By Umar Muhammad Puma
The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) has accused the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar of threatening violence against the country if he loses the 2019 election.
The former Vice President had said killings by herdsmen would continue if President Buhari gets a second term.
In a statement signed by its Chairman, Niyi Akinsiju and Secretary Cassidy Madueke, BMO said the comment was irresponsible, especially coming from an individual that was once a heartbeat away from being the nation’s President.
“It sounded more like a ‘Freudian slip’ from an individual who was once accused by a leader of the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), Paul Unongo, of being the financier of militant herdsmen.
“When the former minister made that allegation earlier in the year, at the height of the conflicts in North Central Nigeria, the PDP Presidential candidate threatened legal action if Unongo did not apologise, but there is no record that Atiku went to court.
“Now he has made comments that appear to suggest that he has links to those who have been carrying out attacks on farming communities in some parts of the country”, the statement said.
The pro-Buhari group also recalled that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar issued a similar threat of violence just before PDP’s presidential primaries in 2010 while playing the ethnic card.
“Atiku is on record to have said at a PDP stakeholders conference that violence is inevitable if the party drops its zoning arrangement to hand the presidential ticket to the then President Goodluck Jonathan.
“His exact words at ThisDay Dome, Abuja that made headlines the following day were ’Let me again send another message to the leadership of PDP that those who make peaceful change impossible, make violent change inevitable.
“Now he is saying emphatically that ‘killings by herdsmen will continue and ultimately spark series of ethno-religious crises that will be irreversible’ if President Buhari gets a second term.
“Does this not amount to a tacit confirmation of rumours that Atiku, as one notable Nigerian with several heads of cattle, has strong links to those referred to as killer herdsmen”, the group said in the statement.