By Dirisu Yakubu
ABUJA- The Atiku Presidential Campaign Organization, APCO, the campaign team of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar has berated the All Progressives Congress, APC-led administration for allegedly engaging in a premeditated intimidation tactic following Sunday’s search of Atiku’s aircraft on arrival at the Abuja airport from Dubai.
The campaign organization in a statement Monday, premised its stand on an earlier statement credited to the APC, wherein it accused Atiku of plans to move into the country “illicit cash” from Dubai where he spent three weeks until his return recently.
The statement read: “On November 5, 2018, e, the APC released an official statement accusing former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar of having strategy meetings for the purpose of moving “illicit cash” into Nigeria and they asked the security services to investigate Atiku and his plane.
“To quote from the APC’s statement, the ruling party said ‘Our intelligence, anti-graft and security agencies must be awake to its responsibility of investigating the Dubai meeting. Cash and carry politicians must be prevented from moving illicit cash around to induce voters and sponsor election violence and rigging. Again, relevant agencies must check suspicious movement of cash both locally and internationally by politically exposed persons under the guise of a “Dubai meeting” or any clandestine meeting.”
Accordingly, APCO said the statement evinced an obvious premeditated intention by the APC and its federal government to deliberately embarrass the former Vice President by invading his plane with security personnel and possibly to set him up for the crimes they had already officially accused him of in their statement.
APCO further condemned denial by the APC and the Presidency of any hand in the ordeal of the former Vice President, saying it “put to lie when you examine their statement of last week which was clearly what was implemented against the former Vice President. It also shows that both parties have no credibility and will do or say anything to further their interests.”
It described the statement by the aviation ministry that the search of Atiku’s plane was “routine” as an afterthought that does not hold water for the simple reason that the PDP Presidential candidate has been flying in and out of Nigeria without ever receiving such a treatment until the APC released their statement.
“APCO wishes to remind Nigerians and the international community that by Nigeria’s constitution, only the President can order the deployment of military and paramilitary personnel as Commander-in-Chief.
“That, combined with the statement released last week is proof beyond a reasonable doubt that what happened to was not a routine exercise, but a deliberate attempt to intimidate him by those who have seen the political handwriting on the wall,” the statement further read.