President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration has warned the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, of the “dire consequences” to expect if he continues “overheating the polity.”
Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture, delivered the warning in Abuja on Thursday while briefing journalists in the company of Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity.
KanyiDaily reported that Atiku paid the sum of $30,000 to a foreign law firm in Washington DC, the United States of America, to lobby the American government to recognize him as the ‘authentic’ winner of the presidential election.
Although, Atiku denied the allegation, Mohammed said the presidential candidate had been resorting to desperation which has dire consequences.
Controversial posters of Atiku with ‘strange’ inscription have also surfaced in Abuja; and although the former Vice President has since dissociated himself from the posters, Mohammed warned Atiku to remember that the courts are the only permissible channel for challenging the result of the election.
Mohammed advised Atiku not to give the impression that he does not have confidence in the country’s judicial system. He said:
“As you must have noticed in recent times, posters bearing the picture of former Vice President and the presidential candidate of the PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, with the inscription ‘THE PUKKA, H.E. ATIKU ABUBAKAR, THE REAL AND THE RIGHT’, have surfaced across major streets in Abuja,” Mohammed said.
“The appearance of these posters coincide with the media reports that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has hired a US lobbying firm to convince the United States not to recognize the re-election of President Buhari until the Supreme Court has ruled on the suit by the PDP presidential candidate
“The posters and the hiring of US lobbyists, the latest of such by the PDP candidate, have triggered questions about what Alhaji Abubakar is up to. Is he starting a fresh campaign after the elections have been won and lost?”
Mohammed wondered if Atiku had rescinded his decision to challenge the results of the presidential election in court, perhaps after realizing that the results he claimed to have obtained from the INEC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. He said:
“Is he now going for self-help? What really is Atiku’s motive?” he asked.
“Gentlemen, we are aware of media reports that the PDP presidential candidate on Wednesday distanced himself from the posters that are circulating in Abuja. He also reportedly denied hiring US lobbyists, claiming tongue-in-cheek that the APC fabricated the report.
“If the media reports are right, it means that the former Vice President has suddenly realised 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 realise that the only lawful channel for challenging the result of an election is through the courts. Resorting to self-help, as he seems to be doing now, is an act of desperation and the consequences are dire.”