Atiku Abubakar, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, is reportedly ill and has been flown from Dubai, United Arab Emirates, to London, United Kingdom, for treatment.
Atiku is well-known for spending the majority of his time in Dubai. For example, after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared Muhammadu Buhari the winner of the 2019 presidential election, he flew to Dubai.
According to Sahara Reporters, Atiku was flown out on Sunday night, less than two months before the presidential election on February 25, 2023.
“Atiku is not feeling fine; he is in the hospital receiving treatment,” a PDP Presidential Campaign Council source told SaharaReporters on Sunday.
“That’s why he is not back in Nigeria for the presidential campaign. He was in Dubai but has now left Dubai for London for treatment. He has been flown to the UK for treatment. That is why he is still abroad.”
recalls that in July 2022, Atiku reacted to a viral social media video suggesting he was ill, saying that he was in good health.
A viral video showed Atiku limping during his return to Nigeria ahead of the Osun State governorship election.
But his media aide, Ibe, dismissed claims, saying nothing was further from the truth.
A statement issued by Ibe read in part: “Our attention has been drawn to a report and a video in a section of the media purporting to be of an “ailing” Atiku Abubakar being helped strapped to his car seatbelt by an aide.”
“Nothing can be further from the truth. For the records, the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is in robust good health.”
“We would not ordinarily have responded to this mischief, but for the impression that it will create in the minds of Nigerians, which is exactly the objective of the purveyors of this fake news.
“We wish to state that Atiku is not averse to scrutiny because of the consequential nature of the 2023 elections. However, it is our position that such scrutiny must not be predicated on a slash and burn rogue journalism as is the case with this contrived report.”
Also in October 2022, the spokesperson for the PDP Presidential Campaign Management Committee, Dino Melaye, released a video showing Atiku dining in Europe to dispel reports that his principal was ill.
Atiku had flown out of Nigeria amid the campaign for the 2023 presidential election.
In a tweet, a former aviation minister, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, earlier alleged that Atiku collapsed after arriving in Abuja from his rally in Kaduna State.
He said Atiku was flown to Paris, France for medical care after complaining of pain all over his body.
“After his outing in Kaduna yesterday @atiku fell ill. He complained of dizzy spells & severe pains in his head & all over his body throughout the flight to Abuja. After landing at Abuja airport he collapsed. He was flown to Paris for medical attention immediately. God be with him. For the purposes of damage control they took pictures of him with others the following morning from Paris but please do not be fooled.
“There is something very wrong with the PDP presidential candidate in terms of his health & they don’t want the Nigerian public to know. Pray for him,” he wrote.
But Melaye countered Fani-Kayode, saying, “See person wey dem say he de hospital. This place look like hospital? Him de here de chop him food, de relax, de enjoy himself, holding meetings and you say….mehn! God go help people wey.. stomach infrastructure na problem oo, hunger na problem oo, make God provide for our needs ok.”
Fani-Kayode is the Director of New Media of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council.