The Federal Government has reacted to reports that Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, hired a United States (US) lobbying firm to convince the United States not to recognise the re-election of President Buhari until the Supreme Court has ruled on the suit and news of his fresh posters.
The Federal Government warned Atiku not to take the law into his hands but to allow the court determine the merits, or otherwise of his petition against President Muhammadu Buhari, who won the 2019 presidential election.
The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) had since described the alleged hiring of a US firm as a treasonable move by Atiku and asked security agencies to arrest and interrogate him.
But Atiku had denied hiring any US firm or having a hand in alleged fresh campaign posters being pasted in Abuja. According to him, the developments are plots by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) to frustrate him from reclaiming his “stolen mandate.”
However, addressing a press briefing in Abuja on Thursday, the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, said it was wrong for Atiku, a former Vice President, to resort to self-help in his desire to claim victory in the election.
The minister condemned the alleged fresh campaign posters with the inscription “The Pukka, H.E. Atiku Abubakar, the Real and the Right”.
He said, “The appearance of these posters coincide with the media report that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has hired a US lobbying firm to convince the United States not to recognise the re-election of President Buhari until the Supreme Court has ruled on the suit by the PDP presidential candidate.
“The posters and the hiring of US lobbyists, the latest of such by the PDP candidate, have triggered questions about what Alhaji Abubakar is up to. Is he starting a fresh campaign after the elections have been won and lost?
“Has he rescinded his decision to challenge the results of the presidential election in court, perhaps after realizing that the results he claimed to have obtained from the INEC back server are cooked? Is he now going for self-help? What really is Atiku’s motive?
“Gentlemen, we are aware of media reports that the PDP presidential candidate on Wednesday distanced himself from the posters that are circulating in Abuja. He also reportedly denied hiring US lobbyists, claiming tongue-in-cheek that the APC fabricated the report.
“If the media reports are right, it means that the former Vice President has suddenly realized the grave implication of his actions, hence has decided to beat a quick retreat before it is too late.
“As a self-avowed democrat, he should realize that the only lawful channel for challenging the result of an election is through the courts. Resorting to self-help, as he seems to be doing now, is an act of desperation and the consequences are dire.”