False claim circulates that Atiku is retiring from politics, congratulates Tinubu

A claim has circulated online that Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Nigeria’s 2023 general election, is retiring from politics and has promised to join hands with others to support the nation’s president-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

This claim which was circulated as a press release allegedly from Atiku has found its way into many closed WhatsApp groups.

The content of the WhatsApp broadcast message read:

PRESS RELEASE!

2023 PDP  presidential candidate Alh. Atiku Abubakar from Active Politics And Ready Join Hands With President-Elect Sen. Bola Tinubu To Move Nigeria Forward.

On behalf of my family, friends and well-wishers, and in the best interests of Nigerians, and for the betterment of our great party, PDP, and our country, Nigeria, I, ATIKU ABUBAKAR, publicly announce my retirement from active politics.
It has been a successful journey for me so far, irrespective of my inability to win the Presidential race of this great nation during my prime in politics, I still thank all Nigerians, and my supporters from other nations who fought the battle with me.
This is the end of my political journey, and I wish the present and upcoming leaders of this great nation a successful journey, and also advise them to know that leadership tussle is not a do-or-die affair. It is God That enthrones and, as well, dethrones leaders.

Moreover, I congratulate the President elect, ASIWAJU BOLA AHMED TINUBU, and advise him to lead the nation with the fear of Allah.
He should shun politics of acrimony and gangsterism.
He should sustain the unity that has been existing among us, carry everybody along and give all Nigerians something to be proud of his administration.

Finally, I advise my fellow contestants from other political parties not to seek any court injunction, because I have accepted the defeat in good fate, and also plead fervently with them to follow suit.

Long live PDP!
Long live Democracy!
Long live Federal Republic of Nigeria!

– ATIKU ABUBAKAR

//copied.

THE CLAIM

Atiku Abubakar has retired from politics and congratulated Bola Tinubu.

THE FINDINGS

Findings by The FactCheckHub revealed that the claim is FALSE.

A check on Atiku’s Instagram and Twitter pages showed that he did not make any such post.

Further checks revealed that no credible media platform also published the report.

The FactCheckhub reached out to Paul Ibe, the spokesperson to Atiku Abubakar,  via a telephone call.

In his response to our inquiry, he described the claim as “false and a contrived statement of those shopping for validation and congratulations to the flawed and shambolic presidential election.”

Ibe also sent a copy of the press release signed by Atiku Abubakar debunking the claim to the The FactCheckHub.

The press statement reads thus:

PRESS RELEASE

I’ll never validate an illegitimate outcome of a flawed process

I have been notified of a fake press release attributed to me and purportedly giving legitimacy to the widely rigged presidential election of February 25.

The so-called press release did not emanate from me or my office, and it should be treated with repudiation, untrue, and deliberately contrived by those who illegally appropriated the mandate of the Nigerian people.

For the avoidance of any doubt, I wish to state categorically that my lawyers still have my unflinching mandate to challenge the outcome of the February 25 presidential election.

I join other lovers of democracy in Nigria and friends of our great country in the outright rejection of the pre-determined outcome of the February 25 election.

I shall continue to challenge the legality of that election, alongside my party, the Peoples Democratic Party.

The decision to challenge the sham election of February 25, the worst election in our democratic history, is not predicated on my personal interest but the interest of Nigeria and its people. It is aimed at deepening democracy and ensuring that we do not confer legitimacy to an outcome of illegitimacy.

My commitment to the democratic struggle in Nigeria is beyond an election season.

Signed:






     

     

    Atiku Abubakar

    Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party and former Vice President of Nigeria, 1999-2007

    25th March, 2023

    THE VERDICT

    The claim that Atiku Abubakar has retired from politics and congratulated Bola Tinubu is FALSE; the PDP flagbearer has debunked it via a press statement.

    Fatimah Quadri is a Journalist and a Fact-checker at The ICIR. She has written news articles, fact-checks, explainers, and media literacy in an effort to combat information disinformation.
    She can be reached at sunmibola_q on X or [email protected]

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