Atiku under fire over ‘no vote, no contracts’ remarks

    The All Progressives Congress and the Social Democratic Party on Thursday knocked the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, over his vote-for-appointments comments in Abeokuta.

    The PUNCH reports that Atiku, during a town hall meeting with stakeholders of the PDP in Ogun State on Wednesday, said members who wish to get appointments and contracts in his administration must ensure the party wins in their polling units.

    The former vice president said the PDP can only win the presidential election if members work for the party’s victory in their various polling units.

    He was quoted to have said, “You are all members of the PDP and supporters of the PDP. You want the PDP to return to power; please, I beg of you, make sure you win your polling booths.

    “The fact that you are following the governorship candidate or the senatorial candidate or the House of Representatives candidate or the presidential candidate to campaign is not a qualification that you will get an appointment.

    “It is not a qualification that you will get a contract, whether at the local government level, state level, or federal level.”

    Reacting to Atiku’s comments, the spokesperson of the Tinubu-Shettima Presidential Campaign Council Festus Keyamo (SAN), said Atiku was already promising people contracts in disregarding the Public Procurement Act.

    Keyamo, who spoke to The PUNCH, said, “A leopard cannot change its skin. He is already promising contracts to political allies, forgetting that there is a law called the Public Procurement Act.”

    Similarly, the SDP spokesperson, Rufus Ayenigba, said, “I will leave the decision to the electorate to determine what is best for them. All the leading candidates have relatable histories; there is nothing about Atiku and Tinubu that Nigerians don’t know. For us to move forward, everything is pointing in the direction of a new lease on life. The imperative of a fresh breath to sanitise the system cannot be overemphasised.”

    Meanwhile, the Director of the Transition Monitoring Group, Auwal Rafsanjani, said, “There are legal frameworks guiding the appointment and issuance of contracts in Nigeria. Appointments in the civil service are made based on the federal character, for example, every state must have at least one minister, and the same is true of ambassadors.

    “If he is referring to the appointment of aides, it is up to him to ensure that he moves the country forward without being accused of lopsidedness. It is in the best interest of the candidates to ensure that whatever they do is in line with the law.”

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