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As campaigns for Nigeria’s next Presidential elections takes centre stage, the Media Office of the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has asserted that the aspiration of the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu, was nothing but an assault on the integrity of the black race.
This was contained in a statement by Atiku’s Media Adviser, Mazi Paul Ibe, in Kaduna, on Sunday.
He said, “The very ambition of former governor Tinubu to aspire to become the Nigerian leader is a rude attack on the integrity of every black country and certainly an act of disgrace to all Nigerians.
“It is even more repugnant that a man who is not honourable enough to make a full disclosure about his elementary education records would ask to be elected a President of the most populous Black nation in the world.”
Ibe issued the statement in response to a statement issued by the APC accusing Atiku of playing the ethnic card while speaking with elders and other northern stakeholders, in Kaduna.
The presidential candidate’s spokesman further said, ‘It is regrettable, to say the least, that the All Progressives Congress (APC) would decide to cause a show of shame by a disingenuous attempt to turn fact on its head about what the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Atiku Abubakar, said during a public engagement at the Arewa House on Saturday.
“For the benefit of the innocent public who might be hoodwinked by the usual behaviour of APC in telling a big lie, what transpired was a direct question to Atiku to address the northern audience on why he should be voted for by the northern electorate.
“In answering this question, Atiku started with a joke by addressing the questioner as ‘Mr. Northerner’ which is a veiled criticism of why he limited his question to the northern audience in the first place.
“Continuing, Atiku explained without a slur, unlike the APC candidate would, that what matters the most to the northern electorate is a candidate who has built bridges of unity across other parts of the country and not necessarily a borthern candidate who lacks the credentials of national spread and acceptability.
“Those were the unambiguous remarks of the PDP presidential candidate.
“But because the APC does not possess any tangible ideas to campaign on for their candidate, they resorted to dubious tactics of diverting public attention, first, away from the failures of their party in the past seven years plus.
“And, secondly, to shift attention away from the embarrassing gaffes of their presidential candidate in his public communication which they frequently shy away from.“
Ibe went further to add that, ‘Of course, a failed political party and a presidential candidate who cannot withstand five minutes of unscripted speech would not have anything tangible to talk about other than to resort to irritating scavenging like they have done in this case.
‘On the same day when Atiku Abubakar stood agile and cerebral before his hosts at the Arewa House, the APC candidate, whose only entitlement for president is because of an ethnic identity claim, was also at a public function in Kaduna State and publicly embarrassed his host, Governor Nasir el-Rufai, by saying that he should not contemplate pursuing higher educational qualifications and likening him to ‘a rotten case that has turned into a bad situation’.
‘Are we to play to the gallery, we could have rushed to the press to make a bad case for such rotten remarks.
‘We did not because we know that the upcoming election is not about scoring cheap political gains, but about ensuring that Nigerians have a fair deal in the next president that they will be electing.’
Africa Daily News, New York reports that the two juggernauts have been at each others neck lately ahead of next year’s elections.