The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential Candidate, Atiku Abubakar, says he has not issued any statement congratulating President Bola Tinubu over the outcome of the election petition tribunal in Abuja
Mr Paul Ibe, Media Adviser to Abubakar, stated this in a statement issued on Thursday in Abuja in reacting to a purported statement allegedly sent from his boss, congratulating Tinubu on the judgement of the tribunal.
Ibe described the purported statement as fake news being orchestrated by those desperately looking to validate Tinubu’s mandate.
“Abubakar couldn’t have validated electoral banditry because doing so would have amounted to a rape on the conscience of Nigerians who have struggled for years to entrench electoral integrity.
“If their conscience is clear and they are convinced that their victory is valid, they don’t have to blackmail their political opponents into congratulating them through fake news.
“Why should a man be desperate for validation? Does truth require validation?
“Why should you issue a congratulatory statement and attribute it to Abubakar if your conscience is not troubled by the electoral heist you have perpetrated,” he queried.
Ibe said that contrary to the fake news being circulated, Abubakar had already asked his lawyers to proceed to the Supreme Court to challenge the judgement of the election petition tribunal.
“To confirm that the purported message is fake, it was addressed to the ‘President-elect’.
“Though we know it is a pyrrhic victory, is it not ridiculous to still address Bola Tinubu as ‘President-elect’ five months after he had been sworn-in?
“This struggle is not about Atiku; it’s about Nigeria and the future of our democracy. By allowing election riggers to get away with their misdeeds, our democracy will be in greater jeopardy.
“Consent is essential to democratic mandate; ruling people against their will undermines everything democracy stands for,” Ibe said.
He also explained that the PDP presidential candidate was not going into retirement and would instead continue to be part of the struggle to deepen democracy in the country.
“Abubakar has nothing personal against President Tinubu. He owes him no ill will.
“Let me, however, make it very clear that this struggle is about principle and justice. He is not in this struggle because he hates Tinubu. He is in it to ensure that people who rigged elections are not allowed to get away with it.
“Injustice and rigging promote bitterness and division. No leader should be proud to lead angry and aggrieved citizens,” Ibe said.