Presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the just concluded general elections, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has denied hiring United States lobbyists to help make him President.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) called the election for incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday, February 27, 2019.
The umpire declared Buhari winner of the poll with 15,191,847 votes to Atiku’s 11,262,978 tally.
Atiku rejected the result of the election hours before a formal declaration by INEC.
The Centre for Responsive Politics (CRP) reported this week that Atiku has enlisted the services of a U.S lobbying firm to help declare him winner of the election.
According to CRP, Bruce Fein, a former Justice Department official and his firm, Fein & DelValle PLLC, were registered on March 24 as foreign agents on behalf of the PDP and Atiku, to help with overturning the election outcome and to help with piling pressure on the U.S Congress and President Donald Trump not to recognize Buhari as duly elected president.
The firm had been reportedly asked to “encourage Congress and the executive to forbear from a final declaration and recognition of Nigeria’s February 23, 2019 presidential election, until outstanding legal challenges to the initial government of Nigeria assertion that incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari was the victor are impartially and independently resolved by the supreme court of Nigeria without political or military influence, intimidation or manipulation”.
However, in a press statement issued by Paul Ibe, his spokesperson, Atiku said the entire story is a “total fabrication” from the stable of the governing All Progressives Congress (APC).
He added that it “didn’t come as a surprise to us because lying has become their only bragging rights of competence.”
The statement added that the APC has been piling pressure on Atiku to withdraw his case in court.
“Since Atiku resisted pressure not to go to court, the APC has been behaving like a cat on hot bricks because the outcome of the 2019 elections has exposed and shattered the facade of their dubious integrity.
“The APC are behaving nervously like a thief living under the fear of being exposed and shamed; they are now using fake news against Atiku instead of focusing on defending themselves in the court.
“For a party that has broken the worst record in election rigging, the APC doesn’t have any iota of integrity to be taken seriously by anybody.
“Atiku’s court case has become their biggest burden because it exposes their integrity as a sham, and instead of defending their stolen mandate in court, they are now using fake news to divert public attention from the historic electoral heist they have committed against Nigerians.
“No amount of diversionary propaganda and fake news campaign by APC will stop Atiku Abubakar from continuing the court action he started to reclaim the stolen mandate”, the statement read.
Atiku has repeatedly described the February 23, 2019 election as a “sham” and an “emasculation of democracy”.