*Says no pressure will stop Atiku from going to court
The Coalition of United Political Parties on Monday alleged that officials of the Federal Government have been meeting with some political parties and their presidential candidates with a view to making them prevail on the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, to accept the outcome of the February 23 election.
It said the government officials, led by a minister, agreed on behalf of the Presidency that each presidential candidate would receive N40m and would attend a joint press briefing where they would collectively ask Atiku to accept defeat and not go to the tribunal.
The coalition’s national spokesman, Imo Ugochinyere, disclosed this in a statement made available to journalists in Abuja.
The Punch reports that Ugochinyere said the minister had already held series of meetings with chairmen, secretaries and presidential candidates of the affected political parties.
He said, “The Federal Government will be making huge amount of money available to them to enable them to organise press conferences during which they will be calling on Atiku and the Peoples Democratic Party to accept ‘defeat’ and not go to court to challenge the election result declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
“If indeed they are convinced that President Buhari won the election as they want the world to believe, why are they desperate to buy political parties into asking Atiku to drop the idea of going to court?
“We make bold to say that no amount of pressure from sponsored political parties or groups will make the PDP presidential candidate jettison his desire to approach the court to retrieve his stolen mandate.
“Let the political parties that have resolved to sell their birthright for a pot of porridge also know that we are watching and history will not judge them right if they decide to collaborate with enemies of democracy to continue to subvert the will of Nigerians.
“Having failed in their earlier bid to hire some women in the Federal Capital Territory to march on the streets and demand that Alhaji Atiku should not go to court, the next move is to gather presidential candidates.”
Ugochinyere added that the coalition is aware that groups like the National Association of Nigerian Students, National Youth Council of Nigeria, as well as socio-cultural youth groups like Arewa Youths, Ohanaeze youths and Odua Youths, have also been “pencilled down for financial mobilisation so as to get them all to march and ask Alhaji Atiku Abubakar not to go to court.”
He added, “We make it clear, emphatic and categorical to the Presidency and all their agents and future hirelings that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar will not mortgage the interest of Nigerians for any purpose. Not threats, not intimidation and harassment and certainly not the procured call of a few hirelings.”