ABUJA – The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar yesterday said the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate Bola Tinubu waited for when the election is around the corner to espouse solutions to the challenges facing the country.
Atiku stated this while reacting to Tinubu and his running mate, Kashim Shettima, who mocked him (Atiku) during the presentation of the manifesto of the APC to the business community and organized private sector in Lagos on Tuesday.
Shettima, at the gathering, described Atiku as a political tourist, who will be permanently retired to the United Arab Emirates after the 2023 election.
He also said that because Atiku sells bottled water, it does not make him an expert on the economy.
Responding, the PDP candidate, in a statement by his media aide, Paul Ibe, said the APC candidate went on ultra highway of political indecency, rather than use the advantage of such a gathering to talk about solutions that their party, APC, has foisted on the country.
Atiku added that it was shameful that Shettima would denigrate a going business that employs a large chunk of people in the Northeast region, regardless of whether the business is small business or big.
He added, “A gathering of the top echelons of the private sector was supposed to be an avenue for laying out serious policy choices. For Tinubu and Shettima on the contrary, they chose to embarrass their guests, using their audience to play vile political games.
“For someone who self-appoints as the APC national leader, it is ridiculous that the presidential candidate of the APC failed to proffer solutions to the economic woes that his party has foisted on Nigerians in the past seven years.
“Unlike Tinubu who sat idly by and watched his APC ruin Nigeria to the current sorry state, the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar has been consistent in proffering solutions to the myriads of ineffective policy options of the APC administration.
“Atiku, it was, who first raised the alarm about the debt burden that the APC has thrown Nigeria into. It was also Atiku who has continued to call the attention of the nation to the need to diversify the economy away from heavy dependence on exploration of crude oil. Atiku, again, was the one who said that the quickest path to lift the majority of Nigerians out of the poverty belt, is for the government to give incentives to the private sector in order for them to create more jobs for Nigerians.
“Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, Atiku pioneered the private donor relief funds, which opened the gateway for other Nigerians of means to follow suit in providing succor to people who were worst hit by the attendant self isolation regulation in the management of the pandemic.
“Tinubu, who has been in hibernation mode for the seven years that his party unleashed the worst moment of economic hardship on Nigerians, has suddenly found a voice because, as it is usual with the APC, the time is here again to hoodwink the people with sugarcoated promises.”
Similarly, the director of strategic communications of the Atiku/Okowa presidential campaign council, Chief Dele Momodu, said Shettima was merely trying to point fingers at the specks in another man’s eyes while studiously ignoring the giant logs in his own eyes.
Momodu in a statement said APC is in total disarray with prominent members of his party openly apologizing to Nigerians for the unmitigated disaster it has foisted on Nigeria since 2015.
“This is one of the reasons APC members have been migrating in droves to PDP. It took almost forever for APC to achieve the simple task of constituting its Presidential Campaign Council, due to the total lack of unity in their party.
“It is very obvious that APC has become completely rudderless and many self-respecting members are jumping ship and being recovered by PDP.
“How can these APC candidates ever unite Nigerians when they’ve shown open disdain for the democratic and voting rights of certain ethnic groups within their domains?”He added that everything about APC and its candidates have been shrouded in secrecy and that they are unable to tell Nigerians the truth about anything.
“Alhaji Shettima alleged that Atiku Abubakar cannot be trusted with the economy of Nigeria. No heresy could be worse than this. Nigerians would want to know what businesses the APC candidates have managed personally and successfully except living outlandishly on government booty and largesse.”