Tinubu, Atiku at each other’s throats
Abuja — Peoples Democratic Party, PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar and All Progressives Congress, APC, National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu were at each other’s throats, yesterday, over allegations of wealth accumulation and political adventurism.
Tinubu fired the first salvo at a forum for President Muhammadu Buhari support groups in Abuja where he accused Atiku of merry-go-round in his politics and of having sought to sell half of Nigeria to himself as vice-president.
Atiku promptly responded as he raised questions on the transfer of some Lagos monuments to private hands under Tinubu’s watch even as he taunted the former Lagos governor for changing parties four times.
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo also at the ceremony with Tinubu, blasted critics of President Muhammadu Buhari, saying that their fear of him had led them to spin crazy tales of him having been cloned.
Tinubu at the forum also gave a robust defence of President Buhari’s claim that the farmer’s and herders clashes in the country was a product of climate change which had now been transformed into an issue for political and religious acrimony.
Tinubu, speaking at the launching of the National Forum of the National Committee of Buhari Support Groups, said Buhari had to be re-elected on the claim that he had turned around the fortunes of the country for good.
Why Buhari should be re-elected
Tinubu said: “He (Buhari) is committed to building the necessary foundation for a prosperous nation and diversified economy that will provide employment and fair opportunity for all.
‘’He has no tolerance for corruption and is vigorously ridding the nation of this blemish on our reputation. He fights the terrorists and is not afraid to tackle the hardest challenges of governance.
“The PDP and their candidate had vast money at their disposal, and they did nothing with it during their 16-year reign of waste. They created no jobs, and the only opportunities they promoted were their plans for looting the national treasury.
‘’They failed to bring social welfare to the poor because they forgot all about the poor. There was no serious problem they resolved. Every national problem became a friend to them that they used as an excuse to take from the public purse.
“So why are we here? To remind the people of the 16 years of cold-hearted neglect suffered at the hands of successive PDP governments.
To remind the people that in four years and with fewer resources, President Buhari has created a better foundation for Nigeria’s future than all the PDP governments combined. One Buhari is worth more than the three PDP presidents who preceded him.
“The PDP Standard bearer, Atiku Abubakar, has changed parties so many times and collected so many membership cards. He could build a house of the party membership cards he has accumulated.
But one thing he should remember is that a man who builds a house of cards ought not to cast stones at a man who is building a house with a firm and true foundation.
“He should also realise that such a feeble house will collapse as soon as the wind of truth blows on it. You, my friends, are that wind of truth.
“Atiku was with the PDP, with us, with another party then back with the PDP. He is a political merry go round and carnival all by himself. Ask him which party he belongs to, he must ask you what “year is it” before he dares answer. Ask him the direction he is going; he will answer
“North, South, East, and West at the same time.
“Any man who intends on going everywhere at the same time is a man intent on going nowhere. Atiku has every right to engage in such personal confusion. But he has no ethical right to try to substitute his personal confusion for our national mission.
“Just look at his relationship with his former boss, Obasanjo. At one point, one despised the other. Obasanjo said he had asked God not to allow Atiku to become President. If Obasanjo once asked God to prevent Atiku, we are entitled to wonder into whose ear does Obasanjo now whisper his support for Atiku’s venal cause?
“They want to live in a land of false opulence and true greed, one where the weight of all their waste and the impunity of their misconduct is borne on the backs of the common man and woman.
“This is what the coming election is about. They claim to be a “reformed PDP” then they select as their candidate, Obasanjo’s VP, who took the term “privatization” to its literal extreme.
Through plotting contrived sales of national assets to himself, Atiku sought to turn half of Nigeria into his own private property. He sought to run off with the goose that laid the golden egg while simultaneously staying put in order to milk dry the national cow. If given a second chance at the national till, he will consume all he did not take the first go around.
“This is not reform. It is regression. Whosoever tells you the path to your better future is to return to your worst past is more dedicated to your demise than your development.
