The spokesperson for the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential campaign council, Festus Keyamohas said that Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) Chairman Atiku Abubakar is the least likely candidate of the three main presidential candidates in terms of decision-making ability.
While appearing on ‘Politics Today’, a Channels TV political program on Friday, Keyamo said that the former vice president has never held any executive position where the responsibility is his, while his party’s candidate, Bola Tinubu, and his El Labor Party opponent Peter Obi is in the lead due to his experiences as former governors of Lagos and Anambra states, respectively.
Mr. Keyamo, Minister of State for Labor and Employment, said that Mr. Obi is “ahead of him (Mr. Atiku) in terms of decision-making ability. So, how are we going to hand over the country to someone who has never held office, who has never shown ability where he makes the final decision? Atiku Abubakar is not tested, he is not trusted. He has never held such a position, even Obi is ahead of him.”
“The main rival we have today has never held an executive position where he makes the final decision in government. Therefore, we cannot doubt: Atiku Abubakar has never held an executive position in which he has made the final decision; he was vice president, he was not chief executive, he was never governor, he was never anything. Even Peter Obi is ahead of Atiku Abubakar,” he said.
Mr. Atiku was elected Governor of Adamawa State in 1998 before former President Olusegun Obasanjo chose him as his running mate. He was elected Vice President of Nigeria and served in that position for two terms. In 2007, he ran for president on the platform of the Action Congress, a party then controlled by Tinubu. Mr. Tinubu campaigned for him throughout the country, although he came third in the elections.
Nigeria manages inflation better than the United States and Canada
Mr. Keyamo also defended this administration’s record on the economy.
He stated that Nigeria has done better in terms of managing inflation than some advanced economies such as the United States, Canada, Spain and Germany.
According to the minister, those countries have experienced a higher percentage increase in the rate of inflation than Nigeria. He added that the opposition cannot campaign on commodity prices without putting it in a global perspective.
ALSO READ: 2023: Christians have nothing to fear over APC’s Muslim-Muslim presidential bid – Keyamo
“It’s too lazy to campaign ‘what is the price of tomatoes? What is the price of tomatoes now? ….Look, you have to put it in the context of a global macroeconomic situation of the main countries of the world. And to tell you that Nigeria has done extremely well in one context. Don’t quote me that Nigeria has done extremely well when people are suffering, but in the context of what we’ve seen in the global economy.
“Let me tell you this, the inflation that you see today was around 13 percent, like in 2020 during the pandemic, now we are at 18 percent, which is about a five percent (increase). That five percent increased in one of the worst periods of human existence. However, we are better than the major countries in the world, such as USA, Canada, Russia, Spain, Germany. Go check me out. “I’m not saying that your inflation is 18 percent or more, I’m not talking about the number, but the percentage of the increase. In other words, we have tried to keep inflation low, more so than other countries that are even bigger than us. Ghana is worse, it did 19 percent in terms of rising inflation.
“Inflation in Ghana is around 29% to 30%,” he said.
On insecurity, Keyamo said the current administration has done exceptionally well in dealing with Boko Haram in the northeast and dealing with clashes between farmers and herders. He expressed that the difference between the current administration and the immediately past one is that this administration is prepared to face the problem.
He also dismissed concerns raised about the recent increase in insecurity in the Federal Capital Territory. He claimed that the media is helping bandits to spread fear, adding that insecurity is not unique to Nigeria. He said that the current administration has shown the ability to address the problem.
Although Keyamo is trying to blame the media, Nigerians are experiencing increased insecurity lately. An unprecedented attack on presidential guards recently occurred in Abuja weeks after the daring attack on Abuja’s Kuje prison, where detained Boko Haram members were released.
The situation has been so bad that federal lawmakers are considering impeaching President Muhammadu Buhari for insecurity. Before embarking on a lengthy recess, lawmakers from opposition parties gave Buhari a six-week ultimatum to fix the insecurity or risk impeachment.
The impeachment measure is gaining cross-party support, as some APC senators have also expressed support for impeaching the president if the security situation is not addressed. Two senators from the ruling party, Elisha Abbo (APC, Adamawa) and Umar Bulkachuwa (APC, Bauchi) publicly expressed their support for impeachment.