Barely 24 hours after news broke that the All Progressive Congress (APC) filed a motion at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal in Abuja claiming that the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party in the poll, Atiku Abubakar, is not a Nigerian and not qualified to vie for any election in the country. The candidate has reacted to the APC’S claims.
It would be recalled that the party in its petition filed by its counsel, Lateef Fagbemi, claimed that the former Vice President is a Cameroonian and not a Nigerian citizen and his petition against President Muhammadu Buhari, its own candidate, should be dismissed for lack of merit.
In a reply to the petition of Atiku and the PDP praying for their declaration as the lawful winner of the presidential poll, the APC said that the 11.1 million votes recorded in favor of the two petitioners should be voided and considered a waste by the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal.
The APC faulted the candidacy of Atiku in the election insisting that as a Cameroonian, he ought not to have taken part in the presidential poll of Nigeria in the first instance. According to the APC, Atiku was born on November 25th 1946, in Jada, Adamawa, in Northern Cameroon and is, therefore, a citizen of Cameroon and not a Nigerian by birth.
The party also claimed that prior to 1919, Cameroon was being administered by Germany and that following the defeat of Germany in World War 1, which ended in 1918, Cameroon became part of a League of Nations mandate territory which consisted of French Cameroon and British Cameroon in 1919.
APC further argued that in 1961, a plebiscite was held in British Cameroon to determine whether the people preferred to stay in Cameroon or align with Nigeria.
According to the party, while Northern Cameroon preferred a union with Nigeria, Southern Cameroon chose alignment with the mother country and that it was as a result of the plebiscite that Northern Cameroon, which included Adamawa, became a part of Nigeria.
APC, therefore, said that contrary to the assertion of Atiku in his petition, he (Atiku) had no right to be voted for as a candidate in the election to the office of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria held on February 23, 2019.
The party went on to state that by reason of Atiku not having qualified to contest the election, all votes purportedly cast for him and the PDP in the February 23rd election are wasted votes.
Meanwhile, Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) reacting to the claims dismissed the petition by the All Progressives Congress (APC) contesting his citizenship as “idiotic”.
The former vice-president, who spoke through his media aide, Paul Ibe, told Saturday Sun, that it was an insult to Nigerians and the office of Vice President which he occupied for eight years, for the APC to question his nationality.
“That is idiotic. It is idiotic. And it is ridiculous. Atiku Abubakar is a former Vice President of Nigeria.
“Are they telling us that a former Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is not a Nigerian? That is disrespectful to Nigerians and for the office he has held, which other people will hold and will continue to hold.
“Everything must not be on the alter of politics,” Ibe said.