Atiku Abubakar, former Vice President and presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has been exonerated from a statement naming 30 corrupt people working for President Muhammadu Buhari.
According to Gbenga Daniel, Director-General of the Atiku Presidential Campaign Organisation and Deputy Chairman of the PDP Presidential Campaign Council (South), the statement was the personal opinion of Phrank Shaibu, Atiku’s Special Assistant on Public Communications — not that of Atiku himself.
Speaking with journalists at the Abuja airport shortly before departing for a PDP presidential campaign rally in Owerri on Tuesday, Daniel described Atiku as “a statesman who is not in the habit of making unguarded and unsubstantiated claims about persons and institutions”.
“The media probably got it wrong and simply elevated personal opinions to that of Atiku Abubakar. They simply cannot be the same,” he said.
“Atiku believes in the rule of law, and would not accuse people wrongly especially if no competent court of law has found them guilty. That is what distinguishes Atiku Abubakar from the current APC government, which has elevated deceit and lies to such height in Statecraft.”
Shaibu’s list of corrupt people working with Buhari contained names such as Bola Tinubu, former Lagos State Governor and National Leader of the APC; Abba Kyari, Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari; Adams Oshiomhole, former Governor of Edo State and National Chairman of the APC; Abdullahi Adamu, a serving senator and former Governor of Nasarawa State; Babachir Lawal, former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF); Folarin Coker, Lagos socialite and Director-General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) and Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information.
Others are Tukur Buratai, Chief of Army Staff; Senator Hadi Sirika, Minister of Aviation; Aisha Buhari, wife of the President; Adedayo Thomas, Executive Director, National Film and Video Censors Board; Adamu Muazu, former Governor of Bauchi State; Iyiola Omisore, former Osun State Deputy Governor; Abdulrasheed Maina, former Pensions Board boss; Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, former Minister of State for Defence and Orji Uzor Kalu, former Governor of Abia State.
The list also featured Governor Isa Yuguda of Bauchi State; Senator Godswill Akpabio; Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano State; Alhaji Seminu Turaki, a two-term former Governor of Jigawa State; Alhaji Junaid Abdullahi, Buhari’s in-law who is also the Executive Secretary, Border Communities Development Agency (BDCA); Alhaji Aliyu Wammako, a former Governor who is currently in charge of Buhari’s campaign in Sokoto State; Hope Uzodinma, the APC governorship candidate in Imo State; Rotimi Amaechi, serving Minister of Transportation and Director-General of the Buhari Campaign Organisation; Alhaji Abdul’aziz Yari, Governor of Zamfara State; Maikanti Baru, Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Ayodele Oke, the suspended Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA).