vans on poor Nigerians has been thwarted.”
Atiku alleged that should Tinubu become the president of Nigeria, he would turn the country into his personal fiefdom and make it a one party state by muzzling the opposition, as he had done in Lagos State since 1999. He added that Tinubu would also turn the National Assembly into his footstool and orchestrate the fall of the Fourth Republic.
Atiku contended, “Tinubu has turned Lagos State into his personal fiefdom by arrogating all powers to himself so much so that even the current governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, publicly refers to him as ‘my principal’, clear evidence that Tinubu is far above the constitutionally recognised authority in the state.
“It is through the instrumentality of the state House of Assembly that he successfully impeached two of his deputy governors – Kofoworola Bucknor-Akerele and Femi Pedro. It was also through this subservient House that Tinubu passed the obnoxious governors’ pension law that would see him earn more allowances than a former president.
“He has also infiltrated and bastardised every facet of Lagos society, including transport unions, who openly extort money from transporters and shop owners with impunity because they have pledged their loyalty to him.”
Atiku maintained that Tinubu’s actions in the past and even now had shown that he had no respect for Buhari or his office.
He said in 2018, Buhari and some northern governors personally appealed to Tinubu to let Governor Akinwunmi Ambode contest a second term, but the former Lagos State governor ignored their entreaties, thereby publicly embarrassing the president.
He further alleged that Tinubu orchestrated the removal of “respected” former Edo State Governor, John Oyegun, and ensured that his lackey, Adams Oshiomhole, emerged as the national chairman of APC.
Through Oshiomhole, Atiku stated that Tinubu undermined several governors in their states and went on to suspend them, including Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State, who described Tinubu as “Capo Di Tutti”, a term of Italian origin often used to describe the overall boss within a mafia family or group.
Atiku also questioned Tinubu’s mental capacity to lead Nigeria amid the gaffes and slips at the many APC rallies. He said Nigeria was facing monumental challenges and needed a focused leader, not a man who constantly needs his handlers to explain his unintelligible message to Nigerians.
Atiku Meets PDP NASS Members, Candidates in Abuja
Following the end of his nationwide political rallies at the weekend, Atiku started a new phase of consultation with party stakeholders, with the election less than a week away.
Last night in Abuja, Atiku met with PDP members of the National Assembly and the party’s candidates in Saturday’s election. The venue of the meeting was Transcorp Hilton. It was expected to provide the party’s flag bearer the opportunity to review the campaigns and preparation for the Saturday exercise.
Atiku is expected to follow up Sunday’s sessions with meetings with other key party stakeholders in the remaining days before the presidential poll.
The meeting with the National Assembly members was expected to commence at 10 pm.