The All Progressives Congress (APC) on Friday, April 12, filed a motion at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal in Abuja saying Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has no right to challenge the result of the election as he was not a Nigerian.
The APC said Atiku’s case lacked merit as he was a Cameroonian and therefore has no right to stand for election.
The lead counsel, Lateef Fagbemi faulted the candidacy of Atiku saying he was ineligible to participate in the election in the first instance. He said Atiku was born on November 25, 1946, in Jada, Adamawa, in Northern Cameroon and is, therefore, a citizen of Cameroon and not a Nigerian by birth.
The ruling party's allegation has caused heated reactions from Nigerians on social media, particularly on Twitter. Legit.ng highlights some of the reactions
There are those who believe the APC's move is wrong. Ogunsola Ayodeji M., for instance, believed that the APC's allegation is 'funny'.
"Nigerians can be funny...After being the comptroller general of Nigerian custom, Gove
Nigerians can be funny.....
After being the comptroller general of Nigerian custom
Governor of Adamawa
Vice President of Nigeria
More than one time Presidential aspirant
Now is the time we realize he is from Cameroon ," he tweeted.
Note: Atiku was never a comptroller general of Nigerian custom as claimed in the tweet.
Ibu Thomas also condemned the APC for challenging Atiku's citizenship. He tweeted: "The @OfficialAPCNg said Adamawa state is not part of Nigeria, that @Atiku is a Cameroonian. Me: should Adamawa votes for @OfficialAPCNg be canceled? This means that the @OfficialAPCNg has ceded Adamawa to Cameroon Republic #APCDesperation"
Onyedika Anambra equally berated the ruling party for the allegation. His tweet below:
However, some sections of Nigerians also believe that the APC's allegation could be true. Ayekooto's tweet headlines this position. He tweeted: "Obasanjo is your hero but he said Atiku has paternal issues. Nnamdi Kanu is your hero, he said Atiku is from Cameroon! In fact, Kanu said he would remove his underwear if his allegation on Atiku is false."
Retson Tedheke considered the APC's move as a tit-for-tat. Recall that the PDP has repeatedly challenged President Muhammadu Buhari's SSCE certificate even after the president obtained his attestation of result from the West African Examination Council (WAEC). Thus, Tedheke believed the APC 'responded in kind' by challenging Atiku's citizenship.
Meanwhile, there are also hilarious reactions to the allegation. See some of them below:
Kemi Ariyo tweeted: "First, it was Buhari. Buhari suddenly became JUBRIL from Sudan.
Now Atiku is not a Nigerian, he is from CAMEROON
What Nigeria politics does to politicians brain ehn...their brain is just turnionionown"
"I am just finding out that Atiku is not a Nigerian. They say he is a Cameroonian. APC we hail. ," Elsie Godwin also tweeted.
"The APC legal team that accused Atiku of not being a Nigerian," Chuck Obidimma tweeted, sharing a picture some Nollywood comedians wearing lawyers' apparel.
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Meanwhile, Atiku has also reacted to the APC's claim. Atiku, who spoke through his media aide, Paul Ibe, on Friday, April 12, said it is an insult to Nigerians and the office of Vice President, which he (Atiku) occupied for eight years, for the APC to allege that he is not a Nigerian.
His words: “That is idiotic. It is idiotic. And it is ridiculous. Atiku Abubakar is a former vice president of Nigeria. Are they telling us that a former vice president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is not a Nigerian? That is disrespectful to Nigerians and for the office he has held, which other people will hold and will continue to hold. Everything must not be on the alter of politics."
Legit.ng notes that this is not the first time Atiku's citizenship is being questioned. Prior to the 2019 presidential election, a group known as the Egalitarian Mission for Africa had asked the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja to disqualify Atiku from contesting.
The group in a suit alleged that the PDP’s presidential candidate is not a citizen of Nigeria by birth and as such not fit to contest in the election. The group argued that when Atiku was born on November 25, 1946, Jada village and other parts of Chamba land in the then Northern Cameroon were still known as British Cameroons.
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2019 Election: Atiku heads to court to contest election result, can he win? | Legit TV