The rivalry between Atiku Atiku Abubakar , a former Vice President and Presidential Candidate of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, and President Muhammadu Buhari of the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC, is far from being over.
Atiku and Buhari , appear to be using every weapon at their disposal to win the heart of the people to their side against the 2019 Presidential election. The PDP was said to have raised alarm that the Buhari led APC led APC government was using the Ibrahim Magu led Economic and Financial Crimes Commission , EFCC, to cripple it financially by laying siege on suspectede members of the party, including Atiku, the Presidential Candidate and Peter Obi, a business mogul and multi-billionaire, Vice Presidential Candidate ostensibly to freeze their Accounts.
The APC, according to a source , may have been worried, about the source of Funds of the PDP Presidential Campaign Council to finance the Atiku Campaigns that had attracted large crowds in Sokoto and Ibadan, northwest and south west Nigeria respectively .
The ruling APC government may have sent a signal to Atiku that his bank Accounts in the country are under close scrutiny and surveillance when the EFCC, froze the Accounts of Obi, the party Vice Presidential Candidate in some banks in the country. It was a matter of time before the anti-graft agency could move into action to touch the Atiku’s family.
Given the backlash effect that may have resulted if the bank Accounts of Atiku, the PDP , Presidential Candidate , were touched , the party had raised alarm over the weekend of the raid in the homes of Aliyu and Mustapha, the two sons of Atiku, the Turakin of Adamawa, at the Maitama area of Abuja on the pretext of coming after Chiemeka Orji, the son of Theodore Orji, a former PDP, governor of Abia state.
The party had claimed that the raid was ostensibly to search for suspected cache of dollars being the Campaign funds of the PDP Presidential Candidate which were allegedly kept in the custody of the children. This is because keeping such huge amounts in the bank was risky.The Anti-graft personnel were also said to have searched Chiemeka , the former Abia state governor’s son’s house as well to justify their action.
Paul Ibe, an image maker for the Atiku’s family said the government anti- graft agency personnel who had conducted the search on the PDP, Presidential Candidate’s son’s home at Abuja did it in their absence . Ibe confirmed that they could not find the alleged Campaign funds they had suspected were kept in the house by Atiku, their father. The Atiku family spokesman, disclosed that no form of intimidation of Atiku or Obi, by the Buhari government to force them to chicken out from their aggressive Campaign to unseat the APC government next year .
Doyi Okupe, a Chieftain of the PDP, Fears that the freezing of the bank Accounts of close associates of Atiku, to weaken his Presidential Campaign Council would heat up the polity. An angry Okupe declared that ”Atiku is destined to win the 2019 Presidential election’, which Buhari’s aides had said would be won by him .
Given the pressure on the Presidency both within and outside the country, to speak out on the alleged raid and search on Aliyu and Mustapha, the two sons of Atiku, at Abuja, Garba Shehu, a senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity on the orders of the President was said to have issued a Statement on the alleged raid on Atiku’s sons home, describing it as ”fairy tale”.
Shehu, who was a former spokesman to Atiku family but loaned to Buhari during the 2015 , general elections on request, disclosed that he was not surprised at such allegations by the opposition PDP, because the party is good in ”spreading fake news”.
Appealing to Nigerians to ignore the story about the alleged raid that was said to have been ordered by the Buhari led APC government and the alleged blockage of the bank accounts of Obi, his running mate and his other family members, he explained that the party has ”changed to nothing but to a ceaselessly flowing stream of fake news”.
He may have known that the raid on the Atiku’s sons home at Abuja was an unpopular decision that he had to speak out and get more involved in Buhari Presidential Campaigns, by urging Nigerians to be ”wary of a political party with absolutely nothing to offer in the coming elections”.
The Buhari Media Assistant said the PDP has transformed into a ”knight of shining armour, slaying the truth”. Political analysts aver that it was a costly mistake for the EFCC to have tinkered with the option of laying siege at Atiku sons home in order to conduct a search or blocked some of Obi’s banks accounts.
Magu, the EFCC, boss and his men may have been forced to go after the politicians to avoid using stolen funds to fund their Campaigns.
Bukola Saraki, Senate President and Yakubu Dogara, Speaker, House of Representatives are not finding the actions of the presidency funny . The duo had frowned at the plot by the APC government to repeat what happened in the Ekiti and Osun states by buying votes to give an edge to Buhari in the 2019 Presidential elections.
The Presidency was said to have rejected the use of incident Form to bypass the lawful process of accreditation, which Saraki, said had shown that ”security agents are beginning to emerge as major clogs in the country’s election process”.
Mahmood Yakubu , a Professor , and Chairman, Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, has assured Nigerians that there would be nothing like vote buying in next year’s elections. ”Vote buying is unacceptble, it must not be allowed to define the country’s elections”, he said.
Yakubu insists that” it is illegal and morally wrong to resort to vote buying”, nothing that ”it denies the citizens equal representation and gives the nation bad name internationally”. Nigerians , however, are waiting to see how the INEC , boss and an appointee of the President would behave himself in the conduct of the 2019 general elections. This is because of the allegations making the rounds that he had perfected plans to rig the Presidential elections in favour of Buhari, which may not be l true. Already, the President was said to have made it clear to those that care to listen that he is ready to quit office ,” if it is the wish of Nigerians”.