The Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has flayed his All Progressives Congress (APC) counterpart, Bola Tinubu, over his performance at the Chatham House in London.
Bellnewsonline.com reports that Tinubu, on Monday, spoke to the Chatham House audience on his agenda for the country if elected as President in 2023.
The former Governor of Lagos State also answered questions directed at him through some members of his campaign team.
In a statement on Tuesday titled: “2023: A Comedian Visits Chatham House” and signed by his media aide, Phrank Shaibu, Atiku said Tinubu’s performance at the event was embarrassing and disgraceful.
The PDP Presidential hopeful asserted that his APC counterpart is weak, tired, and should be allowed to rest, adding that Tinubu could not defend his manifesto.
Atiku said the Chatham House event would have been an opportunity for Tinubu to redeem himself after he avoided the town hall organised by Arise Television and other media houses
He, however, said the APC flagbearer fell short of Nigerians’ expectations and also failed to sell himself to voters at the public event.
The statement reads: “The disgraceful campaign of APC candidate, Bola Tinubu, reached its nadir at Chatham House in London, where he was expected to have sold himself. Six long months after emerging as the candidate of the party, the self-styled Lagos godfather has continued to avoid any public engagement with other candidates because his intelligence pales in comparison to theirs.
“After reading his prepared speech for about 15 minutes, it was time for the question and answer session. Clearly lacking the capacity to respond to easy questions, he claimed his style is to delegate and thereafter decided to call on members of his campaign to answer questions for him.
“It is baffling that Tinubu could not defend his manifesto which he personally launched amid fanfare. His action was like a final-year student calling on his colleagues to come to help him defend his project. Utterly disgraceful.
“Rather than reveal how he would tackle insecurity, Tinubu called on Governor Nasir el-Rufai to answer the question on his behalf, noting that for clarity, the Kaduna governor recorded 1,192 civilian killings alone in 2021, almost leveling with that of war-torn Syria and therefore not qualified to speak on the issue.
“This is also a governor that admitted to paying killer insurgents to stop murdering his people. He hurriedly withdrew his children from school last year, because of insecurity but left the children of the masses to their fate.
“Early this year, Kaduna state was cut off completely, becoming inaccessible by air, train, or road. In August, he wrote a letter to President Buhari stating that the election may not take place in some parts of the state due to the activities of terrorists. Yet he (Nasir el-Rufai) was the one nominated by Tinubu to address security issues, what a joke.
“Tinubu also could not respond to questions on healthcare and even the economy despite claiming to have developed Lagos. Rather, he nominated the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila; Betty Edu, and Wale Edun to do so on his behalf.
“No wonder he is not brave enough to attend debates. He cannot hold his own. For a man, who constantly says Emi lo kan (it is my turn), it is ironic that he suddenly discovers that it is not his turn when it is time to answer serious questions.
“Tinubu was pointedly asked about his profile and background, he started his story from his life at Chicago university, wondering why the former Lagos governor could not mention the primary and secondary schools he attended and why he deliberately left them out of his Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) form CF001.
“Without mincing words, Bola Tinubu’s entire candidacy is built on a grand scam. He is like a puppet, who on the surface appears to be alive but is actually being empowered by strings from a team backstage.
“In the unfortunate event that he becomes president, Tinubu’s presidency will be run by a cabal pulling the strings from backstage. This is not about effective delegation but the dereliction of duty. The warning signs are there for Nigerians to see.
“The country is facing arguably its worst crisis since the civil war. Unemployment is at 33%, at least 133 million Nigerians live in abject poverty, the exchange rate even at the official market is at an all-time low, debt is at an all-time high, and oil revenue has dried up, according to the CBN. Nigeria cannot risk another failed Presidency.
“It is only in Africa that persons who are unfit for offices on account of ill health insist on holding offices even at the expense of the wellbeing of the economy and the citizenry. This country deserves a very healthy person. The office of the president is not for sick people.
“Tinubu has tried his best but he is now weak and tired and should be allowed to go home and take a deserved rest while I urge the electorate to vote for Atiku Abubakar at next year’s poll, as the former vice-president is the only candidate that has got what it takes to turn around the fortunes of Nigeria.”