The ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, has called for the arrest of former Vice President and presidential candidate of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Atiku Abubakar, accusing him of committing a felony by behaving like an alternate president.
The party said Abubakar had been making statements that should be the exclusive preserve of a nation’s sovereign, adding that it expected the relevant authorities to enforce the law against him.
But PDP in a swift reaction, said in a statement signed by Deputy National Secretary, Diran Odeyemi: “If the All Progressives Congress, APC, feels that His Excellency, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has made a statement tantamount to security breach, all they need to do is to approach the courts of the land.
“After rigging the 2019 elections, they are trying to add insult to injury by accusing an innocent man of a felony. “Ours is a constitutional democracy where freedom of speech is guaranteed. They can’t stop Atiku from speaking truth to power.
What they have done with this statement is that they are trying to instigate the security agencies to move against him but this too will fail.’’ However, APC in a statement signed by the spokesman, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu, said: “The All Progressives Congress, APC, strongly condemns the 2019 presidential candidate of the oppositions Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, who has now made it a pastime to make public statements on issues, which constitutionally should be reserved for the duly elected head of government or his designees.’’
APC said it would have thought that Atiku, who in the past occupied such high office as the country’s vice president, would clearly understand the workings of government, particularly as it bothered on national security, foreign policy and international engagement.
The statement read: “We have noted Alhaji Atiku’s incessant habits of releasing statements on public issues as if he was an alternative President of this country and with a clear intention to undermine President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC-led government.
“In recent times, Alhaji Atiku has demonstrated a lack of regard for the sovereignty of the office of the President and Nigerian government through condescending statements. He has made several such statements regarding the activities of the Nigerian military, issues of national security, and international relations.
“The latest of such statements is the one he made on the emergence of Mr Boris Johnson as Prime Minister of Britain, even when our duly elected President, who has the responsibility of making an official statement on such matter, has made the position of our country known.
‘’Our laws are clear on all acts of criminalities, in this case, a clear case of felony. Nigerians expect that the enforcement of relevant laws should apply to every Nigerian, irrespective of class and status. This government would not be found wanting where it is required to take decisive actions.’’