“This is how a real government goes about the business of the people. President Buhari is the first president we have who has recognized the full impact climate change has throughout Nigeria. For the herder, crisis is not a story of religious conflict. The Quran is not fighting the Bible nor is the Bible fighting the Quran. They are both manuals of peace and brotherly love.
“Instead, this is a tale of too little water and fertile land. In such situations, love and peace are strained. This lack has pitted farmer and herder as never before. These people contend against each other to protect their endangered livelihoods. By incident of history, they happen to be of different faiths and ethnic groups.
“While President Buhari worries himself daily about the plight of our people, Atiku and the PDP feast on their desire for power just for the sake of having power.
“Thus, we have a decision to make. Do we sit still, allowing them to carry us backward into the past or do we stand in unified support of a leader and a man who loves this land and the people of it?
Also speaking on the occasion, Osinbajo, said the expected election would be a historic “battle between those who want our country’s resources to be used for our country and her people, and those who want to privatize the commonwealth.”
He said: “The man who stands against the forces of retrogression but with the future of our children is the man called Muhammadu Buhari. He is not a perfect man, but he is an honest and truthful man.”
He described Buhari as “a man who wants to use the resources of this country for the common man.”
He added: “Between 2010 and 2014 our nation earned the highest amount ever in history from oil, the sum of US383 billion. Just to compare in the same period we have earned less than US112 billion.”
Citing the records of the administration, he said: “We are feeding 9.2 million children every day; we are giving two million petty traders a better deal in life with Tradermoni; we have now employed 50,000 graduates under the NPower programme; we are giving at least 400,000 of the poorest Nigerians N5000 a month. It’s because Buhari is the gatekeeper, he has stopped grand corruption. So, despite the fact that we are earning 60% less, we are doing five times more.
The elite wanted Buhari dead — Osinbajo
“This is why there is a gang-up by the discredited elite against him. They prayed for him to die, he didn’t die. When he came back hale and hearty by the grace of the Almighty God, they mourned, while Nigerians rejoiced. The fear of Buhari makes people desperate, even crazy. So, now they say he is Jubril from Sudan. If you can’t discredit him, say he doesn’t exist! They were all alive and well when Pastor Adeboye went to London and prayed for him the day before he returned to Nigeria.
“How will one Jubril sit in FEC (Federal Executive Council) and conduct meetings, consult with his ministers, speak to me daily? Their strategy is simple, if you tell a lie often enough some will believe you. Buhari is not only alive, and well, he will by Gods grace live long and well after his second term in office.”
Tinubu has no moral grounds to attack Aiku — Atiku Campaign
Responding, the Atiku Campaign in a statement said: “Tinubu does not have the moral standing to accuse anyone of “selling” any property to himself, one should think he is lettered enough about financial engineering, that is too pedestrian for someone of his stature. He needs to first come clean on some properties of Lagos State which he was alleged to have appropriated to himself like the Lagos Deputy Governor’s lodge; the Lagos State Polytechnic property allegedly converted to private media estate.
“What about several choice properties in Lagos State unaccounted for under his watch? Who turned Lagos State into a private estate? Where has his sudden wealth grown from? Why are they running away from discussing issues as campaign manifestoes, but descending into such odious low on personal attacks?
“Is it that the government which he midwifed does not have anything to show about improving the living conditions of average Nigerians? He is the chief architect of merry-go-round changing names of political parties at every turn in an election year- from AD to AC to ACN and now to APC. Has their presidential candidate run on the same political party at every election over the years? From ANPP to CPC to APC. They lack the moral strength to accuse another of what they are largely guilty of.
“I think he should go above board to discuss what their party has for Nigerians to create jobs and not the continuous loss of jobs, to talk about security and the needless loss of innocent lives of citizens. That is the reasonable high anyone can go in politics and campaign rather than mundane and petty resort to personal attacks. He wants a distraction from real issues, and we are not going to gratify him with that.”