Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Thursday, mocked President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC), for rejecting the Economist magazine’s Intelligence Unit report on Nigeria.
Mr. Abubakar, who is a frontline presidential aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), also accused the president and the APC of double standard.
The former vice president, who spoke through his campaign group, described as “amusing,” that the APC and Mr. Buhari’s campaign group, that once celebrated the magazine’s intelligence report could now turn around to criticise it.
“We find it amusing the All Progressives Congress and a Buhari campaign that once celebrated the Economist magazine’s Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) in 2015 when they declared that Muhammadu Buhari and the APC were projected to win the 2015 elections, have today denounced the same Economist Intelligence Unit of The Economist magazine for projecting victory for the Peoples Democratic Party in the 2019 elections.
“This is symptomatic of the double standards of the Buhari regime and its APC vehicle. Nigerians are used to them treating suspected corruption by opposition members as proven cases while waving away confirmed cases of corruption, even reaching all the way to the Presidential Villa, with a wave of the hand.
“And now, they have extended their duplicity to The Economist Magazine which is the world’s premier economics focused publication,” Mr. Atiku said.
The former vice president queried APC and the Buhari administration’s advice to Nigerians to disregard the expert analysis and prediction of the world-class news magazine.
Continuing, he said, “Do they want Nigerians to disregard the fact that under the woefully-clueless Buhari administration, Nigeria overtook India as the world headquarters for extreme poverty, even though India has eight times our population?
“Do they want Nigerians to disregard the fact that a parastatal under the Buhari government, the National Bureau of Statistics, published last December that 7.9 million Nigerians lost their jobs in the 21 months period under review?
“Do they want Nigerians to disregard the fact that Transparency International has declared that Nigeria is more corrupt today than it was under the PDP and has moved 12 places backward in the Corruption Perception Index, from 136 in 2014 to 148 this year?
“Do they want Nigerians to disregard the fact that the Global Terrorism Index revealed that Nigeria is more terrorised and insecure today than she was in 2014 going from fourth most-terrorised nation to being the third most terrorised nation in the latest rankings?
“Do they want Nigerians to disregard the fact that the value of the Naira has collapsed, going from ₦199 to $1 in 2015 under the PDP to ₦365 to $1 today and being named by Bloomberg as the fourth worst performing currency in the world under Buhari?”
Mr. Atiku argued that even if the Buhari administration claimed The Economist made a mistake, HSBC, the world’s largest bank, could not have made a mistake by insisting that the continuation of the Buhari government beyond 2019 would bring economic disaster for Nigeria.
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He noted that for the two economic giants to independently arrive at the same conclusion is a damning commentary on the administration.
He maintained that Nigerians do not even need the reports of the two world-class organisations to know that the Buhari administration has failed and should be voted out, come 2019.
“Nigerians, who now pay twice the amount that they paid for fuel under the PDP even as the government pays double the subsidy that the last PDP administration paid, know that they have to vote out this disaster of a government before it brings the nation down.
“Nigerians are not prepared to surrender their ancestral lands to be used as cattle colonies just because they want to avoid death,” Mr. Atiku said.
He said the major challenges facing Nigeria in 2018 as indicated in The Economist are the economy and jobs, adding of all those aspiring to lead the country, he is the only one with a record of job creation and success in business.
Mr. Atiku said he has single-handedly created 50,000 direct jobs and 250,000 indirect jobs in his private capacity as one of Nigeria’s most successful businessmen.
He maintained that he is in the best position to redress the irreparable damage done to Nigeria’s economy by the Buhari administration and the APC.