Politics

January 12, 2023

Presidency: Tinubu, Atiku trade words over health, credibility status

Tinubu’s FX policy 'hurriedly put together', lacks proper consultations – Atiku

…Worry about ex-VP’s health, credibility, not me, Tinubu tells Nigerians

…You’re unfit to hold office as President, Atiku/Okowa mocks APC ex-Lagos gov, say he is corruption personified

By Dapo Akinrefon, Omeiza Ajayi, LAGOS

Presidential candidates of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and that the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, yesterday, traded words over their health condition and corruption-free status.

Tinubu assured Nigerians of his sound health and corruption-free status, saying Nigerians should, rather, worry about the PDP candidate.

Firing back, the Atiku/Okowa Campaign Organisation lampooned the APC candidate over his failed attempt to impute illness on its Presidential Candidate.

Worry about ex-VP’s health, credibility, not mine, Tinubu tells Nigerians

Tinubu, in a statement, by the Director, Media and Publicity of his Presidential Campaign Council, PCC, Mr Bayo Onanuga, said Atiku must come clean on issues regarding his health and corruption allegations.

The statement reads: “It is time for Atiku Abubakar, the 76-year-old presidential candidate of the PDP to come clean over two issues clouding his campaign: his health status and his scandalous confession of how he colluded with his former boss, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo to fleece the Nigerian treasury, using the special purpose vehicles after he became Vice-President in 1999.”

He said if Atiku has some modicum of honour, he ought to have stepped down from the race that he is bound to lose again, “following the release of his audio clip, in which he provides a vivid explanation of the modus operandi of his legendary corruption.”

Tinubu noted that so far, there has been no notable response from Atiku’s camp about the disturbing revelation, except for a futile attempt to disown the whistle-blower, Michael Achimugu, a media consultant to Atiku.

He, however, noted that Nigerians are appalled that Atiku and PDP are so shameless that they have shrugged off the bombshell.

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“We implore Nigerians, however, to hold Atiku to account over the shocking revelation by rejecting him at the polls in February,” he stated.

Failing health

The statement reads: “Atiku is also not talking about his health status even when his hirelings daily make futile attempts to divert public attention to his main rival by cooking up lies upon lies. Whereas Atiku is the candidate that Nigerians should be sorely worried about.

“The lies of several years and the various diversionary tactics are no longer sustainable. Atiku’s edifice of lies is about to crash on him. The PDP presidential candidate is certainly not okay, the papering efforts notwithstanding.

“Eyebrows were raised when Atiku did not return to the country after the December holidays to continue his lack-lustre and faltering 5th campaign for Nigeria’s presidency.

“Amid the concern by political watchers that Atiku was missing from December 21, 2022, on the field of electioneering campaign, came the story by the online platform Sahara Reporters that Atiku was flown to the United Kingdom, UK from his usual home in Dubai to London for treatment. The story has not been vigorously denied.

“We have it on good authority that Atiku indeed fell ill while missing on the field. He was indeed in the UK for some medical help, though handlers camouflage that he was there on the invitation of some British officials at Whitehall, in a mimic of the earlier visit of the APC rival, Asiwaju Tinubu.

“Despite the efforts by his handlers to showcase Atiku as healthy and physically fit to endure the rigours of the presidential campaign, pictures from rallies have belied this. Campaign pictures sometimes showed him being helped to descend steps at stadia. Sometimes, he walked with an apparent handicap, dragging his feet.”

It noted what it described as the irrefutable insight into Atiku’s health status as revealed by his divorced wife, Jennifer Douglas last year that the PDP standard-bearer was admitted to a German hospital for an operation, amid their bitter divorce.

The statement referenced a viral letter published in February 2022, wherein Jennifer reportedly quoted Atiku’s self-admission that he was in Germany for medicals, which explained why he was unable to retrieve his belongings from a Dubai house that Jennifer had taken over.

“A man who wants to rule Nigeria and wants Nigerians to repose some trust in him must immediately and honestly address these twin issues: his health and his legendary corruption,” Tinubu declared.

APC candidate is corruption personified —Atiku/Okowa Campaign

Reacting to the salvo fired by the APC candidate, the Atiku/Okowa Campaign Organisation said Tinubu has no moral standing to “impugn the impeccable character and integrity of the incoming peoples’ president, Atiku.”

A statement by the spokesman of the campaign organisation, Mr Kola Ologbodiyan, said the campaign organisation has “refrained from Tinubu’s appalling health issues before this ignoble public dance of the Tinubu/Shettima Campaign.”

The statement reads: “The Atiku/Okowa Campaign Organisation mocks the wobbly, wonky and narcotic-devastated presidential Candidate of the APC, Asiwaju Tinubu, over his failed attempt to impute illness on the healthy and energetic presidential candidate of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar.

“The campaign also describes as ludicrous the failed attempt by Tinubu, the famed Lagos property stripper, who has gained notoriety as corruption personified and the living example of the artful dodger, to impugn the impeccable character and integrity of the incoming peoples’ President, Atiku.

“It is imperative to observe that our campaign had focused on issues and refrained from Tinubu’s appalling health issues before this ignoble public dance of the Tinubu/Shettima Campaign.

“However, since Tinubu by himself has opened the channels for Nigerians to examine his ill health, we have no other option than to further expose that the APC candidate must be suffering from manifest Parkinson’s disease accompanied by incontinence.

“For clarity, Parkinson’s disease is a brain disorder whose symptoms include shaking hands, stiffness of limbs, difficulty with coordination, the problem with balance when walking; articulation disorder, memory problems as well as general mental and physical weakness, which are all being witnessed in the APC Presidential Candidate.

“This perhaps accounts for the desperation, the endless gaffes, the articulation errors, the incoherence, the many blunders and disconnection from reality for which Asiwaju Tinubu has become the butt of weird jokes among Nigerians and internationally.

“It is rather unfortunate that the APC presidential candidate, who cannot stand erect or walk up an elevation unaided, who is plagued by visible tremor of the hands, who palpitates at the slightest physical exertion and who is reported in the public space as being challenged by incontinence could attempt to speak on the health status of any Nigerian.

Tinubu must examine himself.

“Moreover, some medical professionals have associated certain cases of nerve cell death with narcotic use and unhealthy lifestyle and our campaign urges Tinubu to examine himself in that regard.

“Furthermore, Nigerians find it incongruous that the tarnished Asiwaju Tinubu who is badgered by a smelly criminal past, including the $460,000 forfeiture sentence for a narcotic-related offence by a court of competent jurisdiction in the United States; alleged looting of Lagos State treasury and stripping of her property; cases of forgery, impersonation, perjury, inconsistencies in name, age as well as questionable educational background, ancestry and genealogy could attempt to speak on corruption and integrity.

“Asiwaju Tinubu should rather hide his face in shame given his malodorous activities for which well-meaning Nigerians have dissociated themselves from his Presidential Campaign.

“In any case, Nigerians are aware that Tinubu is not ethically, physically and mentally fit to hold office as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, unlike the decent, honest, physically, mentally and emotionally fit Atiku Abubakar, who exhibits the manifest readiness, intellectual alertness, capacity and experience to lead our nation at this critical time.

“Those pushing Emilokan’s candidature cannot claim to be unaware that he is not fit to preside over a country of 200 million people. They just don’t wish Nigeria well,” the Campaign Organization added.