The ruling All Progressives Congress, APC has described as fictions and
lies, the claims of Atiku Abubakar, Presidential candidate of the main
opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and his running mate, Peter Obi
when they appeared on a Television Show tagged: ‘The Candidates’
Wednesday night in Abuja.
The Candidates which is a town hall meeting organized by the Nigerian
Television Authority (NTA) in collaboration with the MacArthur
Foundation for Presidential and Vice Presidential candidates of
political parties to answer questions from the audience had earlier
featured Muhammadu Buhari and Yemi Obsinbajo, Presidential and Vice
Presidential candidates of APC.
The APC Presidential Campaign Council in a reaction to the performance
of Atiku/Obi on the programme said, “yesterday, Nigerians watched with
shock and dismay the barefaced lies and outright dishonest claims of the
Presidential and Vice Presidential Candidates of the Peoples Democratic
Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi in the television show
tagged ‘The Candidates”.
Festus Keyamo, Director of Strategic Communications, APC Presidential
Campaign Council in a statement on Thursday in Abuja told Nigerians that
some of the lies by Atiku/Obi in the programme include the claim that
at handover in May 2015, Nigeria’s GDP growth rate was 6%.
Keyamo however said it is a well-documented fact that at handover, the
GDP growth rate was 2.35%, the economy was on a free fall as the GDP
growth rate had dropped for three consecutive quarters and debunked
Atiku claims that the recession was caused by the APC Government.
“Fact Checked Truth: With a consistent and rapid drop of our GDP, their
Coordinating Minister of the Economy at that time, Okonjo Iweala, former
Central Bank Governor Prof. Charles Soludo and the Central Bank Governor
at the time, now Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, warned the PDP
Government and Nigerians that we were headed for a recession.
“Lie Number 3: Alhaji Atiku Abubakar claimed that security challenges
were restricted to the North East during their time. Truth: Nigerians
will recall that the Boko Haram activities had spread all over the North
East, North West and North Central. For instance, UN Headquarters,
Police Headquarters, a Bus stop in Nyanya, a prominent Plaza in Wuse II
were all bombed during the era of the last government in Abuja.
“A church or Mosque was bombed every week in 2013/2014. The
herders-farmers’ clashes were the deadliest in 2014, claiming over
1,300 lives in a short period across the North. Boko Haram occupied over
17 Local Government Areas and hoisted their flags, effectively
establishing a caliphate in the North East. All these happened before
the coming of this administration.
“Lie Number 4: Peter Obi claimed that out-of-school children grew to
13.5 million under this administration. Truth: The figure of 13.2
million out-of-school children was a 2015 survey by UNICEF. An alarm was
raised by several global bodies then because the figure had grown from
10.5 million in 2010 to 13.2 million in 2015, despite record earnings of
the Government at that time. In other words, Peter Obi’s claim is
“Lie Number 5: That Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, as a Customs officer, said
there was nothing wrong at that time with setting up a company that had
dealings in the Ports that were under customs supervision. Truth: The
Code of Conduct for Public Officers was first enshrined in 1979
constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Atiku Abubakar
co-founded the company, as a serving customs officer, three years after
the 1979 constitution came into operation.
“According to Section 1 of the 5th Schedule to the 1979 Constitution, a
public officer shall not put himself in a position where his personal
interest conflicts with his duties and responsibilities. By establishing
a company involved in Port-related business at a time when he was an
officer in the Nigeria Customs Service charge with managing the Ports,
Alhaji Atiku Abubakar definitely put himself in a position where his
personal (business) interest conflicted with his duties as a public
“Lie Number 6:Peter Obi claims Nigeria has record poverty now. Truth:
Despite high oil revenue, according to the World Bank, extreme poverty
under PDP grew to 112 million in 2013 through 2014, compared to 86
million today. India pulled their citizens out of poverty for over two
decades by using the same methods Nigeria is now using today”, he
Keyamo further argued that, “in summary one would have thought that in
the course of the programme, ‘The Candidates’, Atiku/Obi would have
modified the lies they told earlier in their campaigns and make it
consistent with reality as most of them were already fact-checked by
independent bodies and proven to be lies. Alas they have continued on
the same path, believing that ‘If you tell a big enough lie and tell
it frequently enough, it will be believed’.
“First and foremost, Nigerians should take note that Alhaji Atiku
Abubakar defined Corruption as “the use of your privileged position to
either enrich yourself or enrich your relatives or even your friends”.
When this is juxtaposed with his earlier statement in Lagos, thathe will
enrich his friends if he becomes President, we can safely conclude that
he will be fully in the business of corruption if he becomes President.
“Secondly, Atiku/Obi made it clear to Nigerians that conflict of
interests as a public servant should be the norm as, during their
tenures, they found absolutely nothing wrong then and today, with
investing public funds in enterprises they own or their families own.
For instance, Kadaria ran Peter Obi into a ditch when she asked him if
his family was not enriched as a result of using public funds for his
family business ‘NEXT’.
“Thirdly, their claim on experience in running anything public or
private cannot stand any act of scrutiny. The Presidential candidate,
who is easily a major contributor to our huge unemployment problem
today as a result of his corrupt privatisation programme, counts this
failure as a huge experience and wants to repeat same if elected.
“Finally, their proposed Agriculture Programme which they claim to have
put together to lift majority of the people out of poverty is a version
of what is already being implemented by the present government under the
Anchors Borrowers Programme and the Government Enterprises and
“After watching Atiku/Obi on that programme, it has become clear to all
Nigerians that our public institutions and commonwealth would be in
grave danger if left in the hands of these dodgy and questionable
characters who have no morals and no scruples about using and misusing
public funds for private gains”.