The All Progressives Congress has advised Nigerians to be wary of false campaign promises by Peoples’ Democratic Party presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar ahead of the 2023 general election.
APC Presidential Campaign Council Director of Media and Publicity Bayo Onanuga said this in a statement on Sunday in Abuja.
“We need to warn Nigerians to be wary of the sugar-coated promises of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and his PPD as they embark on their desperate and unreasonable campaign to seize power at all costs.
“A party that should be eternally ashamed of its appalling record of governance between 1999 and 2015 is now busy rewriting history, embellishing the locust years as if it were a golden era in our history.
“Of course, this is fake history at its worst, let’s not be fooled. Nigerians must also not be fooled by the bold lies, articulated by the candidate and his party,” Onanuga said.
He said what was most shocking was Atiku’s audacity in standing up to ask for votes despite what his boss, former president Olusegun Obasanjo, wrote about him in his book ‘My Watch’.
He said that Obasanjo wrote that it would have been an unforgivable mistake and a sin against God to impose Atiku on Nigeria, saying that the former president still believed in it until tomorrow.
“However, we are not totally surprised by Atiku’s latest despair. Aware that this is his last chance for the elusive presidency, Atiku, during the election campaigns, has been spewing a series of lies.
“Making empty promises and presenting a false narrative about our current reality and the legacy of the ignoble 16-year era of the PDP administration, of which he was a major player,” Onanuga said.
He said Atiku’s claim at his rally in Abuja on Saturday that the country was not safe for trade and agriculture was a false narrative.
This, he said, Atiku had been pushing for some time since he moved to Nigeria from his base in Dubai, mainly to run in the 2023 presidential election.
The APC PCC Director of Media and Publicity expressed the belief that in his private moment, Atiku would admit that his views on insecurity were exaggerated.
According to Onanuga, the country is certainly better protected than it was in 2015, when the PDP allowed insurgents to seize 17 local government areas in Borno.
He said this was in addition to about four councils in Atiku’s home state of Adamawa when Abuja was under constant bomb attacks and people slept with their eyes wide open.
He wondered what further proof of the progress the APC has made Atiku needs than the fact that he was recently able to bring the men and women of his party to Maiduguri for a demonstration without attacks from insurgents and bandits.
“Atiku can also drive smoothly from Yola, the capital of his state, to Jada, his hometown on a road reconstructed by the APC administration led by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“The road was impassable for eight years. Atiku was Vice President and became progressively evil and totally cut off from civilization until the Buhari government rebuilt it.
“The most grotesque thing about Atiku’s promise is that he will make sure that the ASUU stops striking so that the universities can reopen forever and ever.”
“Atiku forgot to tell his audience that a PDP government in 2009 signed an agreement with ASUU, which it never implemented for six years, leaving the mess of the agreement for APC to handle,” Onanuga said.
He said that while Nigerian universities rotted under the PDP’s watch, Atiku and his boss, President Olusegun Obasanjo, chose to establish their own universities, ABTI-American University and Bell University, intended for the children of the wealthy.
He said one indicator that this former vice president had not changed in character as portrayed by Obasanjo was his promise to sell the newly commercialized NNPC Ltd and all its assets and subsidiaries for just $10 billion.
He added that even before inviting bids, Atiku had already undervalued the oil conglomerate, just as he undervalued the Nigerian companies he was asked to sell.
This, he said, was done under the abused privatization program of the Obasanjo administration.
Onanuga recalled that Atiku made a similar promise in 2019, saying that he would sell the NNPC to his friends and cronies.
“Surely, he retains the same mentality, although he has changed the terminology to privatization.
“In his campaign. Atiku’s refrain has been to tell less discerning Nigerians that he is on a mission of recovery and restoration by running for election.
“The question every Nigerian should ask you in pidgin is: get Wetin back.
“Can the PDP ever be a recovery vehicle for our country, judging by its long service record, when it spent $16 billion on energy that only resulted in worsening darkness,” Onanuga said.
He said that if the PDP is ever a recovery vehicle when it also commands the privatization of power distribution to cronies, it also leads to more darkness.
“Now the nation’s hope for uninterrupted electricity rests on the $2.5 billion Nigeria-Siemens deal initiated by the Buhari administration.
“We need to further ask if the PDP hopes to be a recovery vehicle for our military, when during its administration it diverted billions of dollars earmarked for weapons to private pockets and marabouts.
“Our ill-equipped soldiers were left to die while facing guerrillas with superior weapons.
“Today, President Buhari’s APC government has turned the misfortune of our armed forces and boosted morale with modern weapons, fighter jets, warships and others,” Onanuga said.
He asked if a party that was unable to recover due to its implosion and internal crises could recover and rescue Nigeria.
He said that the PPD must first rescue and recover itself and its abandoned national secretariat.
Onanuga said that after raising more than N20 billion to build a national party office, the PDP and its leaders looted the money the same way they looted our country.
Therefore, he advised Nigerians to ignore anything Atiku Abubakar says, adding that he is a hopeless politician who should never be trusted.
“Atiku is not coming to take Nigeria back for nothing, he is just coming to restore it to his pocket and his cronies’ pocket,” Onanuga said.