The Atiku Abubakar campaign organisation has responded to a question raised by the spokesman for the All Progressives Congress (APC), Yekini Nabena on Atiku’s scorecard in public office.
In a statement on Tuesday, the campaign organisation listed a number of what it described as bold strides taken by the former Vice President while in public office.
The campaign group said as Vice President (1999 to 2007) and chairman of the National Council on Privatisation (NCP), Atiku superintended over the GSM revolution that saw Nigeria go from 50,000 to 100 million GSM lines.
The organisation said the GSM revolution added 500,000 direct jobs to the Nigerian economy and attracted $27 billion to the GDP.
The campaign group also credited Atiku with what it described as the successful privatization of many public enterprises that hitherto consumed government resources without yielding profits.
“A further achievement of the former Vice President is initiating, starting and completing several road projects all over Nigeria, including roads in President Muhammadu Buhari’s home state of Katsina.
“In return, we challenge President Buhari and the APC to mention three projects that they have initiated, started and completed in the last three years.
“We ask President Buhari how many loopholes in public expenditure has he plugged? The spectacular failure of the 419 Nigeria Air is still fresh in the memory of Nigerians.
“We wish to remind APC’s National Publicity Secretary, Yekini Nabena, that Atiku Abubakar is not like President Buhari who has never run a successful private business throughout his life.
“Unlike Muhammadu Buhari, Atiku Abubakar is an expert job creator who has founded many successful and thriving businesses, including the American University of Nigeria, Yola; a Microfinance Bank that has moved 45,000 families out of poverty; and Rica Gado, a livestock feed company that has significantly reduced instances of herdsmen/farmers clashes by providing a business-friendly solution instead of asking Nigerians to give up their lands for cattle ranching or face death, as the Buhari government did.
“Unlike President Buhari, Atiku Abubakar does not believe Nigerian youths are lazy. How could, when 25,000 out of his 50,000 employees are youths?
“Now we urge the Buhari Presidency and the APC to mention even one successful private endeavour that the President has successfully run. And by private enterprises, we are not referring to 150 cows that never increased in number, year in year out”, the Atiku group added.
The campaign organisation stated that it listed only a few of the “booming” commercial enterprises founded by Atiku, adding that no other candidate is as poised Atiku Abubakar to get Nigeria working again.
“Nigerians want jobs and Atiku means jobs. It is no surprise that that is one thing the APC do not want to talk about, seeing that they have lost 11 million jobs in the last three years”.
The Atiku group dismissed accusation of by the APC that the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was desperate, saying it’s obvious who is desperate between Atiku and President Buhari.
The group said, “Our response to the APC is to ask who is desperate between a Muhammadu Buhari who said, ‘If what happened in 2011 should again happen in 2015, by the grace of God, the dog and the baboon would all be soaked in blood’, and an Atiku Abubakar who said ‘love and peace should not only be preached, but must also be put into practice for the sake of sustaining the peace in our land.
“It is left for Nigerians to judge, but even a blind person can see that Nigeria has been ‘soaked in blood’ ever since she was unfortunate enough to have fallen under the rulership of a man whose words are destructive and never productive”.
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