Tinubu, APC, tackle Atiku over divisive campaign

October 16, 2022
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The All Progressives Congress (APC) and its presidential candidate in the 2023 presidential election, Bola Ahmed Tinubu have blasted former Vice President and candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) saying his recent rhetorics on what the north needs in the coming election are capable of inflaming the nation’s fragile fault line.

Atiku who addressed Arewa Town Hall policy dialogue in Kaduna at the weekend pointedly told his audience that the north does not need Yoruba or Igbo President.

According to him “What the average Northerner needs is somebody who is from the North … he doesn’t need a Yoruba Candidate or an Igbo Candidate”, a rhetoric, APC said issued from a desperate and insensitive politician.

APC in a statement said Atiku’s comment “is a decisive attack on our national unity. It is beyond the pale for a senior inhabitant and a former Vice President of the Federal Republic to so brazenly instigate strife and disunity in our country in pursuit of his befuddled political self-interest”.

Reacting in like manner Tinubu through his campaign spokesman, Bayo Onanuga described the comment as “the worst expression of ethnocentric opportunism ever uttered by a former Nigerian Vice President”

He said the unguarded utterance “clearly demonstrates how low a man honoured with the second highest office of the Nigerian Constitution is willing to sink in search of a perennial wild goose chase after the highest office in the land.

“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.

“Doubling down in his now infamous speech, Atiku said: “What the average Northerner needs is somebody who is from the north and also understands that part of the country and has been able to build bridges across the country. This is what the Northerner needs, it doesn’t need a Yoruba or Igbo candidate. I stand before you as a Pan-Nigerian of northern origin.”

APC through its Spokesman, Felix Morka said the comment is not surprising coming from a desperate and serial failed Candidate for the office of President.

“If, as Atiku believes, the average Northerner needs a Northern President now, after a Northern President, when will they ever not need a Northern President? What does Atiku think the average Southerner needs? Why is it about what the average Northerner needs, or even what the average Southerner may need? Why is it not about what Nigeria and Nigerians need? Nigerians need bold and visionary leadership anchored on a firm commitment to transcendental national unity, over and above ethnic or sectional obsessions.

“Atiku’s words ring loud of extreme and mindless desperation, and such an extremely desperate man cannot and must not be entrusted with the most important job of President – a job whose core duty is that of leading, uniting and working in the best interest of all in an ethno-religious pluralistic society as Nigeria. Our country does not need this kind of highly inflammable rhetoric now or ever.

“What is even more confounding is that this Presidential Candidate of the PDP has touted himself to be on a mission to unify Nigeria.

“The cat has finally been let out of the bag of him that pays lip service to unity while working hard to undermine our national unity.

“Our Northern citizens and patriots know far better than what Atiku thinks, and will not walk down that slippery slope with him.

“Evidently, Atiku seeks to inflict on Nigeria discord and strife of a worse kind than he has inflicted on his PDP. Against the dictates of his party’s constitution on the principle of power rotation between and North and South of Nigeria, Atiku wrested Presidential Candidacy and left his party in fractious disability.

“In direct contrast to Atiku’s schismatic tendency, our Northern Progressive APC Governors stood valiantly in support of the emergence of a Southern Presidential Candidate of our Party in demonstration of patriotic commitment to national unity, equity and fairness. That is what Nigeria needs, now and ever.

“And that is the commitment that Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, our Presidential Candidate brings in his aspiration to serve as President. As Governor of Lagos State, his executive cabinet was a rare and admirable reflection of ethnic and religious diversity.

“We are confident he will enthrone equity, fairness, inclusion, and unity as operating national policy when elected as President in next year’s general election, as we urge Nigerians to do”.

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