- Atiku has been warned against resorting to self-help but to follow the lawful channel for challenging the result of the February 23 presidential election
- According to Lai Mohammed, any such attempt to seek an illegal alternative apart from the constitutionally recognised court process would not be taken with levity
- Mohammed added that the presidency is aware that Atiku has denied being behind the controversial posters that surfaced in Abuja recently
The federal government has issued a fresh warning to the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, against resorting to self-help over the outcome of the February 23 presidential election.
The presidency made this known on Thursday, April 11, during a joint briefing by the minister of information and culture, Lai Mohammed, and Mallam Garba Shehu, the senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity, The Nation reports.
According to the presidency, it was aware of the plan by the PDP candidate to hire a US lobbyist in a attempt to convince US president not to recognise the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari in the February 23 presidential election.
It, however, warned Atiku against seeking an illegal alternative apart from the constitutionally recognised court process, adding that such attempt would be dire in consequence.
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Mohammed 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.
“The appearance of these posters coincide with the media report 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?
“Has he rescinded his decision to challenge the results of the presidential election in court, perhaps after realizing that the results he claimed to have obtained from the INEC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? Is he now going for self-help? What really is Atiku’s motive?"
The minister also noted that the presidency is aware that Atiku has denied being the mastermind behind the controversial posters in Abuja. He, however, vowed that the PDP candidate resorting to dubious and mischievous means would not be taken with levity.
He said: “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 realized 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 realize 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."
Recall that Atiku had distanced himself from the posters in circulation in Abuja, saying the election is over and the case already in court. Going further, he insisted that he would not be distracted from retrieving his stolen mandate.
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Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that the special assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on social media, Lauretta Onochie, had said the PDP presidential candidate should counsel himself.
Onochie, who took to her Twitter page to give the warning on Tuesday, April 9, said Atiku was lucky to be walking free.
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