The All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Council, APCPCC, has challenged the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Atiku Abubakar, to step down from the presidential race if he had any shame.
The party was reacting to revelations by a former media aide to Atiku, Michael Achimugu, who accused the former Vice President of corruption and other sundry allegations.
A statement issued by Bayo Onanuga, the APCPCC Director of Media and Publicity on Wednesday, challenged Atiku “to come clean over two issues clouding 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 the special purpose vehicles after he became Vice-President in 1999.”
Repeated attempts for response from the Atiku camp on the corruption allegation but both spokesmen – Daniel Bwala and Ihiedu Aniagwu – declined comment.
But the APC frowned at the allegation saying if the PDP candidate “has some modicum of honour, he ought to have stepped down from the race that he is bound to lose again, following the release of his audio clip, in which he provides a vivid explanation into the modus operandi of his legendary corruption.”
The party challenged Nigerians “to hold Atiku to account over the shocking revelation by rejecting him at the polls in February.”
The party also said “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. Atiku’s edifice of lies is about to crash on him. The PDP presidential candidate is certainly not okay, the papering efforts notwithstanding.
“Eyebrows were raised when Atiku did not return to the country after the December holidays to continue his lackluster and faltering 5th campaign for Nigeria’s presidency.
“Amid the concern by political watchers that Atiku was missing from 21 December, 2022 on the field of electioneering campaign, came the story by the online platform Sahara Reporters that Atiku was flown to the UK from his usual home in Dubai to London for treatment.
“The story has not been vigorously denied,” the APC campaign council said.
It added that, “We have it on good authority that Atiku indeed fell ill, while missing on the field. He was indeed in the UK for some medical help, though handlers camouflage that he was there on the invitation of some British officials at Whitehall in a mimic of the earlier visit of the APC rival, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
“Despite the efforts by his handlers to showcase Atiku as healthy and physically fit to endure the rigours of the presidential campaign, pictures from rallies have belied this. Campaign pictures sometimes showed him being helped to descend steps at stadia.
“Sometimes, he walked with apparent handicap, dragging his feet.
“The irrefutable insight into Atiku’s health status was the revelation by his divorced wife, Jennifer Douglas, last year that Atiku was admitted to a German hospital for operation, amid their bitter divorce,” the statement said.
The APC stressed that “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.”