The All Progressives Congress (APC) has advised Atiku Abubakar, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate to get his lawyers to plead his case in court rather than leading a street protest.
Mr Bayo Onanuga, Director, Media and Publicity, APC Presidential Campaign Council (PCC), gave the advice in a statement on Monday in Abuja.
The statement was the APC PCC’s reaction to an Atiku-led protest organised by PDP members against the outcome of the Feb. 25 Presidential and National Assembly election.
Onanuga also advised Abubakar to respect his age and the high office of the Vice-Presidency of Nigeria he once occupied.
“When the defeated Atiku Abubakar told the whole world last week that he would seek redress in court over the outcome of the election, little did we know that he did not plan to be guided by his own promise.
“Going by his political antecedents, it was rather not surprising that Atiku, days later, led a band of protesters, nay jesters in Abuja, to the Headquarters of Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
“What was on display today by Alhaji Atiku and his motley crowd was a new low from the perennial election loser.
“With Atiku staging a theatre of the absurd, we fail to see how a march to INEC by a scanty crowd will provide any victory window for him and his fragmented PDP,” Onanuga said.
He added that the only recourse open to Atiku after the electoral umpire declared Sen. Bola Tinubu, a former two-term Governor of Lagos State as President-elect, was the Election Petition Tribunal.
Onanuga further added that instead of Atiku and his party wisely spending their time gathering the so-called evidence they hope to present before the courts, they were busy dancing on the streets.
He said they were also causing traffic nuisance to residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT)who were going to work on a Monday morning.
Onanuga added that the APC PCC does not expect a former Vice-President of Nigeria, a statesman and a presidential candidate to be so jobless as to have time to disturb public peace.
This, he said, was especially over an electoral outcome he had already said he would challenge in court.
“We want to admonish Alhaji Atiku to respect his age and the high office of the Vice-Presidency of Nigeria he once occupied.
“He should stop being teleguided by Dino Melaye, who disclosed scandalously that N400 billion was wasted on the election, which was clear at the outset that Atiku was bound to lose.
“Atiku should avoid being misdirected by other court jesters in his party, who continued to campaign after the election, still spewing their inanities against the President-elect,” Onanuga said.
He described such persons as mere comic characters in a travelling theatre group, saying that INEC headquarters was not a court where the prayers of Atiku could be answered.
Onanuga stressed that no amount of theatrical display would give Atiku and his party succour, adding that the honourable and lawful path to take was for him to get his lawyers to plead his case in court.
“He should stop throwing tantrums like a baby whose candy was taken away over an election he clearly lost due to his own poor judgment.
“Mismanagement of his own party and violation of power rotational arrangement between the North and the South.
“The PDP presidential candidate dug his own grave, in his last election and, absurdly, he is trying to rewrite the script of his own utter failure,” Onanuga said.
Onanuga wondered how Atiku and his party hoped to win when he had admitted that Peter Obi, the Labour Party presidential candidate, his running mate in 2019, ran away with traditional PDP votes from the South-East and South-South.
The APC PCC Director of Media and Publicity said it was preposterous that while Atiku was disturbing public peace, chanting phantom electoral victory, Obi was making the same claim.
“We think both men have embarrassed themselves enough and it is high time they both resolved who between them is the supposed winner that will challenge our party’s victory in court.
“We advise Atiku to retire honourably from politics and move to his abode in Dubai. At 77 in November, Atiku does not have age on his side again.
“He had participated in his last election and hopefully, he had learnt worthy lessons, never to place his selfish interest above party and established principles in his party and the polity,” Onanuga said.