By Bukola Olasanmi
The Second Republic Presidential Adviser, to former President late Shehu Aliyu Shagari, Alhaji Tanko Yakasai, has stated that the presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, remains a Nigerian citizen and is qualified to contest for any elective position in the country, including the office of the President.
Yakasai, who was reacting to recent application by the All Progressive Congress (APC) at the Presidential Election Tribunal, alleging that Atiku is a Cameronian and as such, unfit to contest for the office of the President of Nigeria in the 2019 presidential election.
The former member of Board of Trustees of the defunct All People’s Party (APP) in a statement he personally signed and made available to reporters in Kano, berated APC for holding such opinion that former Vice President Atiku Abubakar is not a Nigerian.
To my astonishment, “it is therefore strange for leaders of the ruling party in Nigeria, the APC to claim that former vice president Atiku Abubakar is not qualified to seek to be the president of Nigeria.
”This is a display of ignorance of the highest order of Atiku’s status as enshrined in our constitution. In fact, APC is the least among political parties in Nigeria to make such unpatriotic statement.
”There are people sponsored by the party who contested and won elections to elective offices and are today occupying such positions. Atiku is equally or even better qualified to hold any public office in Nigeria than some of such people.”
The elder statesman,also recalled that, “before 1st of October, 1960 both Southern and Northern Cameroons were trusteeship territories under Nigeria in accordance with Article 76(b) of the United Nations Trusteeship Agreement of 1946.
“This situation dated back to the period of the first world war. Prior to that war, some part of the old Adamawa Emirate were occupied by the Germans. Southern and Northern Cameroons were part of the territories colonized by the Germans along with Togoland, Tanganyika, Southwest Africa we now call Namibia.
“That was after the partition of Africa in 1884/85. After the conquest of Germany in 1919, territories under German occupation were taken over by the newly formed League of Nations and were assigned to different colonial powers as Mandated territories. Tanganyika, Southwest Africa and Southern and Northern Cameroons were mandated to Britain.