ATIKU’s BLUEPRINT: PDP slams FG on economic hardship faced by Nigerians

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Alleges APC has no policy document

Uba Group

Urges Lai Mohammed to apologise to Nigerians

MAYOWA SAMUEL AND BRIGHT JACOB

The People’s Democratic Party has knocked the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, for describing the economic blueprint recently unveiled by its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, as a crude attempt at copying all that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has done.

Reacting to Mohammed’s position, the PDP Presidential Campaign Organisation in a press release made available to The Point on Thursday by Atiku’s spokesman, Paul Ibe, said that the minister “lied against truth and must apologise to Nigerians.”

According to the PCO, the attempt by the APC to categorise policy documents and proposals espoused by Atiku as the “version of the economic blueprint of the APC” is unbelievable, calling the action of the minister “a tsunami of lies.”

He said, “The People’s Democratic Party Presidential Campaign Organisation has observed with utmost dismay the very poor attempt by the Hon. Minister for Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed to turn on its head.

“While the minister was making a barren attempt to catalogue perceived achievements of the current APC administration, he did the unbelievable by claiming that the policy documents and proposals espoused by His Excellency Atiku Abubakar, our presidential candidate, are the version of the economic blueprint of the APC.

That is a tsunami of a lie!,” the statement said.

Continuing, the PDP Campaign Organisation reminded Nigerians that the current APC Government came to power without any policy document, and that in 2015 and 2019, it took the party six and three months, respectively, to constitute a cabinet, asking the minister to tell Nigerians “if it is also part of the APC manifesto to foot drag in forming a government.”

Furthermore, the PDP said the economic recession in 2016 happened because the APC applied what could be called a “catch-up” strategy to the early signals of the recession. This strategy, according to the PDP, was what left Nigerians more malnourished, sick and disillusioned.

Also, the PDP accused the APC of setting poor records in the area of economic management and several other key sectors of national life, and was the reason why there was widespread anxiety about the 2023 general elections, which, the PDP stated, would be a “referendum” on the APC.

“It is on record that the first economic recession that the country experienced in 2016, which happens to be our worst economic decline in thirty years, happened primarily because the APC administration applied what can be called a catch-up strategy to the early signals of the recession.

“That is why till this day, Nigerians are more agreeable to the fact that the tenure of the APC has been nothing but a sheer waste of time, all thanks to the catch-up economic strategy of the ruling party that has left the people more malnourished, sick and disillusioned.

“The poor records of the APC in the areas of economic management, jobs creation, education, security and in virtually all spheres of our national life are the reason why there is a lot of anxiety about the 2023 general election. Indeed, it needs to be stressed that next year’s election will be a referendum on the APC and it is not in doubt that the ruling party in Nigeria will present a global case-study of how a political party can lose popular goodwill within a short period of time.

The PDP also accused the ruling party of being “scandals” in the art of governance, noting that Nigerians are “rallied” in their frustration in the APC and the promise of a better future its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, held for the country after his victory in the elections next year.

The PDP said what the Minister “reeled out” as achievements of the APC was a compilation of the reasons why Nigerians had rejected the ruling party and a testimonial of failures. On the contrary, the party said, “What His Excellency Atiku Abubakar presented to the organised private sector in Lagos State last week represents the hopes of a new beginning, which Nigerians eagerly anticipate.”

The statement, therefore, specified that trying to associate the Atiku policy plans with the failed policies of the APC was the comical height of the minister’s aversion for the truth, and is a contempt which the minister must apologise to Nigerians for.

“CBN"

Sharing his thought on Mohammed’s statement on Atiku’s economic blueprint, spokesperson of the Atiku Abubakar Presidential Campaign Organisation, Charles Aniagwu, asked the minister to focus on governance, rather that the PDP, adding that Atiku is only determined to rescue and clean up Nigeria from the mess that the ruling party had put the country into.

Speaking to The Point, Aniagwu said, “I think it will be better for the administration to get busy with cleaning the mess they afflicted all of us. What is important is that Nigeria needs to be fixed and that is what Atiku wants to do. We are determined to ensure that we rescue the country. Any attempt to distract us, we will not give into that because we have got work to do, which is to clean up the mess that they have put this country into.

Stating that the APC had no policy, Aniagwu said, “The only policy they have is the one they go and share money in the market. Is there any other policy that they have? They only have the policy of appointing people in such a way that it does not reflect the diversity of the country.”

“There are many problems confronting this country. Lai Mohammed should leave Atiku, let them go and even govern. You know they were very busy blaming the PDP for the better part of their administration. They now want to begin to blame a man even before taking over. Atiku has identified the challenges and he’s ready to solve them. So, let them not start looking for whose name to call,” he advised.

On his part, spokesman for Atiku Abubakar Campaign Organisation, Daniel H. Bwala, who also spoke with The Point noted that the economic blueprint of Atiku and that of the present government are different, stating that while that of the APC government is “public sector driven,” that of Atiku is “private sector driven.”

Bwala added, “Atiku is talking about opening up the economy, giving private participation and ownership for the economy. APC’s policy is that everybody is poor and everybody depends on the government for handouts, that’s why they have all manners of Social Investment Programmes.”

“They are not the same. Atiku believes that national security hinges on the economy. They don’t believe that, they separate them. Atiku believes that the economy can only work. The APC are emasculating the banks, emasculating CBN. This APC led administration, there is not a single policy of the government that promotes private participation in the economy, everything is investment.

“Lai Mohammed does not even know the economic policy that is being used in this government. You have such an economic policy yet, you are heading towards hyperinflation? You have economic policy but the next government will have to look for N7 trillion because you kept borrowing? The key difference between our economic policy and APC economic policy is on the very philosophy of a capitalist economy and socialist economy. The APC lean towards socialist ideology of economy where they promote laziness where you don’t have to work because there will always be a government hand out for you because the government believes everybody is poor.

“They tax the rich and give to the poor, they don’t encourage participation in the economy. On the other hand, PDP believes in the ideology of a capitalist economy but not one hundred percent. We will revise the economy. You have an economic blueprint and you are getting a loss of how many trillion and you say we are copying your own. A woman that is selling Akara is more efficient in her economic policy than the Federal Government.

“Lai Mohammed’s economy has brought us to a place where the World Bank says that Nigeria is heading to what they call super inflation, which is a total breakdown of the economy of the country. That’s the economy we want to copy? Let him (Lai Mohammed) understand first, what economic policy they are running, then when we come in, they will understand our own,” Bwala stated.