The duel for integrity continued yesterday between President Muhammadu Buhari and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Congress (PDP) are gearing up for the February presidential election.
Atiku beat 11 opponents to get the PDP ticket at the weekend. The APC ratified the direct primary election of President Buhari in Abuja.
The APC said the choice before Nigerians in 2019 is that of light, which it said President Buhari represents, and darkness.
In a statement, party spokesman Yekini Nabena said: ”Nigerians have had enough of corrupt, cash and carry politicians. That was why in 2015, they came out en masse and elected a clean and transparent man in Muhammadu Buhari to clean the Augean stable. The candidature of Atiku Abubakar will bring back the undesired lot and their practices which Nigerians have long rejected and forgotten.
“The Nigerian electorate deserves to be given a choice of decency, integrity and honour and not dirt, corruption, and infamy. The choice between Buhari and Atiku is one between light and darkness; between positive change and business as usual; between transparency and under the table dealings.
“As we prepare for the forthcoming 2019 elections, one thing is clear. If the choice is between a presidential candidate/change agent who is rebuilding the country and refocusing our national priorities and attitudes on one hand, and another candidate who along with his gang of co-looters stole the country’s commonwealth and brought the country to its knees, that choice has already been made by the Nigerian electorate.”
The PDP said: “Nigerians have a choice of a man who will provide an efficient and business-friendly solution to the herdsmen crisis and a man whose government said ‘giving land for cattle ranching is better than death’.
“It is very obvious that faced with such a choice that Nigerians would definitely vote for the man who will get Nigeria working again.”
The Atiku Abubakar Presidential Campaign Organisation said there was confusion in the Buhari Campaign Organisation over Atiku’s emergence as the PDP candidate.
The APC accused Atiku of spending a large amount of money to buy delegates to get the ticket.
The party said the nation’s presidency should be about the scorecard of the candidates, pointing out that “Atiku’s scorecard is abysmally low and he has proven to be an untrustworthy and unreliable character”.
“In assessing candidates to be voted for during elections, Nigerians will normally consider the candidate’s background and antecedents. The pertinent question to ask about Atiku is what his scorecard in public office was?
“A case in point is Atiku’s revealing altercation with his former boss President Olusegun Obasanjo which exposed the level of corruption Atiku was enmeshed in.
“At the international level, Atiku has been reportedly place on the global watch list of the United States of America and has avoided travelling to the U.S. to avoid arrest and prosecution over a money-laundering and corruption case in that country.
“Really, is this the character and antecedent of a candidate Nigerians will be proud to vote for as our President, come 2019?
“Compared and contrasted with President Muhammadu Buhari’s consistent and principled stance on party affiliations, since 1999, Atiku has moved around different political parties – PDP, ACN, PDP, APC and now PDP, all in his blind and desperate pursuit of his ambition – The presidency of Nigeria. It is therefore very clear that if Atiku loses the presidential election in 2019, he will again defect from the PDP to another political platform.
“Atiku is known as a super rich Nigerian who entrenched the undemocratic practice of buying votes of delegates. During the APC National Convention in 2014, he spent several millions of dollars to buy delegates votes and emerged third, after Buhari and Rabiu Kwankwaso.
“On Sunday, he reportedly bought over virtually all the PDP delegates and was declared winner of the PDP presidential primaries. With these huge expenses expended to secure the PDP ticket, how will Atiku recoup his “investment” if not from the public treasury should he win the presidency?
“Our dear President Muhammadu Buhari does not spend a kobo on delegates as he banks only on his proven personal integrity. In any case, how did a retired Customs officer acquire so much wealth to fund his several presidential bids? The source of his wealth is very questionable and his financial resources are definitely ill gotten.”
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