The All Progressives Congress (APC) has challenged Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to come clean on his health status and speak about corruption allegations against him.
Bayo Onanuga, the spokesman for the APC Presidential Campaign Council (PCC), threw the challenge in a statement issued on Wednesday.
“It’s time for Atiku Abubakar, the 76-year-old presidential candidate of the PDP to come clean over two issues beclouding his campaign. His health status and his scandalous confession of how he colluded with his former boss, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo to fleece the Nigerian treasury, using Special Purpose Vehicles as vice-president in 1999,” the statement said. “If Atiku has some modicum of honour, he ought to have stepped down from the presidential race that he is bound to lose again.”
This, he added, was especially because of the release of his audio clip where he “provided a vivid explanation into the modus operandi of his legendary corruption.’’
Mr Onanuga noted that so far, there had been no notable response from Mr Abubakar’s camp about the disturbing revelation, except for a futile attempt to disown the whistleblower, Michael Achimugu, an erstwhile media consultant to the former vice-president.
The APC presidential campaign spokesman noted also that Nigerians were appalled that Mr Abubakar and the PDP merely shrugged off the audio leak.
He urged Nigerians to hold Mr Abubakar accountable by rejecting him at the polls in February.
“Atiku is also not talking about his health status even when his hirelings daily make futile attempts to divert public attention to his main rival by cooking up lies upon lies. Whereas Atiku is the candidate that Nigerians should be sorely worried about, the lies of several years and the various diversionary tactics are no longer sustainable,” said the statement.
It added that “Atiku’s edifice of lies is about to crash on him; the PDP presidential candidate is certainly not okay, the papering efforts notwithstanding.”
Mr Onanuga stressed eyebrows were raised when Mr Abubakar did not return to Nigeria after the December holidays to continue his campaign since he left the country December 21, 2022.
“From the field of electioneering campaign, came a story by an online platform that Atiku was flown to London for treatment from his usual home in Dubai. The story has not been vigorously denied. We have it on good authority that Atiku indeed took ill,” Mr Onanuga claimed. “He was indeed in the UK for some medical help though handlers camouflaged that he was there on the invitation of some British officials at Whitehall.”
He noted that despite efforts by Mr Abubakar’s handlers to showcase him as healthy and physically fit to endure the rigours of the presidential campaign, pictures from rallies belied the impression.
He stated that campaign pictures sometimes showed Mr Abubakar as being helped to descend steps at stadia, adding that sometimes, he walked with apparent handicap, dragging his feet.
Mr Onanuga added that the irrefutable insight into Mr Abubakar’s health status was the revelation by his divorced wife, Jennifer Douglas in 2022 that he was admitted to a German hospital for operation, amid their bitter divorce.
“In a viral letter published in February 2022, Jennifer quoted Atiku’s self-admission that he was in Germany for medicals, which explained why he was unable to retrieve his belongings from a Dubai house that Jennifer had taken over,” stated Mr Onanuga.
He added, “A man who wants to rule Nigeria and wants Nigerians to repose some trust in him, must immediately and honestly address these twin issues: his health and his legendary corruption.’’
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