The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has cleared the air on the controversy surrounding the nationality of its presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar in the recently concluded presidential election. Atiku had dragged the winner of the poll, President Muhammadu Buhari to the tribunal, claiming that he was wrongfully declared the winner by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
He urged the tribunal to void the declaration and declare him the authentic winner of the poll.
In its defense, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) says Atiku is not a Nigerian and therefore does not qualify to contest the election in the first place. This claim has remained on the front burner of public discourse.
Reacting, the spokesperson for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Campaign Council, Mr. Segun Sowunmi, while speaking on Channels Tv on Sunday said the claims by the APC that Atiku is not a Nigerian was just part of the acts of the ruling party to distract the former vice president from reclaiming his mandate.
He wondered how APC could come up with such an allegation when Atiku is the Waziri of Adamawa, adding that he was a top Customs officer for more than 20 years before he retired.
“Atiku Abubakar has been the former vice president of this country and I think that when this kind of issues come up, you begin to query who exactly and what exactly is the geographical expression of Nigeria. Most Nigerians know a lot about Atiku’s background and everything about the former vice president is that of Nigeria.
“In actual fact, Atiku’s grandfather is from Sokoto. Atiku’s grandfather followed his friend to Adamawa, then Gongola, and Atiku’s grandfather gave birth to Atiku’s father there. But it has never been under guesswork that Atiku is a full-fledged bona fide Nigerian.
“Atiku is a Nigerian; he’s the Waziri of Adamawa. He is former vice president, former governorship candidate and I think that every territory of Nigeria is a Nigerian territory. Atiku is one of the citizens of the country, Nigeria. Atiku has been the former vice president of this country, GCON. When these kinds of issues come up, you even begin to query who exactly and what exactly is the geographical expression of Nigeria.”