Gentlemen of the Press, we have invited you today to thank Nigerians for the massive support that our Party and Presidential Candidate, Atiku Abubakar continue to receive since the commencement of campaigns for the 2023 general elections.
Last Saturday, the Grand Finale of our Presidential Campaign Rally held in Yola, Adamawa State. The unprecedented crowd and the excitement by Nigerians from across the country demonstrated beyond measure, that majority of the people have settled for Atiku Abubakar as the next President of Nigeria.
Through the course of the campaign, Atiku Abubakar and his running mate, H.E Ifeanyi Okowa energetically traversed the nooks and crannies of our country, engaging various segments of Nigerians in diverse fora; consultative meetings, interactive sessions, Town Hall meetings, faith-based platforms, media interviews and political rallies articulating their plans, solutions and selling the message of hope to Nigerians.
Atiku Abubakar continues to demonstrate that he is a Pan-Nigeria leader with the required experience, capacity, integrity, stamina, presence of mind, commitment, sense of duty and readiness to lead our nation at this critical time.
In contrast however, the failed All Progressives Congress (APC) and its embattled Presidential Candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, in their vacuity, arrogance and entitlement mentality treated Nigerians with unpardonable disdain by refusing to engage the people in interactive sessions, debates and media interviews. This is a clear indication that the APC and its Presidential Candidate are incapable and have nothing to offer Nigerians.
While Atiku Abubakar continues to engage Nigerians on issues that are critical to our nation; including National Unity and Stability, Security, Restructuring, Infrastructural Development, empowerment of the people through diversification, Asiwaju Tinubu abdicated because he has no solution to the myriads of problems brought upon our nation by the APC which he admitted to have brought into office.
Since his emergence as the Presidential Candidate of the APC, Asiwaju Tinubu and the APC have not been able to engage in campaign on issues rather their focus have been on individuals and irrelevances, even display of unseriousness and comics.
Nigerians can recall Tinubu’s display of pitiable incapacities, including difficulty with coordination and articulation, apparent memory problems, incoherencies and blunders for which he has become a butt of joke among our youths.
This explains why the Tinubu/Shettima Campaign continues to flounder as it grapples and struggles with messaging and direction. It would be recalled that at the beginning of the campaign, Asiwaju Tinubu who cannot point to any development project or programme he initiated and executed in his eight years as Governor of Lagos State, attempted to appropriate the achievements of his predecessors and successors in office.
When that failed, the Tinubu/Shettima Campaign came up with the promise to continue on the “legacies” of the Buhari-led APC administration. When they realized that such was a serious pitfall given the massive failure of the administration where Asiwaju Tinubu holds sway as leader, they resorted to a desperate attempt to dissociate Asiwaju Tinubu from the APC administration.
However, Nigerians cannot be fooled as they can clearly remember the deep involvement of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu in the current APC government wherein he publicly boasted that he single-handedly installed the Buhari administration.
In this regard Nigerians will also recall that key figures in the failed APC administration were nominated and installed by Asiwaju Tinubu; namely the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, who is also the head of National Economic Council, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, the Minister of Power, Work and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, former Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Kemi Adeosun, the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Sports, Sunday Dare, the Minister of Solid Mineral, Kayode Fayemi, as well as the former Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Babatunde Fowler, whose tenure was tainted with alleged looting of billions of naira including a N9.2bn alleged fraud linked to the Lagos State revenue case in which a company reportedly associated to Asiwaju Tinubu was also named.
When the attempt to dissociate the APC Presidential Candidate from the current APC government failed, the Tinubu/Shettima Campaign took steps to stall the Presidential election by calling for postponement of the polls; resorting to incitements, orchestrating violence and hiring some APC State Governors to lead the charge to overheat the polity to make it appear unconducive to conduct elections with the view to truncating our democratic process having realized that the APC and its Presidential candidate have been rejected by Nigerians as a result of their monumental failures.
This Presidential election is about the issues that affect Nigerians on a daily basis and a simple comparison of statistics from 1999 to 2015 under the PDP and from 2015 to 2023 under the APC shows that the lives of Nigerians have been massively discounted as evidenced by the facts below.
The PDP handed over a $550 billion economy (largest in Africa and 26th globally) to the APC in 2015. Today Tinubu’s APC has ruined the economy and turned our nation into the poverty capital of the world where over 100 million Nigerians can no longer afford their daily meals.
This is compounded by a debt accumulation by the APC government from N12 trillion in 2015 to a staggering N44.06 trillion today; inflation rate rising from 9% in 2015 to over 22% in 2023 and an exchange rate of about N197 to a dollar under the PDP to over N750 to a dollar today with a consequential negative effect on Small and Medium Scale Enterprises which were forced to close down resulting in massive unemployment from about 8% in 2015 to 37% in 2023.
The life discounting experiences were worsened by the harsh economic policies of APC which saw the pump price of fuel rising from N87 per liter under the PDP to about N400 to N500 per liter in various parts of the country today.
Today, under the APC, a bag of rice which sold at N7,500 in 2015 under the PDP now sells for almost N50,000; a measure of garri which sold at N100 in 2015 now sells for over N450 while a measure of beans which sold at N250 in 2015 now sells for over N1000 under the APC. The list is endless.
Under the APC, Nigeria became the second most corrupt country in West Africa and 154 out of 180 in Global Corruption Index with APC leaders allegedly stealing over N15 trillion oil revenue meant for infrastructural development in the country.
On security, under the APC, our country became one of the most dangerous places to live in the word; ranked 4th in Global Terrorism Index report; third country with the highest level of terrorism after Iran and Afghanistan with over 55,430 Nigerians killed by terrorists and criminal gangs between 2015 and 2022 according official reports.
These are the issues on the ballot in this election. Nigerians are invited to take these into consideration as they go into the polls this Saturday. These issues relate to the safety and wellbeing of our citizens, the future of our children and the continued corporate existence of this country.
It is therefore clear that any vote for the APC and its Presidential Candidate is an endorsement of corruption, incompetence, insensitivity, lack of leadership and arrogance in failure.
A vote for APC will be a support for insecurity and acts of terrorism; mass killings, poverty, hardship and infrastructural stagnation. Above all, it will be a vote for a bleak future for our children and future generation.
Thank you and God bless Nigeria