The All Progressives Congress (APC) has described as a “mirage and 419 packaging” the much vaunted wealth of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
The party made this known in a statement by its Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena, adding that the PDP was at a crossroads on how to fund the 2019 presidential campaign as Atiku had told them he expected the party to fund his campaign.
According to Nabena, who had called on the Federal Government to order a probe of Atiku’s strategic meeting in Dubai, the meeting was called to map out plans to engage in money laundering ahead of the elections.
However, he said the watchful eyes of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration had prevented such, leaving the PDP in a serious dilemma.
The statement read, “The Presidential candidate expects the party to provide funds for his campaign. This is the Buhari Era, an era of strict accountability and transparency in the use and application of public funds and not the Jonathan Era in 2015 when the national treasury was opened to PDP leaders to prosecute the Presidential campaign.
“The party leaders are, therefore, in serious difficulty and dilemma on how to source funds to run the Atiku Presidential Campaign. Some financiers of the party expect that the candidate, having bought the ticket with millions of dollars should have the financial capacity to run his campaign.
“With the candidate’s expectation that it is the party that will fund his campaign, it is now clear that they are at a crossroads and the chickens have come home to roost.
“The anti-corruption agencies should gird their loins and ensure that all sources of campaign funds by political parties are closely monitored and recover the funds looted during the Jonathan era. Such recovered funds should be applied for the benefit of the poor masses who were denied democracy dividends during the 16 years misrule of the PDP.
“It is now clear to the members of the PDP who were deceived into believing that their presidential candidate is a man of stupendous wealth that it is all a mirage, a 419 packaging and that they entered a ‘one chance’ bus.
“As we approach February 2019 when General Elections will be held in Nigeria, the electorate are becoming more conscious and aware of the deceitful nature of their so-called leaders. Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the Presidential Candidate of the PDP is nationally known as a man of immense wealth.
“Apart from his being a retired officer of the Department of Customs and Excise not above the rank of Deputy Director, and not known to have been an exceptionally successful businessman, his claims to stupendous wealth and sources are questionable and lack credibility.
“During the ‘dollar rain’ at the Port Harcourt Convention of the Party, he outspent all the other aspirants and easily clinched the party’s Presidential ticket. Having emerged without the support of the ‘Governor-General’ of the party, who had earlier produced the party’s National Chairman and ordered the party to hold its convention in Port Harcourt, Alhaji Atiku is now on ‘his own’ in bankrolling his campaign.
“The Nigerian Electorate has a better alternative – to stick to the clean, honest and transparent leadership of Muhammadu Buhari, who has done so much to ensure better future for them after the 16 years misrule of the PDP.”
However, the PDP has warned the APC against fixating on its candidate.
The main opposition party urged the ruling APC to prepare for excruciating defeat at the polls as Nigerians have rejected it.
In a statement through its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP said, “APC is jittery but what is even their business about the state of our finances. 2019 is not about who has more money but about the need to rescue Nigeria.
“Having seen through their lies, Nigerians have resolved to vote out the incompetent and clueless Buhari. They can say whatever they like but our advice to them is that they should start packing their bags because their time is up.
“They have nothing to offer but Nigerians want Atiku to come and heal our land and Insha Allah, Atiku will send Buhari home in 2019.”