The National Coalition of Niger Delta Ex-militants and Youth For Atiku/Obi 2019, has expressed shock over “the Gestapo-styled treatment” of the Peoples Democratic Party presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, who was searched after landing the Abuja airport on Sunday after his two-week rest in the United Arab Emirates, UAE.
The Coalition, in a statement issued yesterday in Abuja and signed by its National Co-Ordinator, Eshanekpe Israel, a.k.a Akpodoro, condemned in strong terms the physical manhandling of the former Vice President with dangerous weapons under the guise of conducting a search.
The group said: “We completely reject such abuse and disrespect of the person of our presidential candidate by the APC government, which we know has become very jealous of Atiku Abubakar’s soaring popularity since his emergence as our candidate.”
Akpodoro said any such attack on Abubakar would be resisted by people of the Niger Delta and Nigerians in general.
The Coalition boss wondered why ”the Federal Government would deploy a detachment of Army, Police, Custom & Immigration officers to surround and then search his plane. What were they hoping to find? What is Buhari afraid of? Why this harassment?”
The Akpodoro-led Coalition stated: “We in the Niger Delta region heartily welcome our leader after his trip to Dubai, where he went to plan a new future for us in a strenuos effort towards building a new Nigeria where the masses would cry no more.”
The ex-militant leader dismissed the rumour that the former Vice President was on medical trip in the UAE, and maintained that the PDP presidential candidate was “super fit” and may not need medical attention in the next one decade. Today, we are happy that our presidential hopeful is here with us, shame to bad people.”
Abubakar’s trip abroad, the group noted, was to brainstorm with experts and critical stakeholders in the Nigeria project, to chart a new course for the growth and development of Nigeria and her citizens, insisting that governance was a serious business.
Abubakar’s administration, the Coalition said, will fight the monster of corruption to a new height without favouritism, being a shrewd businessman and an administrator of repute who has cut a niche himself both in governance and in the corporate world.
The Coalition called on President Muhammadu Buhari to begin preparing his handover note, expressing assurance that the citizens were in a hurry to vote out a “lackadaisical government of pains and sorrows.”