The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, and his running mate, Peter Obi, will be retired on Saturday, the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has declared.
Saturday is the day for Nigeria’s presidential election and the two major contestants are President Muhammadu Buhari of the APC and Atiku.
In a statement issued on Thursday by his media aide, Mr. Tunde Rahman, ahead of the election, Tinubu pointed out that Atiku and his running mate, Peter Obi, did not have answers to the challenges confronting Nigeria.
He said rather than solve the problems, they would add to it because their plan was to make Nigeria unjust and unequal one for its populace.
This statement reads in part: “This election is more than a contest between two men, President Muhammadu Buhari and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, for that one exalted chair.
“Look, I have made no attempts to hide my friendship with Atiku. We are friends before this election and hopefully we will be friends after February 16 when he goes into retirement.
”For the good of Nigeria and even the good of Atiku himself, we will do well to send him into retirement on Saturday.
”Perhaps, we should also send Obi into retirement along with his boss come February 16. Perhaps together they might manage to discover the place where they might learn compassion for the common man…
“Atiku’s answers to our economic challenges are to shrink and restrain government from being the active catalyst toward a diversified economy that assured broadly-shared prosperity through the just allocation of wealth and reward according to sweat and toil put forth by the Nigerian people.
“They seek an unfair, unjust and unequal Nigeria. Their definition of Nigeria is a nation run by the greedy, for the profit of the rich, at the command of the mighty.”
He said that as opposed to the plan of Atiku and his party, the Buhari led government under the APC was to make life more meaningful to the people of the country.
He said from all indications, the government had achieved much in the area of improving the situation in the country.
“Our vision is the opposite of theirs, Unlike the PDP, we, the APC, are anchored to the proposition that every Nigerian is entitled to equal access and sufficient economic opportunity so that he may use his talents, skills and committed exertion to carve for himself and his loved ones the decent and good life every human being seeks.
“The ordinary person is not to be shortchanged of the fair dividends of his honest sweat and diligent labour simply because he may be poor or because the powerful and wealthy want more.
“Because of the APC’s concerns for the struggles of the average person, we launched beneficial social welfare programmes such as the school feeding programme, Trader-Moni and N-Power.
“As such, we have made progress caring for our most needy and vulnerable through these and other innovative and unprecedented policies. These programmes are of the type all great nations do for their citizens,” he said.
Tinubu stressed that the government had just begun to fight poverty and reform the nation’s economy on the scale required.
He said although the government had helped millions, several millions more were needed to end poverty’s stranglehold on their lives.
He said the government would still expand the scope and reach of its social welfare programmes to encompass those other people who had been denied access to the productive economy through no fault of their own.
He said in addition, all hands must be on deck to build a modern infrastructure that would energise agricultural output in rural areas and foster labour-intensive industrialisation in the growing cities of the country.
He said a second term for the president would be geared towards amending the national economic architecture to unlock the full potentials of the people and Nigeria.
“Throughout the campaign, we have talked about taking Nigeria to the Next Level. To me, this Next Level is informed by forging a new partnership between government and the governed to create a more just and prosperous economy for all.
“The beginning of this new partnership is already taking shape. As stated before, we have initiated a first phase of social welfare programmes,” he said.