The Atiku/Okowa Presidential Campaign Organisation has accused the All Progressives Congress (APC) of seeking to reinforce the hopelessness that it says Nigerians have found themselves under the administration by proposing an action plan that will cause more suffering.
Speaking on the plan of action tagged “Renewed Hope” recently launched by the presidential candidate of the ruling party, Bola Tinubu, the spokesperson of the campaign organization, Charles Aniagwu, said at a press conference in Abuja on Tuesday that the presidential candidate of the PDP, Atiku Abubakar, provides a better alternative to revive what he observed as a falling Nigeria.
He said the former Vice President was engaging in multilateral and bilateral initiatives as exemplified in his recent trip to the United States to meet people and organizations who know how to solve problems.
According to him, Atiku did not go to the United States to prove that he can enter the country but in line with his mission to recover Nigeria.
Also speaking, the Director, Strategic Communications of the campaign organization, Dele Momodu told the press conference that the PDP presidential flag bearer is worried about the state of the Nigerian economy and the suffering caused by floods in the country.
Momodu said: “Our candidate is deeply concerned by the cost of living crisis which is daily worsened by the hyperinflation inflated on Nigerians by the ineptitude of the APC administration. We are however assuring Nigerians that help is on the way as the policies enunciated with the policy document ‘Our Covenant with Nigerians’ will not only bring Nigeria out of poverty but also herald an era of prosperity and sustainable development in a PDP government, come 2023.
” The Economy and the ‘Kitchen Table Issues,’ as the Americans will say, remain a focal point of the PDP Recovery Agenda.
“The PDP and our presidential flagbearers are worried by the unabating insecurity in the country. The recent security alert by some foreign Embassies and Missions in Nigeria, though dismissed as unwarranted by the government, is just a reminder of the perilous time we are in at the moment.
“We call on security agencies to be at the top of their game to ensure that none of the scary scenarios painted by the security alert come to pass, while we also caution Nigerians to remain vigilant.
“The declaration by the Central Bank of Nigeria last week that it was going to redesign some denominations in the naira as expectedly generated varied reactions from Nigerians. Already, the value of the naira has plummeted since the announcement and efforts must be intensified to address the decline in the value of the naira.
“The economy, which is on its knees at the moment, can hardly afford further devaluation of the Nigerian currency.
“Last Friday, our principal was in the United State of America where he held council meetings with officials of the U.S. Department of State. The visit was a means of strengthening bilateral partnership with the U.S. on the economy, poverty reduction, and the fight against insecurity.
“The insight gotten from the visit will arm our candidate and the PDP to deliver on its promises to the people of Nigeria when he comes into power next year through a seamless partnership with the government of the U.S. on the subject of the economy, insecurity and poverty reduction.
“The integrity of the forthcoming elections next year must remain a subject of concern to all lovers of democracy. President Muhammadu Buhari has promised to deliver an election that is free, fair, and credible.”
On the floods ravaging parts of the country, Momodu expressed the empathy of Atiku and his running mate, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, for the victims, commending their resilience and doggedness in the face of this unprecedented calamity and suffering occasioned by the disaster.
“He added: “Our principals want to also use this opportunity to commend and thank all those who heeded their call and pleas for humanitarian assistance, support, and donation of relief materials to all victims seriously impacted by the flooding. They are further calling on individuals and corporate organizations yet to do so to come forward and assist the victims in this horrible period of pain and need.
“You are all aware that our principals themselves have not only visited flood victims across the country but also thrown in their widow’s might towards the succor of the victims and will continue to do so going forward.”
Fielding questions, Momodu affirmed that the possible loss of the group of 5 governors led by Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, does not present the same scenario that led to the defeat of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2015 presidential election.
It will be recalled that at the PDP special national convention in August 2013, seven governors and former Nigerian Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, who is now the presidential candidate of the party, stormed out in protest and later defected to the All Progressives Congress (APC), helping it to defeat the then ruling party.
Momodu noted that the threat by five state governors not to work for the election of Atiku in the 2023 election will not have the consequences the 2013 situation had on the 2015 election.
Wike and four of his counterparts including Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Sam Ortom (Benue), Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia), and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu), have resolved not to work with Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of PDP unless the perceived marginalization of the South in the main opposition party is redressed.
According to the Director, while the prevailing circumstance in 2015 was such that there was nothing the PDP could have done to win the election, with Atiku, the 2022 situation is different from the President Goodluck Jonathan era.
He said the exit of the seven governors and Atiku in 2013 played into the hands of the opposition, noting “what you have today is a candidate who’s the most experienced, most net worth, and governors angry is personal and not about PDP not delivering on its mandate.”
Momodu further observed that Nigeria is in a precarious state and requires the experience of Atiku, saying: “PDP has been extremely good to Nigerians, compare all the indices of development between PDP and APC. We must carry our message of hope and restoration to the people.
When a party has been in power for the number of years we were in power, our people will see us as being fatigued, as old, but our job is to tell them that Nigeria today is in a precarious state and if we do not have an experienced person to manage it, the prediction that Nigeria can collapse can happen easily.
“That is why we say, we do not have time for experiments, we need a man that can hit the ground running from day one. We need a man who knows every part of Nigeria. They are no candidate today who has had a national assignment among the candidates, maybe Kwankwaso as a minister.
“But we are talking about the most experienced, most productive vice president like Atiku Abubakar, a man who has been able to employ young people from every part of the country. His physician is Ibo, he has been with him for over 24 years.
“It is very easy to say I can do this and I can do that, but the person who can tell you what he can do is the person who has done it before in his private and public life. That is Atiku Abubakar.”