By Mustapha Yauri
The 2019 Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has been described as not in the same democratic league with the late Chief Moshood Abiola and Dr Alex Ekwueme.
The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) said in a statement on Sunday in Abuja that it was “evil for anyone to make such comparison’’.
The statement was signed by BMO’s Chairman Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke.
The group said the comparison that Atiku media handlers are trying to sell to Nigerians was totally off the mark.
“Facts on the ground do not support this position they made in response to Federal Government’s allusion to Atiku as a threat to the nation’s democracy,’’ the group said.
BMO said it was another attempt by Atiku media handlers to rewrite history in order to paint Atiku in good light.
“Anyone that is saddled with the task of painting a good picture of a serially tainted politician would throw words around and hope that no one would notice the fallacies,’’ it said.
The statement said Atiku’s political antecedents cannot be associated with that of a democrat.
“Here is a man that is willing to move and has actually moved three times between two different ruling parties and the opposition after failing to have his way.
“None of the people his media men have name-checked in their recent statement has had to change parties to satisfy a selfish desire.
“Both men were known to have suffered perceived injustices in their political journey, but like true democrats, they stayed back to help build their respective political parties,’’ the statement said.
It said Atiku was a desperate politician that was known to have threatened violence at a forum in Abuja, shortly after he lost PDP Presidential ticket in a bitter contest to then President Goodluck Jonathan.
“Before then, there was an unprecedented intra-party acrimony that was so characterised by mudslinging that the then opposition Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) had to issue a statement calling for peace in the ranks of the ruling PDP.
“These facts are very much in the public domain, so it is preposterous that the Atiku camp is seeking to feed Nigerians with a red herring,” the group said.
BMO also wondered why the former vice president and his media handlers would seek to rubbish history with false narratives on the actual role he played in the dying days of military rule.
“His media aides want Nigerians to believe that he joined forces with MKO Abiola and Ekwueme to fight the then Abacha dictatorship, but nothing could be farther from the truth.
“Nigerians would recall that Atiku Abubakar was a ranking member of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) on whose platform Abiola ran for the Presidency on June 12, 1993.
“Since he lost out in his bid to be the running mate to Abiola, he clearly went off the political radar and was not even known to play a major role in the electioneering campaigns,’’ the group said.
The statement noted that there was also no record of his participation in efforts spearheaded by activists to force the military government to respect the wish of the people.
It added that even when Ekwueme took up the gauntlet to lead the political opposition against the late General Abacha, Atiku was never part of the politicians in the forefront of that initiative.
The group maintained that the only time Atiku and Ekwueme could be mentioned in the same sentence is when a list of the country’s former Vice Presidents is drawn.
“Yes both of them were Vice Presidents at different times, but Nigerians know that while one is the epitome of loyalty and had been acknowledged by his principal, the other had on several occasions been described in uncomplimentary terms by his own,” it said.