The Peoples Democratic Party has described the fraud allegation against its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, as baseless and a ploy to distract the party from its campaign activities.
The major opposition party also said the audio in circulation might have been doctored.
Recall that a whistleblower, Michael Achimugu recently alleged that Atiku used the Special Purpose Vehicle programme to siphon public funds during his tenure as Vice President.
On the premise of the allegation, the Presidential Campaign Council of the All Progressives Congress called for the arrest and prosecution of Atiku and also demanded that he should immediately withdraw from the presidential race.
But the Director-General of the PDP Presidential Campaign Council in Kwara State, Dr Mahmud Ajeigbe, in an interview with Saturday PUNCH queried the timing of the allegation, saying it was an act aimed at distracting the PDP from its campaign.
He maintained that the PDP and its presidential candidate would remain focussed and not be deterred by the allegation.
“Anybody can just make up any audio; there needs to be authentication of who was speaking. There are many people who can be hired to do such things.
“Then you ask about the timing of such allegation. What do you think happens when such unsubstantiated assertion is coming up at this time, few weeks to the election? This tells you that there is something going on.
“Things can be doctored; there are many things that can happen. This is politics and people will try all sorts of things. The PDP and Alhaji Atiku are committed to the campaign and will not be deterred,” he said.
Addressing the issue of Atiku’s involvement in privatisation of public assets during his tenure as the Vice President, Ajeigbe said the exercise followed due process and was adequately approved by the then National Executive Council, hence Atiku should not be blamed for any lapse that could have occurred.
He said, “Privatisation process has very stringent policies and guidelines and Alhaji Atiku superintended over a process which did not only go through the Privatisation Council, but also went through the Federal Executive Council and had a final signing of the President.
“I don’t want to believe that with this kind of procedure, they will be blaming him for any lapse. The privatisation process is not a one-man show; it has a well laid down procedure that was followed. So, it’s not an issue.”