The Coalition of Minority Tribes in Nigeria has advised Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), to go back to Cameroon and reunite with his family in the country.
The group's charge comes days after the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) alleged that Atiku is a Cameroonianand ineligible to contest elections in Nigeria.
Addressing a news conference on Monday, April 16, 2019, Abdulmuminu Hassan, secretary-general of the group, said Ibrahim Babangida, former head of state, refused to appoint Atiku as the comptroller-general of the Nigerian Customs Service "because he realised the true nationality of Atiku".
Atiku is a retired customs officer.
According to Vanguard, the group asked Atiku to tender an unreserved apology to Nigerians for "concealing his true identity".
Hassan gave Atiku a 21-day ultimatum to return to Cameroon to reunite with his family members.
"This same scenario could also be the reason why former President Olusegun Obasanjo refused to allow him to succeed him as President of Nigeria in 2007. This much was stated by former president Olusegun Obasanjo in his autobiography 'My Watch' where he stated in unequivocal terms that the paternity of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar was shadowy," Hassan said.
"The group is indeed alarmed that the paternity of Alhaji Atiku was unlet undetected and he aspired and held the number two position of Vice President in Nigeria.
"Consequently, we wish to use this medium to issue a 21-day ultimatum to Alhaji Atiku Abubakar return to Cameroon to reunite with his family members. This is important to save Nigerians the trauma of having to deal with his nationality.
"The Conference of Minority also wishes to advise Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to in an alternative solution seek naturalization as a Nigerian by applying to the Federal Ministry of Interior in Nigeria," the group added.
Atiku has, however, refuted claims that he is not a Nigerian.
In a statement issued on Saturday by his media adviser, Paul Ibe, Atiku said his citizenship as a Nigerian is not in doubt.
"The position of the APC is so pedestrian and shows such straw-clutching desperation on their part, that I shall not dignify it with an answer. Our lawyers would, of course, do the needful in court," he said.
Atiku had lost the presidential election to the incumbent, Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
But, Atiku believes he won the election with an overwhelming margin.
Consequently, Atikuhas assembled a team of lawyers and witnesses that would help "reclaim" his "stolen mandate" at the election petition tribunal.