Abuja — The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, yesterday called on President Muhammadu Buhari to resign from office, saying the president's recent assessment of the nation's economy, in which he stated that it had gone out of control, was enough evidence that he had failed.
The president had told state governors last Friday in Abuja that the economy had become so bad that new strategies had to be found to revamp it, admonishing Nigerians to brace up for rough times ahead.
Atiku in a statement in Abuja yesterday by his Special Assistant on Public Communication, Mr. Phrank Shaibu, described the president's assessment indicating Nigeria's economy had collapsed under his watch as not only a self-indicting ploy to attract the sympathy of Nigerians, but also a disguise to get a soft landing from the people, who the main opposition flag bearer said he had put under terrible suffering and hardship in the last three and half years.
"The result of course is this late hour confession of failure on the eve of our general elections, in the hope that millions of Nigerians, whom he has condemned to poverty and hardship will give him a clap for failing abysmally. I dare say that President Buhari has miscalculated badly on this matter because Nigerians are simply fed up with him," he said.
Atiku added, "The economy has collapsed under his watch and he has by this frank remarks admitted that he has no idea on how to fix it; and that is why he summoned the governors to help him. This is really very sad because President Buhari has run out of time and what Nigerians need now is a leadership, which has the political will, administrative experience and sound economic acumen to get Nigeria working again."
He said the most nauseating aspect of the president 's negative assessment of the economy was that he had continued "to exhibit his cluelessness, incapacity and ineptitude in handling the economy by once again invoking the tired mantra of blaming the past administration and 16 years of PDP rule for his own failure."
Atiku said Buhari's comment was a confirmation of the forecast by the British multinational bank, HSBC, which predicted that re-electing the president in 2019 could plunge Nigeria into deeper economic hardship.
"Unless those in charge of the APC and the party's supporters are, as usual, suffering from some form of self-delusion, it just does not make any sense for them to say that the APC-led federal government had brought succour to the ordinary Nigerian when President Buhari himself has admitted to governors of the 36 States of the federation that the economy has gone beyond his control," he said, adding, "Or do we need a prophet to tell us that the president's admission of the state of the nation's economy is a vindication of our long held position and indeed the forecast by HSBC recently cited by the Nigerian media, where the bank had said a second term for Buhari would greatly stunt the economy of the country?"
He called on the APC to apologise to all Nigerians for bringing them nothing but suffering of unquantifiable proportion since 2015, and to make a solemn pledge not to have anything to do with governance again, especially with the 2019 elections fast approaching.
According to him, the hopes for better governance and improved standard of living that many had nursed with the assumption of office by the president in May 2015 has since given way to despair and hopelessness.
He stated, "The exchange rate of the Naira to the US dollar when the APC assumed office in 2015 was about 170 (official rate) to the dollar. Today it is 360 to the dollar. Today, millions of Nigerians, most of them youths, are unemployed, forcing them to become professional beggars, who wait with bated breath for the federal government's monthly N5,000 handout and N10,000 Tradermoni aimed at bribing them to re-elect the party in the forthcoming elections."
He continued, "Power generation has actually dipped from 4,949 megawatts PDP left it in 2015 to less than 3,500 megawatts even though Buhari's handlers consistently claim that 7,000 megawatts is what is currently being generated. What more evidence do we need to know that the APC has been a curse rather than a blessing to our country?"