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Nigeria's VP to Resume Campaign Despite Ban


Nigeria’s embattled Vice President Atiku Abubakar will resume his presidential campaign today after a brief suspension due to injury while working out at home. The announcement comes days after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) excluded the Vice President’s name from the ballot papers for next month’s general elections.

Vice Presidential spokesman Shehu Garuba says that although Abubakar is recuperating from his injury, he is fit to continue his campaign tour.

“He has undergone successful surgery, which has fixed the ligament on his knee. And he’s been trying to learn how to walk all over again, and he’s been doing very well at that. So in terms of fitness for the campaign, the Vice President is ready, although, he is subject to medical advice from his doctors. All is now set to be with the campaign as they leave for Jigawa state in northern Nigeria,” he said.

Garuba says the Vice President’s health is good enough to continue with his presidential campaign bid.

“I don’t believe there should be much concern about his health. The Vice President is not going into a wrestling contest. This campaign is a verbal activity. It’s an intellectual activity, so the Vice President is not distracted in any way by this injury as to his mental agility. He would be able to cope with the campaign. Unless the doctors overrule him on the matter, he is ready to roll on today,” Garuba noted.

He said the vice president is not the least concerned about his eligibility to contest next month’s general elections.

“If this country will continue as a democracy and the one that is governed by the rule of law, we have absolute confidence that we are standing on very firm ground that this illegal action of barring him from the contest will not last. And that barring any unforeseen situations there should be a positive ruling on the matter within this week…The Vice President would be cleared of any such machinations by the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC),” Garuba pointed out.

Garuba adds that the vice president’s campaign team is concerned, but hopeful that the court will also clear Abubakar of any indictments.

“Yes, we do have our concerns. For instance, we filed an urgent motion before the court. And we thought there would be a hearing of the matter on Friday. But it was pushed to Monday. And throughout Monday, there was no judge available to do that so. We hope today, there would be progress on the matter. And we believe that they would do the right thing,” Garuba said.

He reiterated what he called the harshness with which the Electoral Commission is treating the vice president.

“What is, however, of much concern is, you know, the Vice President is being asked the kind of question that nobody has been asked in this contest for the presidency. The Vice President is being asked by INEC to go and show why he is free of any indictment. It is a very curious incident, but we believe that we will overcome, and we believe that it would be over soon,” he said.

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