The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has declared that the prayer, which slipped out of the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, at yesterday’s campaign flag-off in Jos, “God Bless PD…”, confirmed his innermost conviction that PDP represented the hope and aspiration of majority of Nigerians for a secure and prosperous future under a united country
PDP, in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, said the fact that Tinubu said the prayer during his “flopped presidential campaign flag-off” was a pointer that it was not a slip of tongue but a divine proclamation that the hope for Nigeria, which he harped on, could only come from PDP.
The opposition party reiterated its stand that Tinubu was ineligible to stand for the 2023 election, saying it is instructive to note that the APC presidential candidate had earlier in his address admitted that Nigerians were “in distress” under his failed APC but that hope was on the way.
At the same time, the presidential candidate of PDP and former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, said his agenda for restructuring Nigeria was to ensure a more efficient government.
PDP said in its statement, “Since Asiwaju Tinubu’s prophetic blessing on the PDP, our party has been receiving flurries of calls, solidarity messages and visits from key members of the APC, who believe that his prayer is a divine act of God to point the nation to the right direction.
“It is apparent that Asiwaju Tinubu was speaking under the ostensible weight of the recent revelation of his indictment for narcotic trafficking, which has become a huge burden from which he cannot extricate himself and for which he has lost all moral and legitimate capacity to occupy the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“This, perhaps, explains why Asiwaju Tinubu was incoherent and had no concrete message to Nigerians at the flag-off of his campaign.
“It was pathetic as Nigerians watched with pity as the APC presidential candidate, who is dazed by the intimidating credentials and popularity of the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, could not articulate any solution to the myriad of problems brought upon our nation by the failed APC, which he boasted of having installed and superintends over as national leader.”
PDP further said Tinubu could not proffer any solution or idea to the challenges of insecurity, disunity, unabated killings, rising unemployment, tumbling Naira, collapsing economy with unprecedented debts of over N40 trillion, arising from summersaulting macro-economic policies of his failed and corrupt APC government.
PDP counselled APC to note that Nigerians were not ready to listen to a presidential candidate like Tinubu, whom it claimed, had continued to engage in insults, vituperations and uncontrolled outburst rather than focus on issue-based campaign.
It said, “The APC presidential candidate should be more concerned with his narcotic indictment and inconsistencies in his personal biodata of name, age, ancestry, education and record of work, which Nigerians have the right to know.
“Having prayed for the PDP as the hope of the nation, Nigerians expect Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to have the courage to admit the fact that are already in the public domain, apologise to the nation and withdraw from the race.”
Atiku, who spoke at the 24th Lecture Series of the Lagos Business School, yesterday, said he would encourage the National Assembly and state Houses of Assembly to come up with constitutional amendments that would give more powers and resources to state and local governments.
Atiku, who was a keynote speaker in a panel of Question and Answer session, said he believed in small government and that the private sector should be given the opportunity to play a bigger role in the economy.
He stated, “As Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria between 1999 and 2007, I headed the economic team that implemented fundamental economic reforms, including the design and implementation of a private sector revival strategy.
“We focused on macro-economic stability and transforming critical areas, such as banking, insurance, oil and gas, telecommunications, pension and the civil service. We created novel institutions for laying the foundation for good governance and accountability, such as the Bureau of Public Procurement, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, and SERVICOM.
“With many years in the private sector, I have a deep understanding of our economy and its challenges.”
Atiku said his five-point agenda was a document containing solutions to the many challenges besetting the country.
He said, “I am an active operator in the private sector. I am a manufacturer, service provider, and an educationist. So, I have first-hand experience of what the private sector needs and I also have experience in governance.
“The PDP economic reforms recorded significant achievements between 1999 and 2015. Now, you have seen the impact of the people that took over from us. Nigerians can pick between the two. If you give the PDP another opportunity, we will perform even better than we did before.”