The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party for the February 23, 2019 elections in Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar, has described the allegation by the All Progressives Congress that he is a Cameroonian as puerile, face-saving, vexatious, absolutely and completely unfounded.
Abubakar said this in his response to the preliminary objection filed by the APC to challenge his petition against the declaration of President Muhammadu Buhari as winner of the election.
He said contrary to the position of the APC, it was Buhari that was not qualified in the first place to stand for the election.
He said according to the filings made at the Tribunal: “Contrary to the allegations contained in paragraphs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 of the 3rd Respondent’s reply, the petitioners state that the 1st petitioner is a citizen of Nigeria by birth and thus qualified to vote and be voted for and returned in the election to the office of the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, held on Saturday, February 23, 2019 going by the relevant provisions of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
“In further response to paragraphs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8 of the 3rd respondent’s reply, the petitioners state as follows: ‘The 1st petitioner was born on November 25, 1946 in Jada, Adamawa State by Nigerian parents and he is, therefore, a citizen of Nigeria by birth.
“The 1st petitioner’s father, Garba Abdulkadir, was a Nigerian by birth, who hailed from Wurno 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 are both Fulani, a community/tribe indigenous to Nigeria.
“The birth of the 1st petitioner in Jada, in present day Adamawa State of Nigeria was occasioned by the movement of his paternal grandfather called Atiku, who was an itinerant trader, from Wurno 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 turn 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 ofNigeria, 1999 (as amended).
“The averments in the aforesaid paragraphs are indeed fabricated, contrived, made in bad faith and designed to embarrass the 1st petitioner.
“In response to paragraph 7 of the 3rd respondent’s reply, the petitioners aver that the votes of the 1st petitioner in the election of February 23, 2019 to the office of the president are not wasted votes, and the 1st petitioner being a qualified candidate in the said election indeed secured majority of lawful votes over and above the votes of the 2nd respondent.
“In further reaction to Paragraph 7 of the 3rd Respondent Reply, the Petitioners hereby plead and contend that at all times material the 1st petitioner has been a Nigerian by birth and has participated in the following career and political activities and has also received the following awards and honours:
“The 1st petitioner was a civil servant in the Nigeria Customs Service for over 20 years and retired as a deputy director.
“The issue of qualification of the 2nd respondent to contest election to the office of President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is a mandatory statutory and/or constitutional requirement that cannot be waived by the petitioners as erroneously averred in paragraph 499 (d) of the 3rd Respondent’s Reply.
“In further response to paragraphs 493, 497, 498, 499, 500 and 501 of the 3rd respondent’s reply, the Petitioners challenge the 3rd Respondent to produce the originals or Certified True Copies of the 2nd respondent’s purported certificates obtained from elementary school, Daura and Mai’adua, Middle School, Katsina and Katsina Provincial Secondary School and all other institutions pleaded in paragraphs 500 and 501 of 3rd respondent’s reply.”
Attached is the full reaction to the APC’s petition.