Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has dismissed Bola Tinubu’s call for healing after a violent election as the height of hypocrisy.
Tinubu had in a statement he personally signed said he was saddened by the infractions in some states as well as the divisive rhetoric that characterised the polls.
Atiku’s Special Assistant on Public Communication, Mr. Phrank Shaibu, in a statement on Tuesday, however, described Tinubu’s statement as an after-thought and hypocritical garbage.
He said it was curious that Tinubu was talking about reconciliation after his minions allegedly attacked Igbo voters in Lagos in order to give his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) advantage during the governorship election.
Shaibu said transport hooligans, politicians and even traditional leaders in Lagos who were seen on video threatening non-indigenes were being protected.
He said, “Tinubu’s latest statement is laced with hypocrisy and lies. For a whole month, traditional leaders, transport hooligans and politicians 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 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.
“On the day of election, many people who looked Igbo were beaten and prevented from voting but Tinubu kept mute. Now that the election is over, 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 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.
Atiku’s aide added, “We commend the US and the EU governments for condemning the violence and intimidation that marred the governorship election especially in Lagos.
“But the US knows the identities of the perpetrators of violence and ought to have mentioned their names. MC Oluomo is an American citizen. The US must also go further by mentioning the names of others including the traditional rulers in Lagos who were complicit.
“The US has in the past openly condemned Vladmir Putin of Russia and others found wanting in other countries. This is not the time for political correctness. Those who will be slammed with visa bans should be named and shamed.”
Shaibu maintained that there could be no reconciliation without restitution. He said anything short of this would not heal any wounds.
Atiku’s aide further argued that Tinubu had shown from his electioneering that he had no plan to unite Nigeria but was only after power.
“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,” he said.
“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! There will be no reconciliation until MC Oluomo and all his minions who took part in issuing threats and brutalising people are diligently prosecuted.”