Former Vice-President and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Atiku Abubakar, has expressed worry that some people within the ruling party are plotting to “hijack” the government of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Accusing some unnamed persons of planning to create enmity between him and the president, Atiku warned those individuals or groups “not to constitute themselves into an opposition before the takeoff of Buhari’s government”.
“Suffice it to say that the new administration should be allowed a smooth takeoff and be allowed the atmosphere to deliver,” he said in a statement issued by his media office on Sunday.
The statement added: “It has become crystal clear even to the blind that the motives of these hatchet men who are desperate to take every available newspaper space is to insult, vilify and calumniate the former vice president.
“We cannot allow liars, denigrators and blackmailers and their sponsors to use Atiku as platform to ingratiate themselves with President Buhari and hijack his presidency under the pretext of loving him more than anyone else. These political ventriloquists are hiding behind the cover of anonymity to achieve their sinister agenda of making Atiku the fall guy in the unfolding political developments.
“Make no mistake about it Atiku Abubakar holds Buhari in the highest esteem, and would always remain loyal to him, and support him in every endeavour to succeed as president.
“We, the members of the president’s own family, need to lead in this direction for others to follow for the good of our nation and its peoples.
“Not only did Atiku Abubakar congratulate Buhari after his emergence as the presidential candidate of the APC at the party’s national convention in Lagos, he also handed over his best assets to the Buhari Presidential Campaign.
“The former vice president enthusiastically handled the diplomatic assignment of seeking endorsement for Dr. Adesina as the president of the African Development Bank on behalf of President Buhari and would be available for any other assignments as the president pleases.”
According to Atiku, there is nothing wrong with individuals or groups seeking to pursue their interests, but he noted that such “must be done with the benefit of sustaining our democracy and promoting equity, fair play and justice in mind”.
“Anything to the contrary may jeopardise our hard-earned democracy and constitute a clog in the wheel of the new administration,” he said.
Atiku denied the allegation that he influenced the emergence of the new leaders of the national assembly, describing the development as products of interplay of politics. He called on those still nurturing grievances with the events that heralded the 8th assembly to put the past behind and focus on the task ahead.
“In politics, it is a mistake to expect fixed outcomes. As the president has done, let’s all come to terms with what has happened in the interest of the system and move on,” the statement added.