The Director General of Voice of Nigeria (VON), Osita Okechukwu, has asked Nigerians to be wary of the desperation of former Vice President and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in the last presidential election, Atiku Abubakar, to rule the country.
Mr Okechukwu stated this on Monday while speaking with journalists on the release of President Bola Tinubu’s certificate by the Chicago State University (CSU) in the United States.
CSU had on Monday released Mr Tinubu’s certificate following a case instituted by Atiku in a U.S. court.
Some people said they had noticed discrepancies in the certificate and the documents presented to INEC by the president, who was the candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 25 February poll.
Mr Okechukwu, a foundation member of the APC, said Atiku lacked the moral ground to speak on the rule of law.
He said the survival of Nigeria’s fledgling democracy and the fragile unity of the country are of premium importance, especially with anti-democratic wind blowing in the West Africa sub-region
“Honestly let’s not cherry pick, can an elder statesman who vehemently breached the rotation convention in his party’s constitution and the subsisting national rotation convention sincerely talk of the rule of law? For it’s trite law that he who comes to equity must come with clean hands.
“Whereas one, like most of our countrymen is concerned over the whirlwind raised over the Chicago State University’s Papers, however, the bottom line is the survival of our nascent democracy.”
He further stated that Atiku’s decision to run for president in violation of the PDP constitution and the party’s principle of rotation, practically facilitated Mr Tinubu’s victory at the poll.
“Let’s not forget that Atiku anointed Tinubu by deliberately breaching the PDP’s Constitution and the national rotation convention which uphold equity, natural justice and good conscience as the armour unifying our dear country,” he said.
Mr Okechukwu asked the PDP candidate “to be bold enough, step down from his high horse and profusely apologise to the entire membership of the PDP he betrayed and his in-laws – Ndigbo, who put all their eggs in the PDP’s basket for over 20 years, hoping that PDP will oblige them their turn in 2023 presidential election.”
He warned Nigerians to resist the temptation of following Atiku’s “inordinate ambition drive to become president to set our dear country on fire”.
“We must not undermine our democracy, which has been improving from every election cycle. Things are hard and agreed, the 2023 presidential election has its flaws, but we cannot risk our fledgling democracy to the windstorm of anti-democrats blowing in our West African sub-region.
“Albeit, democracy we all know is not revolutionary, but evolutionary. Methinks, Atiku’s greed is wittingly or unwittingly driving him to hysteria of either grabbing the presidency by any means or pulling down the house.
“In the eyes of the law, outside cherry picking, Atiku cannot be absolved of infractions on Section 7 of the PDP’s Constitution and the ethos of rotation convention which governed the 4th Republic.
“Recall that in 2014, Atiku stormed out PDP’s convention when Jonathan breached rotation convention and in 2019, only northern presidential aspirants contested PDP’s primary in Port Harcourt and he was the greatest beneficiary and in 2022 he betrayed his great party,” Mr Okechukwu stated.
The VON DG argued that the 25 February presidential election would have been a southern affair between Mr Tinubu and Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP) if Atiku had played statesmanship and complied with the rotation convention of the country and that of the PDP.
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