Atiku Abubakar, Nigeria’s former vice president and presidential hopeful, has mourned the passing of Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed, the late president of the United Arab Emirates, THE WITNESS reports.
He has however remained silent over Deborah Samuel, a 200- Level student of Home Economics at Shehu Shagari College of Education who was lynched by fellow students for alleged blasphemy against Prophet Muhammad.
Atiku, a presidential aspirant on the platform of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) said the late Emirati leader, who died on May 13 at 73, represented a great transformation of his country.
According to him, the Burj Khalifa was named after him as a testament.
“His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed was a visionary leader whose transformational work in the United Arab Emirates will stand the test of time. Under his leadership, the UAE commenced the foundational development that has seen it literally reach for the sky,” Atiku wrote via his twitter handle on Friday.
“The @BurjKhalifa, the world’s tallest man-made structure named after him, is a metaphor for his accomplishments. My condolences to the family and government, and the people of the UAE. May Allah forgive his shortcomings and grant him Aljannah Firdaus. Ameen.”
The former number two man, has not, however, said a word about the brutal killing of Ms Deborah by her fellow students who accused her of blasphemy, an incident that has generated condemnations from within and outside the country.
Although the presidential hopeful had late Thursday, condemned the brutal murder of the student via his verified twitter and Facebook accounts, he later deleted the comment when an online mob of fanatics threatened not to vote for him in 2023.
Worse still, the former vice president subsequently took took to his verified Hausa Facebook page to disown the post.
Atiku in a message on the verified Hausa page distanced himself from the message, claiming that any message on social media that did not come with the initials “A. A.” were not his.
“This evening I received information that a post was made that doesn’t agree with my orders. I use this to announce that any post without A. A. is not from me. May God protect us,” he wrote in Hausa language.”
The move generated an outrage on the social media, and for long periods of time, Atiku was trending at number one on Twitter.
However, while the student’s murder continues to generate reactions, with President Muhammadu Buhari also condemning it on Friday, Atiku is yet to issue an official statement on it, fearing perhaps that he would lose the support of his northern constituency ahead of 2023 polls.