The All Progressives Congress Presidential Campaign Council has condemned the PDP Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, saying his comment has exposed his true intention to Nigerians.
Atiku had on Saturday at an interactive session of the Arewa Townhall Policy Dialogue in Kaduna insinuated that the north vote a candidate from the region.
“I know the whole of this country. I have built bridges across this country. I think what the average northerner needs is somebody who is from the north, who also understands the other parts of Nigeria, and who has been able to build bridges across the rest of the country.
“This is what the northerner needs. He doesn’t need a Yoruba candidate or an Igbo candidate. This is what the northerner needs. I stand before you as a pan-Nigerian of northern origin”, Atiku said.
In a statement signed by the Director, Media and Publicity of the Presidential Campaign Council, Bayo Onanuga on Sunday, the council described Atiku’s speech as the “worst expression of ethnocentric opportunism ever uttered by a former Vice President.”
“It confirms the argument that Atiku has feasted on such base, cheap, primordial sentiments to use the masses and the elite of the North as the ladder to ascend to power since 1989 without any dividends to show.
“In clear terms, Atiku who stole the PDP ticket, by a similar mindset, has cast himself as a northern candidate, who the people from his region should solely support.
“We view Atiku’s public declaration which framed him as an ethnic and regional champion as unbecoming for a man who was once a former Vice-President of Nigeria.
“But we are not surprised by his desperate position. Atiku has resorted to whipping up ethnic sentiments, knowing that his chances of being elected have become a mirage’’, the statement reads.
Atiku’s statement was also greeted with mixed reaction on the social media, while some out rightly condemned him others posited that it would not deter his ambition for 2023.
Apologize says Ohanaeze Ndigbo
An Igbo sociocultural group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, has asked the presidential candidate of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar, to apologize to the Igbo extraction and Southern region for what it described as ‘divisive’ politics, poignant and provocative.
The spokesperson for the group, Alex Ogbonna, said his statement contradicted Atiku’s claims to being a cosmopolitan and detribalized Nigerian.
“That was a very provocative remark coming from a former vice president of Nigeria. His remark perhaps brings out his mindset about the country.
“It’s a Freudian slip. Something that slips from somebody’s mouth unintentionally, which reveals the persons deep feeling about something.
“It is on record that the Igbo and the South voted for Abubakar Tafawa Balewa. They voted for Shehu Shagari, Umaru Yar’ adua and Muhammadu Buhari. So, why can’t there be reciprocity?’’, he said
The group advised him to campaign without creating unnecessary ethnic tensions.
Writing by Annabel Nwachukwu