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PDP hits out at ‘amnesiac’ Shettima after ‘political tourist’ jibe at Atiku

By Guardian Nigeria
02 November 2022   |   6:16 pm
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has taken a swipe at the vice presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Kashim Shettima, after the former Borno State governor described the PDP’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, as a political tourist, who will be permanently retired to the United Arab Emirates after the 2023 election. Shettima, who…

Composite image of Atiku Abubakar and Kashim Shettima.

The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has taken a swipe at the vice presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Kashim Shettima, after the former Borno State governor described the PDP’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, as a political tourist, who will be permanently retired to the United Arab Emirates after the 2023 election.

Shettima, who spoke at the presentation of the manifesto of the APC to the business community and organised private sector in Lagos on Tuesday, questioned the former Nigerian vice president’s academic qualification, saying the certificate Atiku got from the Kano School of Hygiene only qualifies him to be a “wole wole,” a Yoruba word for sanitation inspection officers.

Shettima, who was pitching the qualities of his principal and presidential candidate of the APC, Bola Tinubu, to the audience,  also criticised Atiku on his long history of participating in presidential elections, stating that the Adamawa-born candidate is not a politician in the mould of former United States president, Abraham Lincoln, but a Raila Odinga, who has a reputation of losing several presidential elections in Kenya.

Shettima also took a dig at Peter Obi, describing the presidential candidate of the Labour Party as a peddler of dubious statistics, adding that Obi is basking in the euphoria of what Shettima described as his “mediocre performance” as a governor of Anambra State.

But the PDP, in a news release issued by its Presidential Campaign Council and signed by its Director of Strategic Communications, Dele Momodu, said: “We have watched in utter incredulity and amazement the boldfaced speech made yesterday by the APC vice presidential candidate, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, at an event in Lagos.

“He alleged gleefully that the PDP presidential candidate, H.E Atiku Abubakar, cannot unite Nigeria when ‘he has not united his own political party’.

“It is our belief that Alhaji Shettima, in a moment of deliberate amnesia, must have tried to point fingers at the specks in another man’s eyes while studiously ignoring the giant logs in his own eyes.

“The APC is in total disarray with prominent members of his party openly apologising to Nigerians for the unmitigated disaster it has foisted on Nigeria since 2015. This is one of the reasons APC members have been migrating in droves to PDP.

“It took almost forever for APC to achieve the simple task of constituting its Presidential Campaign Council, due to the total lack of unity in their party. It is very obvious that APC has become completely rudderless and many self-respecting members are jumping ship and being recovered by PDP.

“How can these APC candidates ever unite Nigerians when they’ve shown open disdain for the democratic and voting rights of certain ethnic groups within their domains?

“Everything about APC and its candidates have been shrouded in secrecy and they are just unable to tell Nigerians the truth about anything. How can Nigerians be expected to place their faith in such mysterious characters?

“Alhaji Shettima alleged that Atiku Abubakar cannot be trusted with the economy of Nigeria. No heresy could be worse than this. Nigerians would want to know what businesses the APC candidates have managed personally and successfully except living outlandishly on government booty and largesse.

“Atiku Abubakar started business as a teenager and served meritoriously as a government officer in the Customs where he assisted so many Igbo traders, according to available testimonies.

“In Atiku’s private life, he remains one of the biggest employers of labour in Nigeria. He has brought jobs to Nigerians instead of shipping jobs out.

“How can APC be expected to guarantee the safety of lives and properties when right under the watch of Alhaji Shettima as Governor of Borno State, Boko Haram became an intractable menace and Nigeria is yet to fully recover till this day?

“PDP is extremely proud of its antecedents and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and Governor Ifeanyichukwu Okowa are fully ready to recover Nigeria from the hands of the most incompetent leaders in the history of Nigeria.”