The Presidency has advised former Vice President and PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, to end his ambition to be President of Nigeria, after he lost the February 2023 election and the Supreme Court appeal.
In a statement titled ‘Time for Atiku Abubakar to finally go away and end his ambition to be President’, the Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, said that Atiku lost because he contested under a fragmented and tattered umbrella of the PDP, which was broken into four parts by defections and disagreements.
Onanuga also accused Atiku of being a demagogue and an anarchist, who criticized national institutions and refused to accept the verdict of the highest court and the people of Nigeria. He said that Atiku had no chance of winning with the divided PDP, while the APC was strong, viable and unified.
He also reminded Atiku of his controversial past, alleging that he was involved in money laundering and military dictatorship. He urged Atiku to end his unprofitable bid and stop polluting the political atmosphere and national harmony.
The statement read, “Atiku lost because he went into a major election with a fragmented and tattered umbrella that could not hold together.
“There was no way Atiku and PDP could have won the election with the party platform under which he contested broken into four parts.
“We were wrong to expect that Atiku at 77 would play the statesman and sportsman and accept, with equanimity, the verdict of the highest court and the people of Nigeria.” Instead, he highlighted his (Atiku’s) strong criticism against national institutions, especially after the Supreme Court verdict, noting that he “unashamedly constituted himself into a demagogue and anarchist””.
Drawing attention to the fractured state of the PDP, the Presidency wondered how the Wazirin Adamawa could have envisaged any possible pathway to victory with Mr. Peter Obi’s Labour Party, Dr. Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso’s NNPP and PDP G-5 Governors who took away possible PDP votes, “while the APC went into the election as a strong, viable and unified entity.”
It also painted a stark contrast against the All Progressives Congress, which President Tinubu ran upon saying the party “went into the election as a strong, viable and unified entity.”
Onanuga further cited Atiku’s controversial ties to Nigeria’s past political challenges, quoting, “For instance, Atiku claimed he worked along with others to end military rule in Nigeria when he was known to be in bed with the same junta.”
The statement also accentuated allegations of corruption against Atiku, mentioning that “The US Congress lists Atiku’s money laundering as one of the very rare cases of corruption at the highest level of governance in the world.”
In a direct plea to Atiku, the Presidency urged, “We want to advise Atiku that after over three decades of elusive bid for the Presidency of Nigeria, he must now end his unprofitable bid and go away from any venture that will further pollute the political atmosphere and national harmony.”