Updated: March 4, 2021
The Nigerian presidential election has entered a bitter final stretch with wild allegations and shocking revelations coming out from many sides by the minute.
On Sunday morning, President Muhammadu Buhari’s media organization warned without evidence that the country’s main opposition figure Atiku Abubakar was trying to smuggle into Nigeria “large amounts of illicit dollars” just ahead of the election in February.
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Hours later, Mr Abubakar’s spokesman, Paul Ibe, revealed that in 1984, Abubakar stopped Mr Buhari’s ADC from smuggling 53 suitcases of looted money into Nigeria.
An aide-de-camp or ADC is a subordinate military or naval officer acting as a confidential assistant to a superior, usually a general officer or admiral.
In Nigeria, they often carried money belonging to their bosses, military heads of state who led the country for decades.
General Buhari was head of state of Nigeria between 1983 and 1984, and Atiku suggested the looted money belonged to him.
“In 1984, it was Atiku Abubakar, as head of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport Command of the Nigerian Customs and Excise Department, that stopped the ADC of the then Military Head of State, Muhammadu Buhari, from smuggling in 53 suitcases of looted money into the country,” he said.
“Young Nigerians and millennials who may not be aware of this incident, will do well to Google it. Only the guilty are afraid. It is President Muhammadu Buhari who has a history of smuggling in looted funds and not Waziri Atiku Abubakar,” Atiku’s spokesman added.
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Our attention has been drawn to a statement by President Muhammadu Buhari accusing Atiku Abubakar of planning to smuggle in looted funds into the country just before the February 2019 elections.
This new accusation, like their previous allegations, is another infantile outburst that tells more about the accuser than the accused. Atiku Abubakar has no looted funds abroad or in Nigeria.
For the avoidance of doubt, history shows that rather than smuggle in looted cash, Waziri Atiku Abubakar has a record of preventing looted funds from being smuggled into Nigeria.
In 1984, it was Atiku Abubakar, as head of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport Command of the Nigerian Customs and Excise Department, that stopped the ADC of the then Military Head of State, Muhammadu Buhari, from smuggling in 53 suitcases of looted money into the country.
Young Nigerians and millennials who may not be aware of this incident, will do well to Google it. Only the guilty are afraid. It is President Muhammadu Buhari who has a history of smuggling in looted funds and not Waziri Atiku Abubakar.
In fact, Nasir El-Rufai, a favourite of the President and a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, said as follows on October 4, 2010:
“In 1984, Buhari allowed 53 suitcases belonging to his ADC’s father to enter Nigeria unchecked at a time the country was exchanging old currency for new.”
Atiku Abubakar’s plane was searched, his accounts have been perused and his businesses have been thoroughly investigated with a fine tooth and nothing remotely corrupt or illegal has been found.
In desperation, the Buhari administration released this statement to cover their shame on a day that the US based International Strategic Studies Association reported that it is the unprecedented corruption around President Buhari that has led to the recent setbacks in the war on terrorism in the Northeast and the heavy loss of lives amongst the military rank and file. May God save Nigeria from a government that values money over lives.
We therefore urge Nigerians to note that it is Muhammadu Buhari who has a history and a record of smuggling in looted funds and it is Waziri Atiku Abubakar who has a history of preventing such from happening.
And while they are at it, we urge them to tell Nigerians those behind Etisalat and Keystone Bank and how they suddenly possessed such wealth overnight.
Finally, Nigerians should note that the Buhari administration cannot defend their record on jobs and poverty – the things of most concern to voters – thus, their only resort is slander.