Atiku dissociates self from ‘Pukka’ posters in circulation

The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has distanced himself from the posters in circulation in Abuja, Nigerians federal capital.

Billboards and posters of the former vice president with the inscription: “The PUKKA, H. E. Atiku Abubakar, GCON: The Real and The Right”, flooded some streets of the nation’s capital.

Pukka, an Hindi word, means “authentic, genuine, sure, solid and excellent”.

But Atiku’s media adviser, Paul Ibe, in a statement said Atiku has nothing to do with the poster.

“We disassociate the former vice president of Nigeria from the said posters in circulation,” the statement read.

It noted that the campaign season was over, adding, that “The tainted electoral victory by the incumbent is being challenged in court.

“We refuse to be distracted, which is exactly the objective of our opponents, but to remain focused on diligently pursuing our election petition with a view to retrieving the stolen mandate.”

The boldness of the campaign and the meaning it connotes have triggered questions whether the group behind it has not breached the electoral law. The campaign for presidential election began on 19 November 2018 and officially ended 48 hours to the election initially scheduled for 16 February, 2019.

Section 99(1) of the Electoral Act, 1999 as amended states that every political party shall commence campaigns 90 days before polling day and end 24 hours prior to that day.

Mr Rotimi Oyekanmi, the Chief Press Secretary to the Chairman of  the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in an interview with NAN, said that the posters could not be considered as campaign materials.

Oyekanmi, who said he had not seen any of the posters said if a poster has no party logo or name, the commission does not consider it to be campaign materials.

“Is there anything like party name or logo on it? If a poster does not contain any of these or ‘vote for a person’ the commission does not see it as campaign.The election is over and I wonder if anybody will be campaigning for an election that had been concluded,’’ Oyekanmi said.

Atiku’s media office had earlier denied paying an American lobby group a whooping sum of $30, 000 to stop the recognition of Muhammadu Buhari as Nigerian president by the US Congress.

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