The Presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has described the alleged statement made by the Minister of Transportation and Director General of the Muhammadu Buhari Campaign Organization, Rt. Hon Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi on the state of the nation as courageous, just as he urged him to resign his appointment and return to the PDP.

Audio tapes of Amaechi allegedly casting aspersions on and mocking President Muhammadu Buhari, have surfaced online.

APC talking heads on social media maintain that the audio tapes were doctored and taken out of context.

In a statement issued by his Special Assistant on Public Communication, Mr. Phrank Shaibu, Atiku "lamented the shabby treatment of Amaechi for speaking truth to power in a leaked audio tape which led to his being made a ceremonial Director General of the president’s re-election campaign organization.

“We dare say that the cold war between the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Mr. Rotimi Amaechi as well as the statements credited to the latter in a leaked tape which lead to the appointment of Tinubu to take charge of the campaigns, are at the least a national embarrassment to the nation. Amaechi must now resign and return home to the PDP where he belongs,” the statement read.

Amaechi lacking confidence in Buhari administration

Shaibu said the secret tapes portrayed Mr. Amaechi as lacking confidence in the APC lead government of President Muhammadu Buhari and also rubbished Lagos state which is generally portrayed by APC leaders as the flagship of the APC led government as well as Tinubu’s achievements as Governor of Lagos State for eight years and the 20 year reign of the ACN /APC in Lagos, describing the nation’s commercial capital as ‘a glorified village.’

Rotimi Amaechi is Buhari's Transport Minister (Sahara Reporters)

During an alleged interaction with journalists, a voice that resembles Amaechi's could be heard saying, “Apart from Abuja , check anywhere else that has infrastructure...Lagos is a glorified village...the only difference between Lagos and other cities is the fact that our business is in Lagos and when our people are doing business they can always have food. If not, what do you have in Lagos? 1000plus megawatts, that’s all. What else do they have? No water, there are no roads. When you hear traffic jam in Lagos or any part of Nigeria it’s because there are no roads. Why is there no traffic jam in Abuja? The reason why you meet traffic jam in Lagos is because they are no roads”.

Atiku said the sentiments expressed by Amaechi in the leaked audios were in tandem with those of the PDP and the Nigerian public to the effect that Nigerians are hungry and need to be rescued from "a clueless All Progressives Congress administration lead by President Buhari".

Atiku said with the APC and the government it controls are pulling in different directions. "There is little or no surprise as to why the welfare and security of Nigerians have been pushed to the back burner as key players of the ruling party and the Buhari administration opt to dance naked in the public square.

''The only area the APC and the government see face-to-face is in the sharing of the spoils of office and looting of the commonwealth as confessed by Minister Rotimi Amaechi in the leaked audio tapes,” the statement concluded.

Pulse hasn't been able to independently verify the authenticity of the audio tapes.

Amaechi has dismissed the tapes, promising instead to focus on the issues ahead of the election.

Atiku is Buhari's major challenger ahead of the presidential vote of February 16, 2019.