Father’s Day: Atiku hails soldiers on frontline

Distances self from statement on INEC server

FORMER Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has paid tribute to Nigerian soldiers at the frontline of the various crises in the country.

In a statement he issued in Abuja on Sunday to mark this year’s Father’s Day, the Presidential candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), also wished all Nigerians a happy Father’s Day.

Atiku enjoined all to take a minute to acknowledge those fathers who have left their wives, children and loved ones, to take up residency in bushes, highways and byways in order to fight terrorists, bandits, kidnappers and other threats to our nation.

He sent his greetings to “every father in our armed forces, police and paramilitary forces.”

Even in death, he also wished a happy Father’s Day to the nation’s Founding Fathers including Sir Ahmadu Bello, Chief Obafemi Awolowo and Sir Nnamdi Azikiwe.

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“May the labours of these our heroes past remind us that this nation was built on a quartet of Unity and Faith, Peace and Progress, founded on Justice,” the statement signed his media adviser, Paul Ibe.

He prayed that their labours and the labours of all fathers in Nigeria shall never be in vain, praying that God’s blessings be on the nation and the children they birthed.

“May extreme poverty depart our land and in the words of the late great Chief MKO Abiola, may we soon bid “farewell to poverty” as a nation,” the statement quoted him as saying.

The statement added that as a father, the former Vice President admonished citizens to remember that the greatest gift they can give the children “is to believe in themselves.”

Atiku, therefore, asked Nigerians to believe in the country, themselves and their children, adding that they should also believe that the nation’s founding Father’s vision for Nigeria would come to pass by God’s grace, “through our hard work.”

In a separate statement, Atiku on Sunday distances himself on a statement in circulation on the independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Server which said was the handiwork of mischief makers to mar his “spotless pro-democratic record, lay the groundwork on false charges against him.”

The statement also signed by Ibe recalled that the statement claimed that the effect that Atiku planned to lead a street protest in the event that the election petition tribunal ruled against his him and his party on the issue of a server for the Independent National Electoral Commission.

In denying it, the statement added: “I wish to emphatically state that such a statement did not emanate from Atiku Abubakar or his privies. It is the work of mischief makers who want to mar his spotless pro-democratic record and lay the groundwork for their threatened actions against him on false charges of being a threat to national security.

“For the avoidance of doubt, Atiku Abubakar believes in the Rule of Law and in the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. In his almost four decades in politics, he has never taken action or spoken words against democracy and will not start now.

“Atiku Abubakar and his team have confidence in God and thus call on those bent on mischief to have the fear of God and retrace their steps. Democracy has come to stay in Nigeria. The culture of fear being created now cannot rein in our democracy. Nigeria and Nigerians have a consistent history of outlasting tyranny and will continue to do so by the grace of God.”

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