Atiku was Nigeria’s Vice-President between 1999 and 2007

Director of Strategic Communications of President Muhammadu Buhari’s 2019 campaign organisation, Festus Keyamo (SAN), says Nigerians should be worried about the credibility of Atiku Abubakar.

Atiku, who served as Nigeria’s number two citizen from 1999 to 2007, on Sunday emerged as the Presidential candidate of the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the 2019 elections.

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He defeated political heavyweights such as the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, Governor Aminu Tambuwal amongst others at the party’s elective convention on Saturday in Port Harcourt, the Rivers state capital.

But Keyamo said the Waziri Adamawa did not win the poll on a free-and-fair basis but induced the delegates financially.

He urged Nigerians to be careful in deciding who they want as president, saying the option is between a candidate with a “history of credibility crisis” and the incumbent president who is with an “unblemished record in public service.”

“We wish to congratulate His Excellency, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar on his emergence as the candidate of the PDP in respect of the forth-coming 2019 Presidential Election,” he said in a statement.

“However, we note with interest all the reports in the media as to massive vote-buying at the PDP primaries (especially with foreign currency). We contrast this with the speech of President Muhammadu Buhari in the 2014 APC Convention when he said as follows:

“I have always served Nigeria to the best of my ability. I have always tried to give more to the nation than it has given me. This is the principle of service that has guided my public life. Thus, I am not a rich person. I can’t give you a fistful of dollars or naira to purchase your support. Even if I could, I would not do so. The fate of this nation is not up for sale.”

Keyamo recalled how the former Vice President had also been accused of vote-buying during 2014 All Progressives Congress (APC) convention, saying the PDP presidential aspirant never denied the reports.

His words: “There were also media reports in the 2014 APC National Convention that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar freely used the same method of massive vote-buying in foreign currency, but he came a distant third. Till date, he has not denied those media reports.”

“The claim therefore that the process that produce him now as a candidate of the PDP was free, fair and transparent is suspect.

“It is therefore clear that going into this election the issues that will agitate the minds of Nigerians most would be centered around the credibility of the candidate of the opposition and the kind of values he brings into our politics.”