The All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Saturday engaged in a war of words over the alleged poor performance of the ruling party in the last seven years.
While the Atiku/Okowa Presidential Campaign Council asked the presidential candidate of the APC, Senator Bola Tinubu to show remorse and apologise for the poor performance of the APC, the ruling party condemned what it described as the attempts by the opposition party and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar to de-market its achievements, stressing that Nigerians won’t give in to their lies.
In a statement issued yesterday in Abuja, the Director of Media and Publicity of the APC Presidential Campaign Council (PCC), Mr. Bayo Onanuga said that all surreptitious moves by Atiku and the PDP to rewrite their ugly past that plundered the country into the abyss of suffering would hit the rocks.
APC-PCC stated that the recent slanderous utterances by the leaders of the PDP and its presidential candidate against the ruling APC and President Muhammadu Buhari were not only insulting but an abuse of the collective intelligence of Nigerians.
Taking a swipe at the PDP, the campaign council maintained that Nigerians have not forgotten the atrocious era of the opposition party, adding that nobody would now accept all the lies being peddled by the PDP leaders in desperation for cheap votes ahead of next year’s elections.
The ruling party reminded the opposition party of its failed attempt to change its name due to its atrocious record, by mounting podiums and trying to deodorise and beautify the party’s ugly era.
“Leaders of Peoples Democratic Party and its presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar are playing on our seeming forgetfulness and insulting our collective intelligence.
“Having consistently shown a lack of capacity for introspection, PDP Leaders have been going about the country slandering the APC-led government of President Buhari, believing that as Nigerians, we have forgotten their atrocious era and that we are unappreciative ignoramuses.
“Notably Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the party that once contemplated changing its brand name because of its atrocious record, has been emboldened by our assumed forgetfulness as a nation, mounting podiums and trying to deodorise and beautify the party’s ugly era.”
Recalling the series of blame games by the opposition, the ruling party campaign council cited Atiku blaming the APC for the emergence of Boko Haram, forgetting that the insurgents emerged in 2009 under his party’s watch.
“He (Atiku) blamed Buhari over the economic challenges, forgetting that he opportunistically joined the coalition that toppled the clueless PDP government of President Jonathan when the economy was nose-diving.
“Atiku has now been joined by Abubakar Saraki, the failed Senate President and saboteur-in-chief of the Buhari agenda, who in his latest comment in Ilorin, urged Nigerians to ‘go back to the PDP at both the State and the national levels’. In the famous words of Dino Melaye, we say ‘PDP: God forbid’.
The ruling party argued that in a sane society, PDP should not be canvassing for votes to be returned to office, when during their 16 years in power, they laid the foundation for the challenges we face today.
“Let us not forget what the party of looters did to our treasury, depleting foreign reserves to $28 billion by May 2015, even though a record N75 trillion flowed into the treasury from oil sales alone, with almost nothing to show.
“Let us not forget that the party of looters nurtured the conditions that led to the emergence of Boko Haram on our soil and it was so clueless about how to deal with the menace as our cities and people were bombed and maimed by Boko Haram terrorists.
“Let us not forget that for six years, the PDP allowed the insurgents to declare a Caliphate on our soil, controlling 17 local governments in Borno State and four in Adamawa, making Atiku unable to go to Jada, his hometown.
“Let us not forget that the PDP left our infrastructure decrepit, highways impassable after allotted money to contractors had been shared by party stalwarts.
“Let us not forget that this party now posing as recovery agents had already grounded our country and made our economy comatose before Buhari took over on 29 May 2015.
“Let us not forget that the two poorest states in our country, Sokoto and Bayelsa are states being governed by the PDP in the last eight years.”
However, the APC-PCC noted that in the past seven and a half years, the Buhari-led administration has been trying to clear the mess left by the PDP predecessors.
