The Director, Media and Publicity, APC Presidential Campaign Council, Bayo Onanuga, has said it is time for the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, to come clean on his health status and the corruption allegation against him.
This was after audio leaked by Atiku’s former aide, Michael Achimugu, purportedly revealed the moment the former vice president opened up on colluding with his former boss, ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo, to fleece Nigeria’s treasury during their administration.
Onanuga, in a statement on Wednesday, urged the PDP candidate to step down from the 2023 presidential race because the audio provided a vivid explanation of the modus operandi of his legendary corruption.
In the statement, titled, ‘Atiku Should Speak On His Health And Corruption By SPV,’ Onanuga faulted the silence from Atiku’s camp about the audio and the attempt to disown the whistleblower.
The statement read in part, “Nigerians are appalled that Atiku and PDP are so shameless that they have shrugged off the bombshell.
“We implore Nigerians, however, to hold Atiku to account over the shocking revelation by rejecting him at the polls in February.
Atiku is also not talking about his health status even when his hirelings daily make futile attempts to divert public attention to his main rival by cooking up lies upon lies. Whereas Atiku is the candidate that Nigerians should be sorely worried about. The lies of several years and the various diversionary tactics are no longer sustainable. Atiku’s edifice of lies is about to crash on him. The PDP presidential candidate is certainly not okay, the papering efforts notwithstanding.”
The APC PCC media director stated that Atiku’s handlers were portraying the former VP as healthy even though his public appearances proved otherwise.
He said, “Eyebrows were raised when Atiku did not return to the country after the December holidays to continue his lacklustre and faltering fifth campaign for Nigeria’s presidency. Amid the concern by political watchers that Atiku was missing from December 21, 2022, on the field of electioneering campaign, came the story by the online platform Sahara Reporters that Atiku was flown to the UK from his usual home in Dubai to London for treatment. The story has not been vigorously denied.
“We have it on good authority that Atiku indeed fell ill while missing on the field. He was indeed in the UK for some medical help, though handlers camouflage that he was there on the invitation of some British officials at Whitehall, in a mimic of the earlier visit of the APC rival, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
“Despite the efforts by his handlers to showcase Atiku as healthy and physically fit to endure the rigors of the presidential campaign, pictures from rallies have belied this. Campaign pictures sometimes showed him being helped to descend steps at stadia. Sometimes, he walked with an apparent handicap, dragging his feet.
“The irrefutable insight into Atiku’s health status was the revelation by his divorced wife, Jennifer Douglas, last year that Atiku was admitted to a German hospital for operation, amid their bitter divorce.
“In a viral letter published in February 2022, Jennifer quoted Atiku’s self-admission that he was in Germany for medicals, which explained why he was unable to retrieve his belongings from a Dubai house that Jennifer had taken over.”
An excerpt of the letter cited by Onanuga quoted Atiku as saying, “I hear you have moved to Dubai to take over the house. I am still in Germany for my medicals. Make sure all my properties including (redacted) are intact so I can collect all my properties. I wish you well.”
Jennifer then responded, “Excellency, I am left with no other option as we need to get on with our lives amicably. I hope your medicals are coming up well. I wish you well too.”
In conclusion, Onanuga said if Atiku wanted Nigerians to repose some trust in him, he must “immediately and honestly address these twin issues: his health and his legendary corruption.”