“When they go low, we go high” – Michelle Obama.
In a recent publication in the Nigerian Tribune, Director, Strategic Communications of President Muhammadu Buhari Campaign Organization, Festus Keyamo made very spurious and unsubstantiated allegations of vote buying against His Excellency Atiku Abubakar who has most recently emerged the PDP flagbearer in the most credible, latent, friendly and transparent elections conducted in Nigeria since independence. So much so that all the others contestants individually and jointly acclaimed his victory as being fair, just and accurate.
Nigerians at home and abroad are in frenzy following Atiku’s emergence. One of those who participated in the infamous trekking from Lagos to Abuja in the hey days of the presidential elections of 2015, walked back again a few weeks ago asking that General Buhari should resign because of his colossal maladministration, perpetuating and aiding corruption, protecting various criminal elements in his government, including a Minister who was involved in blatant forgery of certificate from the reputable NYSC. She was forced to resign after months of public outcry and obvious shame. It is noteworthy that to date, Gen Buhari has not shown Nigerians his school certificate. Instead he had hired top level lawyers to defend him against openly providing this certificate. We have a certificate-less president who has corruptly refused to show his papers.
Gen Buhari had claimed he was a poor herdsman with 100 cows in 2015 and as such couldn’t even afford basic life amenities, let alone pay for his party nomination forms. But in the end, his presidential campaign was undertaken with billions of dollars. We ask: Where and how did he acquire those funds to share to voters and subsequently win the elections. The answer isn’t far-fetched; came from himself and criminal friends who are still part of his cabinet today. Buhari really fights corruption!
Atiku Abubakar on the other hand has no corruption charges or indictments made against him by any court or authority in Nigeria. He has no immunity since he left office and yet Gen Buhari has not charged or sent him to jail since he assumed office in 2015. All we hear are sounds of fury and emptiness signifying nothing from baby lawyers who bought their way to “SANhood”.
Atiku today is the singular, individual, and largest employer of labour in Nigeria. With over 50,000 young men and women on monthly salaries paid without delays and promises. Yet under Gen Buhari’s misrule, many of his APC governors are owing over 8 months of workers salaries in Nigeria, although they receive monthly allocations from the federal government. We ask: why has these governors not been called to account judiciously for this wanton display of corruption? In one of the cases, to add salt to injury, one of such governor in the Southwest region of Nigeria was given over 16 billion naira on the eve of elections in his state to buy votes while salaries remained unpaid.
The saddest debacle was that despite this corruption intensified gift, they lost the election and turned to their only recourse, the Nigerian police and the Independent National Election Commission to assist them in stealing the mandate freely given to the PDP candidate a few days later. This corruption is openly buoyed by the National chairman of APC Adams Oshiomhole who openly chided those who cry out for justice to accept the fact that those who can’t stand rigging elections should not think of joining politics. Buhari really fights corruption!
Aisha Buhari, whose place her husband had declared was “in the other room” carpets her husband Buhari and his APC party succinctly and truthfully a few days ago in these words “ It is disheartening to note that some aspirants used their hard earned money to purchase nomination forms, got screened, cleared and campaigned vigorously yet found their names omitted on Election Day, these forms were bought at exorbitant prices. Many others contested and yet had their result delayed. Fully knowing that AUTOMATIC tickets have been given to other people. All Progressives Congress being a party whose cardinal principle is change and headed by a comrade/ activist whose main concern is for the common man, yet, such impunity could take place under its watch. This is an open indictment of Gen Buhari and his corruption crusaders.
The 2019 election is going to be a score card of Buhari’s promises to the people.
He campaigned against foreign medical travel for government officials, yet a third of his years in government has been spent on London hospital visits. In fact, we have it on record that his doctors have recommended that he needs to resign and take time off to nurse his debilitating health but baby lawyers like Festus Keyamo won’t let him go have a serene rest. They know his health is poor and frail but prefer a half-baked potato
Nigerian economy is in doldrums. Our country is stagnant. Inflation has overtaken our markets, people are suffering at very alarming rates and no solution in sight. Worse still, the, spate of insecurity is unbelievably irritable. On the average, 200 Nigerians are murdered by criminal gangs and herdsmen in certain parts of the country with a siddon-look attitude from Gen Buhari who has shown openly that he has no answers.
Nigeria today is more divided than at any other time since the amalgamation in 1914. Many are on the throes of anger and aggression. Conflagration stares in the face between the centrifugal and centripetal forces.
It is for this reason that all Nigerians desire a charismatic, consummate and nation builder. They have found it in Atiku Abubakar and there is no going back. No amount of image assassination, threats and blatant fallacy perpetuated by baby lawyer Keyamo and his cohorts can deter or impede the outcome of 2019. Nigeria wants Atiku. He has a date with destiny. So be it.
Amb. Aliyu Bin Abbas
Atiku Care Foundation.
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