PDP condemns airport humiliation of its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, 'on orders from above'

Atiku Abubakar
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on Sunday, condemned the questioning of its presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA) Abuja, on arrival from a two-week sojourn in Dubai, United Arab Emirate (UAE).

The party which alleged physical manhandling and humiliation of its presidential candidate, in a press statement, gave graphic detail of how the former Vice President was physically harassed by security operatives, "on the orders of the President", condemned the act in very strong terms.

Part of the statement, read: “It was shocking when the deadly squad, in a Gestapo style attack, and acting on ‘orders from above’ rushed our candidate immediately he landed and attempted to physically manhandle him before invading his aircraft with dangerous weapons to conduct a violent search.

“While they did not find anything incriminating on our Presidential candidate, this deadly squad, violently tampered with certain personal documents and gadgets belonging to him, including some of his campaign documents.

“The PDP completely rejects such violence against the person of our Presidential candidate by the Buhari Presidency, which we know has been jittery over Atiku Abubakar’s soaring popularity since his emergence as our candidate.

“We invite the world to note that having failed to drag down our Presidential candidate with spurious allegations and smear campaign, the APC has now resorted to state-backed violence against him and must be held responsible should any harm befall him or any member of his campaign team.

“The PDP is for peace, but we will not accept this recourse to violence, which we believe is orchestrated to directly harm our Presidential candidate, foist a siege mentality on the system and set the stage for series of coordinated violence, ostensibly to truncate a peaceful conduct of the 2019 general election.

“The Buhari Presidency and the APC should bear in mind that this is an attack on our democracy and the collective sensibility of the overwhelming majority of Nigerians, across board, who have accepted the choice of Atiku Abubakar as Nigeria’s next President and they will vigorously deploy every means available in a democracy to defend him and our democratic process.

“Today, Atiku Abubakar, as a Presidential candidate, has the highest demography of supporters and volunteers across our nation and we will not hesitate to call them out in defence of democracy if another such attempt is made against our candidate.

“Nigeria is not a conquered territory and anybody that wants to foist a totalitarian regime on our land will be firmly resisted.

“We invite President Buhari to recall that as a Presidential candidate, he had occasions to travel out of the country and the government in power never besieged or harassed him in any way. His administration should therefore not introduce such violence in our democratic space.

“Finally, the PDP counsels the APC and the Buhari Presidency to know that power belongs to God and that the time has come for Nigerians to choose a new President, for which they have collectively rallied around Atiku Abubakar and that their resort to violence, smear campaign, character assassination and rigging will not change this resolve.”
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