The All Progressives Congress (APC) accused the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, of behaving as though he is the duly elected president of Nigeria.
Atiku had lost to Muhammadu Buhari, the candidate of the APC, in the February 23, 2019, poll.
Atiku, a former vice president, is challenging the outcome of the poll at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal.
While the tribunal is yet to decide on the matter, the APC says Atiku is trying to usurp the powers of the president by issuing statements on topical issues both within and outside Nigeria.
In a statement by its spokesman, Lanre Issa-Onilu, the APC said Atiku might be committing a felonious offense.
The ruling party noted that it would take decisive action against Atiku if he continues to act in a manner that portrays him as the president of Nigeria.
“The All Progressives Congress (APC) strongly condemns the 2019 presidential candidate of the opposition’s Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar who has now made it a pastime to make public statements on issues, which constitutionally should be reserved for the duly elected head of government or his designees,” Onilu said in a statement on Tuesday, July 30, 2019.
“As a party, we would have thought that Alh. Atiku who in the past occupied such high office as the country’s vice president would clearly understand the workings of government, particularly as it bothers on national security, foreign policy and our international engagement. We have noted Alhaji. Atiku’s incessant habits of releasing statements on public issues as if he were an alternative President of this country and with a clear intention to undermine President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC-led government.
“In recent times, Alhaji. Atiku has demonstrated lack of regard for the sovereignty of the office of the President and Nigerian government through condescending statements. He has made several of such statements regarding the activities of the Nigerian military, issues of national security, and international relations.
“We reiterate that Alha. Atiku has lost the 2019 presidential election and it would be unhelpful to him to continue to make a mockery of our country. We expect Alh. Atiku to quickly address himself to the stark reality of his loss and move on.
"Our laws are clear on all acts of criminality, in this case, a clear case of felony. Nigerians expect that the enforcement of relevant laws should apply to every Nigerian, irrespective of class and status. This government would not be found wanting where it is required to take decisive actions.”
APC further accused Atiku of throwing himself around as a shadow president of Nigeria.
The APC maintained that Atiku should understand that being a candidate for an elective office, including that of the president, does not confer on him a sovereign status, and his continuous portrayal of himself as a shadow president under “borders on felony and makes him a patent impostor”.
“There can only be one democratically elected and legitimate government at a time in this country. That clearly is the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari. It is important to remind Alhaji. Atiku that issues of national security, foreign policy and international engagements are not matters to be exploited to achieve mischievous political ends,” the ruling party stated.