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We don’t need to recruit thugs when we’re coasting to victory, Atiku replies APC

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Says ambition not worth anybody’s blood

By Dirisu Yakubu

Presidential candidate of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has expressed confidence that he is coasting to victory in the election.

He also denied allegations by the ruling party that his camp recruited thugs to disrupt the election, wondering why the PDP would do so “when we are winning.”



Atiku’s reaction came against the backdrop of allegations by spokesman of Buhari Campaign Organisation, Festus Keyamo, on Saturday that PDP was recruiting thugs to attack collation centres overnight.

Keyamo alleged: “It has come to our knowledge from insiders within the PDP Campaign Council who are making last-minute efforts to switch allegiance to President Muhammadu Buhari and All Progressives Congress that the PDP is currently recruiting thugs and miscreants nationwide to attack ward and local government collation centres this evening till the wee hours of tomorrow morning.

“The purpose is to disrupt the collation process of the elections nationwide in order to cause crisis and make this election inconclusive. As we know, most of these collation centres are usually in schools or other places that are poorly protected.”

2019 elections: No going back on manual results collation, transmission – INEC

But in a statement issued on his behalf by Phrank Shaibu, yesterday,  Atiku asked Buhari to instead call the “wilder elements” in his party to order.

He  also thanked PDP supporters who “conducted themselves so peacefully, despite the significant provocations and threats of violence.

“General Buhari, you have promised our people and the world that you would conduct ‘free, fair and credible elections’ so please call off the wilder elements within your party and deliver on your promise.

“I am familiar with how brazen and the complete lack of shame the APC can exhibit, but even I was shocked to witness just how low they went last night (Saturday) by accusing PDP of ‘recruiting armed thugs’ to do just that. Why would we want to do that when we are winning?”

Decries violence

Meanwhile, Atiku has condemned the violence, which characterised Presidential and National Assembly elections on Saturday, reiterating his earlier stand that his quest for the exalted office was not worth the blood of any Nigerian.

According to him, no politician should celebrate his political gains if they are written with the blood of innocent Nigerians.

He said no Nigerian, including innocent youth corps members, deserved to die for the sake of any man’s political ambition.

Atiku in a statement signed by his Media Adviser, Paul Ibe, said innocent Nigerians that died won’t be forgotten for their sacrifices, adding that political violence, which is being aided and abetted by desperate politicians, was giving the nation’s democracy a bad name.

He added that those who climbed the ladder of human lives to attain power have brought Nigeria’s democracy into disrepute, adding that it was high time Nigerian youth opened their eyes to resist being used to kill and maim.

“The real enemies worth fighting are poverty, unemployment, hunger, nepotism, division, despair and uncertain future,” Atiku said.

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