By John Alechenu, Abuja
The presidential candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has dismissed calls by the President-elect, Bola Tinubu’s call for healing “after a violent election” as the height of hypocrisy.
He, however, commended the United States government for condemning the violent and ethnically charged election in Lagos State.
Tinubu had, in a statement, expressed sadness at what he described as “infractions in some states as well as the divisive rhetoric that characterised the polls.”
In response, Atiku who spoke through his Special Assistant on Public Communication, Mr. Phrank Shaibu, in a statement on Tuesday, described Tinubu’s statement as an “after-thought and hypocritical garbage.”
He said it was curious that Tinubu was talking about reconciliation after his loyalists attacked Igbo voters in Lagos in order to give his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), advantage during the governorship election.
Shaibu said Tinubu had continued to protect transport hooligans, politicians and even traditional leaders in Lagos, who were seen on video threatening non-indigenes.
He said: “Tinubu’s latest statement is laced with hypocrisy and lies. For a whole month, traditional leaders, transport hooligans and politicians in his camp threatened non-indigenes but Tinubu kept mute.
“His lackey, MC Oluomo, who is a member of his Presidential Campaign Council, was seen on video threatening Igbo people but Tinubu said nothing.
“His campaign spokesmen, Bayo Onanuga and Femi Fani-Kayode, went on social media to warn Igbo people against exercising their franchise but Tinubu looked the other way.
“Traditional rulers imposed curfews and went about slaughtering goats and placing them in front of polling units but Tinubu said nothing.
“A traditional leader and council chairman in Gbara community, Eti Osa local government summoned non-indigenes to a meeting where they threatened non-indigenes with eviction if they failed to vote for the APC but Tinubu said nothing.
“Those invited by the Police ignored invitations because Tinubu is shielding them.
“On the day of election, many people who looked Igbo were beaten and prevented from voting but Tinubu kept mute.
“Now that his party has stolen the election, he has found his voice and is preaching reconciliation. He should tell that to the marines.
“If Tinubu is serious, he should ensure that all those found culpable are arrested and prosecuted. But we know he cannot do this because he is their godfather.”
Shaibu also described the statement by the US Embassy in Nigeria condemning the violence meted out to the Igbo as a welcome development.
He, however, said the US ought to have gone further by mentioning the names of those found culpable and exposing the identities of those it will hit with visa restrictions.
The Atiku aide added, “We commend the US and the EU governments for condemning the violence and intimidation that marred the governorship election especially in Lagos where Tinubu’s henchmen held the state to ransom.
“This is not the time for political correctness. Those who will be slammed with visa bans should be named and shamed,” he added.
Shaibu maintained that there could be no reconciliation without restitution. He said anything short of this would not heal any wounds.
He further argued that Tinubu had shown from his electioneering that he had no plan to unite Nigeria but was only after one thing – power and the resources of Nigeria.
Shaibu said, “Tinubu is only after power. Before he took over power, Lagos was known for its urbane and accommodating nature. The late Nnamdi Azikiwe built his political base and business empire in Lagos.
“Mbonu Ojike, born in Imo State, was the Deputy Mayor of Lagos in 1951. Many others from around the country and beyond built businesses and political careers in Lagos unmolested.
“But on Bola Tinubu’s watch, Lagos has become an intolerant state where non-indigenes are openly beaten on election day and threatened with eviction if they don’t vote for his party. Now he seeks reconciliation? What a joke!”
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