Tinubu Should Show Remorse, Apologise
But in a swift reaction, the Atiku/Okowa Presidential Campaign Council has dismissed what it described as the attempt by the Tinubu/ Shettima Campaign Council to compare the prosperous years of the PDP to the famished years of the APC in office as a further confirmation that the APC is plagued by a lying spirit.
In a statement by the Spokesperson of the Atiku/Okowa Presidential Campaign Organisation, Mr. Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP presidential campaign team insisted that Nigeria was exceptionally better under the PDP before Tinubu and his APC beguiled Nigerians and brought in a deceptive, corrupt and incompetent administration that wrecked the country’s economy and foisted an era of pain, sorrow, anguish and mass killing on the nation
PDP said it was unfortunate that at a time when Nigerians expected Tinubu to be remorseful and ask for forgiveness, he was going around with lies with which he intended to beguile Nigerians once again.
“If there is any political party in the world that should never seek electoral votes because of its many failures, that party is the incompetent, deceptive and insensitive APC.
“Nigerians are already aware that Tinubu’s campaign is trying to divert public attention from its inability to articulate or process issues of governance as well as Tinubu’s incapacity to debate either in the media or public space.
“The continued resort of the Tinubu/ Shettima Campaign to diversionary tactics shows Tinubu’s acceptance of the superiority of the candidate of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar.
“In any case, it is imperative for the Tinubu/Shettima campaign to know that Nigerians are still waiting for their response to the litany of allegations surrounding Tinubu’s smelly past.
“The Tinubu/Shettima Campaign should help their principal to address the issues of alleged perjury, forgery, treasury-looting, identity theft as well as links with narcotics for which he forfeited a whopping $460,000 to the United States of America,” he added.
PDP insisted that Tinubu should draft a letter of apology to Nigerians for deceiving and making them suffer this much.
Atiku Upbeat about Securing South-east’s Votes
Meanwhile, at the PDP presidential rally in Owerri, Imo State, on Saturday Atiku exuded confidence that the South-east has no reason not to vote for his party at the next year’s general election.
He also reiterated his plan to restructure Nigeria with the National Assembly.
Speaking at the Ndubuisi Kanu Square, Atiku, who said that he understood the Igbo people very well, explained that he would sit down and listen to the people of the South-east who are at the forefront of the campaign for the restructuring of the country.
The former vice president reiterated his earlier pledge to tackle youth unemployment and gender issues, promising to inject $10 billion into businesses in Igboland to boost the economic activities of people who are known for their businesses.
“I know Igbos are businessmen. If elected I will bring back businesses in Igboland. Once I am elected I will inject $10 billion into small businesses in Igboland. With that nobody will say he does not have anything to do in the South-east.
“Just like the entire South-east is yearning for restructuring of Nigeria, once I am elected I will sit down with you and work with the National Assembly on the restructuring of Nigeria. I assure you that I swear to God that I will deal with it.
“So, the people of the Imo state and the South-east have no reason not to vote for the PDP. Honestly, as I see you and I like the way you came out to welcome me. I like that; I don’t feel like leaving you,” he added.
In his remarks, the vice presidential candidate of the PDP, and Governor of Delta State, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, stated that Atiku is the only presidential candidate that can correct the anomalies created by the ruling APC.
“Atiku said he will bring $10 billion to support small businesses. I am convinced Atiku will win this election. I greet all of you and I know you are ready to work for the PDP.”
Speaking later at a Town Hall meeting with Christian leaders in Imo, Okowa appealed to the opposition parties to unite to defeat the same-faith ticket of the ruling APC.
Okowa said that splitting of opposition votes may indirectly lead to the emergence of the same-faith ticket.
“We truly need to realise as a nation that there are certain things that bring us together and those things that divide us ought not to be emphasised.
“We believe that at every point in time it is best for Nigeria to run a Muslim-Christian ticket or a Christian-Muslim ticket; any situation that presents a same-faith ticket means that Christians will not have the opportunity to worship their God in Aso Rock,” he added.
Chuks Okocha and Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja