Atiku Abubakar, the candidate for president of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has stated that Bola Tinubu’s campaign for reconciliation was not in good faith.
In addition, he characterised Tinubu’s plea for reconciliation after a violent election as the height of hypocrisy and asserted that Tinubu has no plan to unite the nation.
Atiku praised the United States Government for criticising the violent and racially tinged election in Lagos State. He attacked the President-elect for being quiet while the Igbos in Lagos were being threatened.
In a statement that he personally signed, Tinubu expressed regret for the violations in certain areas and the divisive atmosphere that characterised the elections.
But, Atiku, in a statement released on Tuesday by his Special Assistant on Public Media, Mr. Phrank Shaibu, characterised Tinubu’s statement as an afterthought and hypocritical nonsense.
He stated that it was peculiar that Tinubu was talking about reconciliation after his henchmen targeted Igbo voters in Lagos to give his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), an advantage in the governorship race.
He stated that Tinubu continues to defend transport hooligans, politicians, and even traditional leaders in Lagos who were seen on film threatening non-indigenous individuals.
He said, “Tinubu’s current statement is replete with hypocrisy and deceit. Traditional leaders, transport thugs, and politicians in Tinubu’s group threatened non-indigenous individuals for an entire month, but Tinubu remained silent. His campaign council member and lackey, MC Oluomo, was seen on camera threatening Igbo people, but Tinubu remained silent. His campaign spokesmen, Bayo Onanuga and Femi Fani-Kayode, took to social media to caution Igbo citizens against exercising their right to vote, while Tinubu remained oblivious.
“Traditional authorities imposed curfews and slaughtered goats in front of polling stations, but Tinubu remained silent. A traditional head and council chairman in the Gbara community in Eti Osa local government called a meeting where they threatened non-indigenous residents with eviction if they did not vote for the APC, but Tinubu remained silent. Due to Tinubu’s protection, those invited by the police declined the invites.
“On election day, numerous Igbo-looking individuals were battered and stopped from voting, but Tinubu remained silent. Now that his party has fraudulently won the election, he has found his voice and preaches reconciliation. He should tell the marines this. If Tinubu is sincere, he should ensure that all of the responsible parties are apprehended and prosecuted. But, we are aware he cannot do so because he is their godfather.”
Atiku hailed the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria’s condemnation of the violence against the Igbo.
But, he argued that the United States could have gone farther by naming those deemed responsible and revealing the identity of those who will be subject to visa restrictions.
Atiku stated, “We thank the United States and European Union governments for criticising the violence and intimidation that marred the governorship election, particularly in Lagos, where Tinubu’s henchmen held the state to ransom.
“Yet, the United States is aware of the identities of the perpetrators of violence and should have cited them.” MC Oluomo is a United States citizen. The United States must go further by naming others, including traditional authorities in Lagos, who were complicit.
“In the past, the United States has publicly chastised Vladimir Putin of Russia and those deemed deficient in other nations. At this time, political correctness is inappropriate. Those who will be hit with visa bans should be identified and publicly shamed.”
Atiku asserted that there could be no reconciliation without restitution, adding that anything less would not heal any scars.
He said that Tinubu had demonstrated through his electioneering that he had no intention of uniting Nigeria and was simply interested in power and Nigeria’s wealth.
He said, “Tinubu seeks only power.” Before to his ascension to power, Lagos was renowned for its sophistication and hospitality. Lagos was where the late Nnamdi Azikiwe established his political and business empire.
“In 1951, Mbonu Ojike, who was born in the state of Imo, was the Deputy Mayor of Lagos. Others from all across the nation and the world established businesses and political careers in Lagos without interference. On Bola Tinubu’s watch, however, Lagos has turned into an intolerant state where non-natives are openly thrashed on election day and threatened with eviction if they do not vote for his party. Now he wants to make amends? What a joke!
“There will be no healing until MC Oluomo and all his accomplices who participated in issuing threats and brutalising individuals are vigorously prosecuted.”