Festus Keyamo, spokesman of the reelection campaign of President Muhammadu Buahri, has alleged that Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), made a major contribution to the high level of unemployment in the country.
Keyamo said this while reacting to claims made by Atiku and Peter Obi, his running mate, when they featured on The Candidates, a political programme hosted by Kadaria Ahmed.
He listed what he described as lies told by the PDP candidates during the live television show.
The lawyer said Atiku and Obi’s claims exposed them as having “dodgy and questionable characters” who will not hesitate to use public funds for “private gains”.
“After watching Atiku/Obi on that programme, it has become clear to all Nigerians that our public institutions and commonwealth would be in grave danger if left in the hands of these dodgy and questionable characters who have no morals and no scruples about using and misusing public funds for private gains,” he said in a statement.
“Their claim on experience in running anything public or private cannot stand any act of scrutiny. The presidential candidate, who is easily a major contributor to our huge unemployment problem today as a result of his corrupt privatisation programme, counts this failure as a huge experience and wants to repeat same if elected.”
Keyamo said it is untrue that security challenge was limited to the north-east under the PDP administration as claimed by Atiku.
“Nigerians will recall that the Boko Haram activities had spread all over the North East, North West and North Central,” he said.
“For instance, the UN Headquarters, Police Headquarters, a Bus stop in Nyanya, a prominent Plaza in Wuse II were all bombed during the era of the last govt.
“A church or Mosque was bombed every week in 2013/2014. The herders-farmers’ clashes were the deadliest in 2014, claiming over 1,300 lives in a short period across the North.
“Boko Haram occupied over 17 Local Government Areas and hoisted their flags, effectively establishing a caliphate in the North East. All these happened before the coming of this administration.”
The senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN) also faulted claims by Obi that “out-of-school children grew to 13.5 million” under the APC.
“The figure of 13.2 million out-of-school children was a 2015 survey by UNICEF,” he said.
“An alarm was raised by several global bodies then because the figure had grown from 10.5 million in 2010 to 13.2 million in 2015, despite record earnings of the Government at that time.
“In other words, Peter Obi’s claim is self-indicting.”
The other claims bordered on the “worsening” poverty level in Nigeria; consecutive reduction in gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate, leading to recession; and Atiku’s defending his integrity for setting up a company involved in “ports related activities” when he was an officer in the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).