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Tinubu Should Withdraw from Presidential Race, Not Atiku, Says PDP

***Atiku calls for detention , interrogation of Tinubu.

The attempt by the All Progressives Congress (APC) and its presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to distract the public from the problems facing Nigerians was criticized by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) as being irresponsible.

The Atiku/Okowa Presidential Campaign Organization has called for the arrest and interrogation of Senator Tinubu, the APC presidential candidate, and has called the construction of a uniformed squad by the APC code-named “Jagaban Army” a treasonous act.

PDP, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Hon. Debo Ologunagba, has also described as irresponsible Tinubu’s atrocious record and the vexatious misrule of the APC by demanding that the PDP Presidential Candidate, His Excellency Atiku Abubakar should withdraw from the Presidential race on account of simulated allegations by the APC.

The statement reads; “It is indeed ironic that an embattled Tinubu, who is beleaguered by uncountable cases of fraudulent activities, including perjury, forgery, treasury looting, corruption and narcotic-related conviction can attempt to impugn on the unimpeachable integrity of the PDP Presidential Candidate.

“For clarity and for the interest of Nigerians, it is on record that Atiku Abubakar is one of the most investigated public officials in this country. It is also on record that in all the investigations undertaken over him and his affairs, Atiku Abubakar was never found culpable in any of the allegations.

“In contrast however, the APC Presidential Candidate has litany of confirmed legal impediments on very grave issues including those that boarders on international crime, namely; trafficking in narcotic and taking proceeds of narcotic.”

The PDP said that in the recent case revealed in the United States of America, it is on record that the APC Presidential Candidate forfeited the sum of $460,000 which was confirmed and found to be proceed of trafficking in narcotic; an international crime for which Nigeria, being a signatory to International Convention on trafficking in narcotic is obliged to enforce.

“The effect of the conviction and forfeiture of the sum of $460,000 by Asiwaju Tinubu confirms that he is ineligible and not qualified to contest for the Office of the President of Nigeria as required by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended),” the party said.

Explaining further, the PDP said: “For clarity, Section 137 (1) (d) of the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) provides that:(1) “A person shall not be qualified for election to the office of President if… (d) He is under a sentence of death imposed by any competent court of law or tribunal in Nigeria or a sentence of imprisonment or fine for any offence involving dishonesty or fraud (by whatever name called) or for any other offence, imposed on him by ANY COURT or tribunal or substituted by a competent authority for any other sentence imposed on him by such a court or tribunal.”

The PDP said: “Having been convicted, sentenced and fined for narcotic trafficking in a criminal suit filed pursuant to the United States Criminal Code, Asiwaju Tinubu cannot by virtue of Section 137 (1)(d) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) seek office as President of Nigeria.

“The APC Presidential Candidate has not come out to deny the conviction and forfeiture or show evidence of any attempt by him to challenge or appeal the judgment, apparently believing that it will slide with time. Asiwaju Tinubu ought to know that time does not run against the State in a criminal matter!

“He should therefore withdraw from the Presidential race having been found ineligible and not qualified to run or to contest for the Office of the President of Nigeria under the provisions of the Nigerian Constitution.”

In the same vein, Atiku/Okowa Campaign Organization, in a statement by its spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan said that the Jagaban Army, which is apparently set up to disrupt the 2023 general elections and raid the polling units for votes on behalf of APC Presidential candidate, Senator Tinubu, is a direct affront to the Nigeria Armed Forces and other security agencies as well as an assault on the sovereignty of the nation.

“It is reprehensible that Tinubu can create a rogue force just for the purposes of undermining the electoral and security arrangements of our nation.

“Our Campaign holds that this nefarious act of the APC Tinubu/Shettima Campaign lend credence to the position of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and well-meaning Nigerians that Tinubu as well as his rank and file has set out to make our nation ungovernable and therafter disrupt the 2023 Presidential election scheduled for February 25, 2023 using his army of ‘Jagabandits’.

“The notion of Jagaban Army is a ploy to bring hoodlums, thugs and gangsters together under the cover of the APC and turned them into official militia that will be used to unleash mayhem on the day of election.

“This reckless anti-democratic plot by the ‘Jagabandits’ must also be condemned by all lovers of democracy in Nigeria and across the world over,” the campaign said.

The campaign called on the security agencies to save the lives of Nigerians and protect the electoral process by immediately going after this dangerous formation, arrest those behind this design and save the nation from electoral violence.

“Our campaign counsels Tinubu to note that his Presidential ambition is not a do or die affair and that he should not set the nation ablaze just because Nigerians have rejected him and his party, the APC for their mass failures,” the campaign said.

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