National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Co-Chairman of the party’s Presidential Campaign Council, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, yesterday, came hard on former Vice President and presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Ababakar, saying he has no vision for Nigeria.
Tinubu, who described the forthcoming presidential election as a contest between two different visions for the country and the future the visions portend, insisted that there is no basis to compare the personality of President Muhammadu Buhari, who is the presidential candidate of the APC to that of Atiku.
Tinubu stated these in a statement titled: “We accept President Buhari’s assignment,” in his acceptance of the responsibility to lead Buhari’s campaign for the February 16 presidential election.
President Buhari had, at the inauguration of the APC campaign council on Monday, saddled Tinubu with the responsibility of leading his campaign for the February 16 presidential poll even when he is the chairman of the council.
The APC national leader said of Buhari and Atiku’s personalities: “The character of the two candidates cannot be more distinct. President Buhari is a straight and honest man. Leave a naira on the table with Buhari in the room, you will find the naira on the table when you return. When Buhari says yes or no, you know where he stands. He means what he says, no more, no less.
“With Atiku, things are more nuanced. When Atiku speaks, he may mean yes, no, maybe, I don’t know, come back tomorrow, all the above, or none of the above. His compass has four needles pointing in different directions at the same time. He knows of no direction to take.
“President Buhari’s word is his bond. When Atiku speaks, it is to give you the slip. We cannot afford a president whose ways and mind is a maze of contradicting urges and colliding desires. This shows he has no vision for the nation and no guiding principles, except the naked pursuit of power for the naked use of that power.
“Atiku had his chance to shine as VP when he controlled the privatization programme of the Obasanjo government. He abused this assignment. He helped squander billions of dollars on power generation that did nothing but extend our national the darkness.
“That government had so much money at its disposal and that is exactly what it did. It disposed of the money, yet failed to treat the poor or build for the future. Atiku laid waste to the national treasury for eight long years. That is enough for one lifetime. We should not reward him by giving him another eight years because the more he feeds, the stronger his hunger grows.
“His is a thirst that can’t be quenched and a hand that cannot be restrained from taking whatever is on the table. As the PDP candidate, he is now the leader of an avaricious horde that seeks to reattach its mandible once again to the public wealth and forever lay siege to our nation’s future. Nigerians would do well not to pay them any attention.”
Noting that members of the APC Presidential Campaign Council will work diligently to re-elect Buhari, Tinubu said their commitment is not for personal accolades or merely to re-elect a party member, but because it is the best thing for Nigeria.
Tinubu, who has already rallied members of the campaign council with the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, as Director-General, for the task ahead, said the PDP should not be allowed to return to power and rule the nation like overlords.
His words: “The 2019 APC Presidential Campaign Council has been inaugurated by President Buhari. In his speech at the inaugural meeting, he did more than offer us guidance on the campaign. In his straightforward manner, he outlined the achievements of his administration, reminding the nation of the pillars of progressive governance and of our party.
“I think I can speak for all members of the campaign council that we accept the assignments given by the President with devotion and a firm commitment to perform to our utmost the individual and collective tasks given. It is a great honour and responsibility he has given us. We dare not let him down because doing so would also let down the nation.”
Reminding Nigerians that the forthcoming presidential election concerns more than two competing personalities and political parties, he said: “The APC seeks a better Nigeria by reforming our institutions of governance that these institutions may better implement policies engendering dynamic economy development. We seek not only growth, but also a fair and just allocation to all segments of society of the harvest of our national endeavours.
“Let no Nigerian be forever trapped in poverty and despair. Let all Nigerians be given the genuine opportunity to realise their full potential and contribute to this nation and their own lives as much as their talents and willpower permits of them.
“On the other hand, the PDP pushes towards a future that takes the nation back to the malpractices of the past. Blind to the possibilities of a better day and afraid of the equality that true reform will bring. The PDP remains vested in the ways of corrupt governance and arrogant disregard for the public. For them, the unjust past is not just the object of their dreams; it is their sole destination.”
The APC national leader assured that the party will continue to build a political economy that will well serve Nigeria long after oil revenues are no longer sufficient to sustain the nation and its ever-growing population.
“We are diversifying the economy, giving basic food, health and educational assistance to the most needy among us, improving agricultural productivity so that our farmers grow more to feed for increasing urban populations and also earn more to sustain their families, and about building needed infrastructure, including electricity and water, because we realise a national economy cannot grow beyond the capacity of the infrastructure that serves that economy.
“Meanwhile, the PDP clan wants to return to the days, when they ruled the nation like overlords. They want to own every industry and control everything that has anything to do with the creation of wealth. They seek to reverse the democratic maxim that government is the servant of the people. The PDP wants a situation where those in government are the masters, while the people bow their heads to the interests of the mighty and the rich,” he said.
Meanwhile, the PDP, in its reaction, advised Tinubu to be watchful ahead of his 2023 wishful presidency interests because those he is dining with today, has demonstrated in time past, that they can always use and dump him.
The party in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary and Director, Media and Publicity, Presidential Campaign Organisation, Kola Ologbondiyan, said by Tinubu’s stature, he ought to be found in the class of respected senior citizens, who are decorous, speak statesmanlike and not resorting to the gutters.
The PDP insisted that Atiku is a focused Nigerian, who has contributed immensely to the economic and political development of Nigeria and has also displayed huge stability in character through the bridges of human and economic relationships he has built across the nation.
He said: “The PPCO wants Tinubu, as the Asiwaju of Yoruba land, to know that he has the responsibility of tutoring the younger generation on the culture of the Yorubas, which holds that when a child is given the errand of a slave, he delivers it like a freeborn.
“At Tinubu’s stature, he ought to be found in the class of respected senior citizens who are decorous, speak statesmanly and not resorting to the gutters whenever he speaks in public.
“In politics, family ties and bonds as well as relationships are greater and stronger than political interests and it is the expectation of our campaign organization that Tinubu should understand this.
“Our candidate, Atiku Abubakar, is a focused Nigerian who has contributed immensely to the economic and political development of our nation.
“He has also displayed huge stability in character through the bridges of human and economic relationships he has built across our nation.
“At this critical time, when majority of Nigerians expect true democrats, which Tinubu has always claimed allegiance, to come together and rescue our nation from the absurdity of governance that the APC and the Buhari presidency represent, it is unfortunate that Asiwaju chose being tied to the aprons of anti-democratic interests.
“It is therefore strange, if not ridiculous, that the Asiwaju of Yorubaland can be dancing around an anti-people government at this time. Our advice to Tinubu is that he should be watchful ahead of his 2023 wishful presidency interests because those he is dining with today, has demonstrated in time past, that they can always use and dump him.
“Tinubu should know that among the ranks of presidential candidates, Atiku Abubakar stands out as that candidate Nigerians trust and belief in as their next President, come May 29, 2019. It is also imperative to know that the fairy tales of integrity, which he weaved around President Buhari in 2015, have waned and become obsolete.
“Nigerians have moved beyond APC and President Buhari!”