The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential flagbearer, Atiku Abubakar, has described his All Progressives Congress (APC) counterpart, Bola Tinubu, as an absent candidate.
The former vice president, in a statement on Wednesday by spokesman Phrank Shaibu, declared that Nigerians won’t elect a “ghost President”.
Shaibu accused Tinubu of shying away from public scrutiny and using proxies to answer questions only contenders should give answers to.
The reaction followed the former Lagos governor’s town hall meeting with the Organized Private Sector (OPS).
Shaibu said Tinubu “dodged” the Lagos Chamber of Commerce Industry (LCCI) invitation but “organized his own” at Eko Hotel and Suites, the same venue of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) conference he failed to attend.
The aide said after reading out his speech, Tinubu sat on the high table and systematically avoided questions.
“His aides spoke more than he did at the event, an indication that he didn’t even need to be there in the first place.
“Clearly Tinubu plans to run a proxy government in the unfortunate event that he wins the presidential election”.
Shaibu recalled that at the KADInvest programme in October, Tinubu spoke about how Governor Nasir El-Rufai turned a “rotten situation to a bad one”.
The aide said last year in Kano, Tinubu revealed his plan to recruit 50 million youths into the military in order to tackle unemployment.
Shaibu further recalled when the APC candidate advised Nigerians to renew their expired Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVC).
The comment made the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to issue a rebuttal.
The PDP said Nigerians will not overlook ominous signs, “the reason Tinubu’s handlers have continued to shield him from open public engagements and scrutiny”.
The opposition further denounced the APC co-founder’s argument that he doesn’t need physical strength to lead, but mental capacity.
Noting that citizens have suffered from APC’s “seven-year misrule”, Atiku’s camp hopes Tinubu will be bold to attend a presidential debate.