Abuja, Nigeria: Nigeria’s ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has told the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal in Abuja that the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the Feb. 23 presidential poll, Atiku Abubakar, was born a Cameroonian, not Nigerian.
Abubakar was born on Nov. 25, 1946 in Jada, then part of Northern Cameroon.
The party said that based on this premise, Atiku was not qualified to have contested the presidential election.
The Party claimed that Atiku was a Cameroonian and not a Nigerian citizen at birth, adding that his petition against President Muhammadu Buhari, should be dismissed for lack of merit.
The APC was replying to the petition of Atiku and the PDP, praying the tribunal to declare him as the lawful winner of the presidential election.
The party said that the 11.1 million votes recorded in favor of the two petitioners should be voided and considered as wasted votes.
The APC’s reply to the petition, filed by its lead counsel, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) faulted the candidacy of Atiku in the election.
The party averred that Atiku was born on Nov. 25, 1946 in Jada, Adamawa, in Northern Cameroon and was therefore a citizen of Cameroon and not a Nigerian by birth.
According to APC, contrary to the assertion of Atiku in his petition, he has no right to be voted for as a candidate in the election to the office of president of Nigeria.
Apart from the issue of the origin of Atiku, the APC asserted that most of the claims contained in his petition had become statute barred and that the tribunal was not the appropriate place to entertain such.
The APC specifically said that the issue of the educational qualification of Buhari as raised by Atiku could not be treated by the Tribunal.
The party said this was because the period for claims and objections on such issues had expired.
It maintained that the petitioners failed and neglected to use the appropriate period to challenge the validity of the educational qualification of Buhari.
Atiku had in his petition to the tribunal, faulted the conduct of the Feb. 23 Presidential Election on grounds of non-compliance with relevant electoral laws and other malpractices such as intimidation of voters.
The former Vice President and PDP claimed to have scored the majority of the lawful votes in the election and prayed the tribunal to declare them as winners of the election.
In the alternative, he prayed for an order for the cancellation of the election and another order by the tribunal directing INEC to conduct a fresh election that would conform with relevant laws.
No date has, however, been fixed for hearing of the petition.
APC Claim On My Citizenship Idiotic: Atiku Abubakar
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate for the 2019 polls, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has dismissed the petition by the All Progressives Congress (APC) contesting his citizenship as “idiotic”.
Atiku, who spoke through his media aide, Paul Ibe, told Saturday Sun, yesterday, that it is an insult to Nigerians and the office of Vice President, which he occupied for eight years, for the APC to allege that he is not a Nigerian.
He said everything must not be about politics. According to him, “ 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. “
Efforts to get the reaction of the PDP leadership to the development, as at the time of filing this report, was unsuccessful as the opposition party’s National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, did not respond to repeated calls to his mobile line.
Shehu Sani Reacts As APC Claims Atiku Not A Nigerian
The lawmaker representing Kaduna Central at the National Assembly, Senator Shehu Sani, has reacted to the claim by the ruling All Progressives Congress that the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, is not a Nigerian.
The APC had yesterday filed a motion at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal in Abuja.
The Party, in the petition filed by its lead counsel, Lateef Fagbemi faulted the candidacy of Atiku in the election, claiming that Atiku is a Cameroonian and not a Nigerian citizen.
APC, hence stated that the former Vice President petition against President Muhammadu Buhari, its own candidate, should be dismissed for lacking in merit.
Shehu Sani said the claims could reignite frosty issues between Nigeria and Cameroon.
He tweeted, “The ruling had Be cautious in your politics not to reignite Nigeria Cameroun frosty historical issues, so that they don’t renew claims to the old Sardauna province and then we will end up loosing a potion of our northern territory like the Bakassi.”