Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has replied a recent claim from the All Progressive Congress (APC).
The APC had claimed the former vice president is not a Nigerian by birth and stands disqualified from contesting for the exalted office in the country.
The ruling party made the submission while responding to the petition of the number two citizen and his party, claiming President Muhammadu Buhari is not qualified to seek re-election having failed to tender his West African Examination Council (WAEC) certificate to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
While filling its response at the Presidential Election Tribunal, the party said the PDP candidate is from Cameroon, a country that shares border with Nigeria and the votes he got during the 2019 general election should be viewed as wasted votes.
But responding to claims that he’s a foreigner, Atiku said he is a Nigerian by birth detailing points to buttress his claim.
He said father, Garba Atiku Abdulkadir was a Nigerian by birth who hailed from Wurmo in present day Sokoto State, while the mother, Aisha Kande was also a Nigerian who hailed from Dutse in present day Jigawa State.
“The parents of the 1st Petitioner(Atiku) are both Fulani, a community/tribe indigenous to Nigeria”, his legal team comprising of about 20 Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) led by Livy Uzuokwu said.
“The birth of the 1st Petitioner in Jada, in the present-day Adamawa State of Nigeria was occasioned by the movement of his paternal grandfather called Atiku who was an itinerant trader, from Wurmo in present-day Sokoto State to Jada in the company of his friend, Ardo Usman.
“That in Jada, Atiku, the grandfather of the 1st Petitioner gave birth to Garba who in tum gave birth to the 1st Petitioner and named him after his own father Atiku.
“The 1st Petitioner’s mother, Aisha Kande was the grand-daughter of Inuwa Dutse who came to Jada as an itinerant trader too from Dutse in present day Jigawa State.
“That all averments concerning Germany, British Cameroons, League of Nations and Plebiscite are false and misleading in relation to the 1st Petitioner and therefore completely irrelevant more so that the 1st Petitioner is a Nigerian by birth within the contemplation of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).
“The averments in the aforesaid paragraphs are indeed fabricated, contrived, made in bad faith and designed to embarrass the 1st Petitioner,” the team said in its response.
Popularly known as Atiku, the PDP flag-bearer said the votes he secured in this years presidential election were not wasted votes, and continued his claim of securing more votes than President Buhari who won the election on the platform of the APC.
He also listed his career path and political activities and the awards and honours that he had received.
These included his being a civil servant in the Nigerian Customs Service for over 20 years, retiring as a Deputy Director; a politician for about 30 years, who in 1992 contested the Presidential Primaries under the platform of then Social Democratic Party (SDP) alongside the late Chief M.K.O Abiola and Ambassador Baba Gana Kingibe.
He also mentioned his participation in the 1999 governorship election in Adamawa State in 1999, which he won and the presidential elections of 1999 and 2003, which he won as running mate to former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
Mentioned also was his being a recipient of the National Honour of Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON) and holder of the traditional title holder of Turakin Adamawa from 1982 to 2017 when he was elevated to Wazirin Adamawa.
“In 2007, the 1st Petitioner contested Presidential election under the platform of Action Congress (AC) and the 2nd Respondent contested under the platform of the All Nigeria Peoples’ Party (ANPP).
“In 2014, the 1st Petitioner and the 2nd Respondent contested the Presidential Primaries of the All Progressives Congress (APC), the 3rd Respondent for the 2015 Presidential Elections”.