The legal team of the APC in a reply to Atiku’s petition posited that Atiku is not from Nigeria and is hence not qualified to run for President. While people may want to react to the novelty of a stance like this, it becomes important to remind one and all that this is not the first of such, or the last either. Where there is politics, there is desperation and hence, the story of Alhaji Darman Shugaba keeps recurring.
Alhaji Darman Shugaba was an influential opposition (GNPP) Borno politician whose people loved extraordinarily. On January 24, 1980, in the heydays of the administration of the defunct National Party of Nigeria (NPN), Nigerian immigration officers, acting on an order from the then Minister of Internal Affairs Bello Maitama, arrested and summarily deported Alhaji Shugaba to Chad. As at then, he was Borno State (Borno+Yobe then) House of Assembly Majority Leader and his deportation stemmed from the notion that he was not a Nigerian but a Chadian.
APC’s team of SANs just like NPN’s team of lawyers accused Atiku of not being Nigerian. While this article is not interested in the history of Atiku’s birth and its circumstances, the information at public disposal shows that Atiku was born in Jada, present-day Adamawa State, with its full representation in the Adamawa State House of Assembly and the National Assembly of Nigeria. It becomes worrisome, when a team of lawyers that were supposed to know better, posit that some part of Adamawa State belong to Cameroon.
In Alhaji Shugaba’s case, the NPN-led government was desperate enough to bring a Chadian woman to pose as his mother, but it all ended in futility as Alhaji Shugaba won the case from the State High Court, through to the Federal Appeal Court and up to the Supreme Court. Yes, there will be foul plays, but the truth will always prevail.
For Atiku Abubakar, more is at stake—he is on a tortuous journey to reclaiming his allegedly stolen mandate, and every stick on the road will be thrown at him. Recall that posters had emerged bearing Atiku declaring himself the winner of the 2019 Presidential election, all to the denial of Atiku’s team. Yes, sticks will be thrown, but not sticks without weight and substance. People throwing sticks, should rise above mediocrity and not focus on Atiku’s nationality.
“Atiku is not Nigerian, Atiku’s lawyer (a Senior Advocate of Nigeria and former Attorney General of Imo State) does not have a license to practice in Nigeria, Atiku is putting up posters declaring himself the winner,” and many more supposed lies are the tools in the toolbox of the APC. If these are all they have in their famed toolbox, then they should better have a rethink, because as it looks, the nationality accusation is not helping their case.
Who is scared?