Fresh trouble hits Atiku over anti-Yoruba, Igbo comment

Fresh trouble hits Atiku over anti-Yoruba, Igbo comment

The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has come under fire following his advice to Northerners that they should vote for him in the 2023 election because he hails from the northern region.

Atiku, who stated this during an interactive session with the Arewa Joint Committee in Kaduna on Saturday, told his audience not to support a Yoruba or Igbo candidate about the presidential candidates of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu and his Labour Party counterpart, Peter Obi.

The PDP flag bearer, a Fulani from Adamawa State, declared that what the average Northerner needs is somebody who’s from the North and also understands that part of the country and has been able to build bridges across the country and not a Yoruba or Igbo candidate.

However, his comment has attracted widespread condemnation from the APC, the LP, the New Nigeria People’s Party, the Yoruba socio-cultural group, Afenifere, the apex Igbo group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, and civil society organizations.

Meanwhile, this is happening against the backdrop of the crisis in the PDP which has resulted in the withdrawal of five governors and many members of the Southern bloc of the party from Atiku’s campaign council.

However, there are suggestions that the former Vice-President, through his statement on Saturday, might have breached Section 97 of the Electoral Act, which states thus, “A candidate, person or association that engages in campaigning or broadcasting based on religious, tribal or sectional reason to promote or oppose a particular political party or the election of a particular candidate, commits an offense under this Act and is liable on conviction to (a) a maximum fine of N1m or imprisonment for a term of 12 months or both and (b) in the case of a political party, to a maximum of N10m.’’

CR/VO/PUNCH

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