Atiku is a Facebook politician – Babachir Lawal

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Immediate-past Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir Lawal has described presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar as a “Facebook” politician.

Lawal, who spoke in an interview published by Saturday Sun, said that Atiku goes after online voters while neglecting the millions of voters who do not use smartphones or go on the internet.

He said, “Atiku is a Facebook politician. He gets all these smart boys and gives them laptop or smart phone and they write. They write anything they like. And then you go back and say ah, I am very, very popular or they organise bogus survey. Look, those who vote don’t have smart phones, they don’t have TV, and they just have in their minds that it is Buhari they want. The voter does not watch television. He doesn’t have time even if there is electricity in his village or even if there is GSM network in his village. He doesn’t have the money to buy data bundle. So, they are just deceiving people and just deceiving themselves, thinking that PDP has something and I think PDP, their campaign structure has disintegrated.”

The ex-SGF, who hails from Adamawa State like Atiku, said that the PDP presidential candidate cannot compare to President Muhammadu Buhari in the running for president.

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Responding to a question on why he did not support his kinsman, Lawal said, “Why will you want to prefer your kinsman if the other person will do a better job for you? In the end, it will translate to your own personal position in life. I mean, you say security, economic prosperity and whatever are your ambitions in life as a person. The man who will create an environment in which you can pursue that ambition and sustain it is more important to you. It is possible that my younger brother, of the same father, the same mother, will perform worse for me than a stranger.”

Still on supporting a “stranger” against his “kisnman”, Lawal said, “I don’t like to discuss this. It is not a personal thing. It is not about Atiku alone per se, it is about PDP as a political party. There are many people in the PDP. It is not just about Atiku, but Atiku is their flag bearer. One thing I can assure you categorically is that come next month after the election, APC will win Adamawa with a landslide, the presidency not withstanding that Atiku is an indigene of the state. Because even in the state, everybody understands that it is a matter of comparison between two. Everywhere all over the country, if it is a matter of choice, you place Atiku side by side with Buhari, it is doubtful if anybody will pick Atiku. Is it experience? Buhari has more experience. He was head of state, Atiku was only vice president. Is it height? Buhari is taller. Is it looking fine? Buhari looks a fine man. So, whatever it is. Is it integrity? Whatever! There is no comparison at all. That simplifies the issues for us, the fact that it is a straight-forward choice before the voter. It is a straight choice between Atiku and Buhari. So, there is no comparison at all. There is none.”


John is a University of Lagos-trained journalist. His views are always the end products of a deliberate search for information and knowledge. He has read almost every novel written by Chinua Achebe, Jeffrey Archer and Dan Brown. He is an expert Scrabble and draughts player who is also excellent at swimming. If you know the capitals of 45 African countries by heart, then you are exactly like him.

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