The All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential campaign council has dismissed the endorsement of Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), by some socio-cultural groups.
Festus Keyamo, the council spokesman, said the endorsement was engineered and carried out by PDP members and sympathisers.
Earlier on Sunday, five top socio-cultural organisations in the country – namely the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), Northern Elders’ Forum (NEF), Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Afenifere and Middle Belt Forum (MBF) – adopted Atiku, saying he has shown that he will restructure the country if given the mandate.
But reacting via a statement, Keyamo said the same groups had supported the PDP in the 2015 presidential election but the party was still defeated nonetheless.
“As regards the endorsements by the socio-cultural groups, there is no fraud bigger than that of known PDP members and/or hardened PDP sympathizers wearing the apparel of socio-cultural groups, purporting to represent entire regions and endorsing their own political party,” the statement read.
“Their excuse that they are supporting Alhaji Atiku Abubakar because of the bogey called ‘restructuring’ is nothing but a subterfuge. In any case, Ohaneze had said in its earlier release that the first reason they are endorsing Atiku Abubakar is that his running mate is an Ibo man.”
He said while some of the leaders of the various groups have enjoyed government patronage in the past, the proceeds of such patronage have “never trickled down to their people they purport to represent.”
He said this is “in tune with the campaign promise of Atiku Abubakar to enrich only his friends” and as such, “like bees and honey, these people and Atiku Abubakar are attracted to themselves.”
“Unfortunately for them, President Muhammadu Buhari has managed to navigate his way directly to the masses who they purport to represent and is ensuring that the dividends of democracy reach the people directly,” Keyamo added.
“Their annoyance is that they have been eliminated as middlemen. That is why the bond between the masses and President Muhammadu Buhari continue to grow on a daily basis.”
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