The ruling All Progressives Congress on Monday said former vice-president and presidential candidate of the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Abubakar Atiku lacks a trustworthy character to beat president Muhammadu Buhari in 2019 general elections.
Abubakar won the primary election with 1, 532 votes to beat Sokoto state governor Aminu Tambuwal, who polled 693 votes.
Senate President Bukola Saraki came third with 317 votes followed by the former governor of Kano State Rabiu Kwankwaso who polled 158 votes.
President Buhari on the other side emerged a consensus candidate of the APC with over 14 million votes at the party’s convention.
Atiku defected from APC to PDP late 2017. Prior to his defection, he lost the APC presidential ticket to Buhari in 2015.
Atiku declared his support for Buhari who went on to defeat then President Goodluck Jonathan to assume office.
Since his defection, Atiku has been critical of the Buhari government, labelling it a failure.
But the ruling insisted on Monday that Atiku, who has attempted to be Nigeria’s president on four occasions, stands no chance of defeating Buhari when Nigeria goes to poll early 2019.
“The All Progressives Congress (APC) congratulates H.E. Alh. Atiku Abubakar on his election as the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) 2019 presidential candidate. However, in assessing candidates to be voted for during elections, Nigerians will normally consider the candidate’s background and antecedents,” APC said in a statement signed by its spokesman Yekini Nabena.
“The pertinent question to ask about Atiku is what his scorecard in public office was? Regrettably, Atiku’s scorecard is abysmally low and he has proven to be an untrustworthy and unreliable character.”
The ruling party further stated that Atiku could not be trusted with leadership of the country, noting that “his former boss President Olusegun Obasanjo…exposed the level of corruption Atiku was enmeshed in.”
“In the international level, Atiku has been reportedly placed on the global watch list of the United States of America and has avoided travelling to the US to avoid arrest and prosecution over a money-laundering and corruption case in that country.”
Although there were yet to be facts and evidence of corruption as alleged of the former vice-president, the ruling party questioned his character.
“Really, is this the character and antecedent of a candidate Nigerians will be proud to vote for as our President, come 2019?,”
“Compared and contrasted with President Muhammadu Buhari consistent and principled stance on party affiliations, since 1999, Atiku has moved around different political parties – PDP, ACN, PDP, APC and now PDP, all in his blind and desperate pursuit of his ambition – The Presidency of Nigeria.”
“Our dear President Muhammadu Buhari does not spend a kobo on delegates as he banks only on his proven personal integrity. It is therefore very clear that if Atiku loses the presidential election in 2019, he will again defect from the PDP to another political platform.”