Former Deputy Director of the Buhari Presidential Campaign Council, Mohammed Lawal, has claimed that former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has been plotting President Muhammadu Buhari’s failure because he lost the All Progressives Congress, APC, primary election to him in 2014.
Lawal, who is a Director on the Board of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, made the allegation while dismissing Abubakar’s claim that Buhari used and dumped him after the 2015 presidential election.
Abubakar had alleged that the Buhari-led Government had sidelined him after using his resources and contacts to win the 2015 election.
In his reaction, Lawal stressed that the former Vice President neither campaigned nor contributed “anything” towards Buhari’s election in 2015.
Speaking yesterday, Lawal maintained that Buhari has been fair to Abubakar, adding that a lot of the former Vice president’s loyalists were holding positions in the current government.
He said, “We know that right from the time Buhari was sworn in, Atiku started plotting to cause problem, to ensure that this administration does not succeed.
“During the campaign, he granted an interview to BBC and said he was sure APC would not win the presidential election.
“He was making preparations that if APC did not win, he will go back to PDP and get the ticket after ex-President Goodluck Jonathan’s projected exit in 2019.
“Immediately after the presidential primaries, Atiku left the country. He did not come back. All along, while we were prosecuting the presidential campaign, Atiku was not in Nigeria. He did not participate in the presidential campaign.
“After the presidential election, he came to congratulate President Muhammadu Buhari and left the country. He is complaining now that he was not contacted.
“I served as a Deputy Director at the Presidential Campaign Council.
“ I knew all the intrigues. Atiku fought Buhari tooth and nail. He was extremely unhappy about the loss of presidential primaries.
“He did not campaign for Buhari during the election. He even refused to contribute any money. He promised to campaign and to contribute to the campaign. He did not contribute anything meaningful.
“ Let him say how much he spent. How much did he claim he spent? Is his money more important than his appearance at the campaign? He spent all the money he thinks he has to ensure that Buhari did not win.
“People are not foolish. He told the BBC in 2015 that he was sure that Buhari was not going to win. So, will somebody who did not believe in the party’s candidate spend anything?
“And out of magnanimity, Buhari’s first outing from Abuja, after winning the election, was to attend Atiku’s daughter’s wedding.
“There are many Atiku loyalists in this government and he is saying that he has been sidelined. She (Women Affairs Minister Aisha Alhassan) and other Atiku loyalists were given appointment because of Atiku. They know themselves. And Atiku is saying nothing has been given to him. At least the principal appointment given to Atiku went to Aisha as the Minister of Women Affairs.
“To be candid with you, Atiku started fighting Buhari since 2015. They just came out now because they were choked up; they did not get any reaction from him. They thought he was going to start fighting, abusing and dealing mercilessly with the opposition in government.”