UPDATE: FG warns Atiku over alleged attempt to recreate Venezuelan crisis in Nigeria

The federal government on Thursday accused former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, of attempting to recreate the Venezuelan model by instigating crisis in Nigeria just like the opposition has done in the South American country. 

Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, in a press conference in Abuja on Monday, cited the reported pressure being put on the United States government by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate in the just concluded election not to recognize President Muhammadu Buhari as the winner until the conclusion of the Atiku’s court challenge. 

The Minister also pointed at Atiku’s posters which had resurfaced in Abuja in recent times as part of the plot by the PDP flag bearer to cause crisis. 

Atiku has already denied the claims. 

But Mohammed said his denial of both developments is in a realization that the actions have grave implications. 

The Minister who was accompanied by former Atiku’s media aide and Senior Special Assistant (Media & Publicity), Garba Shehu, to the conference, therefore warned the former Vice President to desist from overheating the polity as the government will not tolerate it. 

Mohammed said the posters and the hiring of US lobbyists have triggered questions about what the former vice president is up to, saying: “ Is he starting a fresh campaign after the elections have been won and lost? Has he rescinded his decision to challenge the results of the presidential election in court, perhaps after realizing that the results he claimed to have obtained from the INEC back server are cooked? Is he now going for self-help? What really is Atiku’s motive?”

On Atiku’s denial of the accusations, the federal government’s spokesman noted: “If the media reports are right, it means that the former Vice President has suddenly realized the grave implication of his actions, hence has decided to beat a quick retreat before it is too late. As a self-avowed democrat, he should realize that the only lawful channel for challenging the result of an election is through the courts.

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“Resorting to self-help, as he seems to be doing now, is an act of desperation and the consequences are dire. There is no doubt that the PDP presidential candidate, out of desperation, is thinking of replicating the Venezuelan model right here in Nigeria. But he should realize that Nigeria is not Venezuela, and that the situations in both countries are not the same.”

The Minister affirmed that President Muhammadu Buhari won the Feb. 23rd 2019 presidential elections fair and square, with a margin of 3,928,869 million votes, noting that the election’s credibility was attested to by local and foreign observers.

The Minister was of the view that Atiku has the right to do whatever is lawful to challenge the outcome of that election adding: “But he cannot get through the back door what he couldn’t get through the front door. That will be a pipe dream.

“If he believes hiring a foreign lobbying firm will advance his quest, we wish him the best of luck. But seeking US recognition as the winner of an election that he lost by almost 4 million votes is unconscionable. Recall, gentlemen, that after the result of the presidential election was announced, the U.S. joined other countries to congratulate President Buhari”

Mohammed further stated: “Yes, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has lost an election. But he will not be the first or the last person to lose an election, and he should realize that losing an election is not the end of the world. He has challenged the result of the election in court. That’s just as well.

“However, he should not give the impression that he does not have confidence in the judicial process, which is what resorting t self-help implies. He should stop overheating the polity and quit trying to instigate a political crisis in Nigeria. No citizen, no matter how highly placed, is above the laws of the land. Enough is enough!”



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