Nigeria2015: Atiku declares readiness to debate PDP on job creation, economy, others

Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar

Atiku Abubakar was Nigeria’s former vice president

A former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has asked Nigeria’s ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to stop looking for scapegoats, and take responsibility for the state of the nation. He also asked the PDP to stop name-calling, saying it would not resolve the crisis rocking the party.

Mr. Abubakar, who recently decamped from the PDP to the All Progressives Congress, APC, also expressed his readiness to take on the ruling party in a public debate.

In a statement by his media office in Abuja on Monday, Mr. Abubakar said it was inappropriate for the leadership of his former party to describe him as an “ingrate.”

The PDP spokesperson, Olisa Metuh, had released a statement on Sunday in which he berated Mr. Abubakar for stating that the PDP is Nigeria’s problem.

But Mr. Abubakar said that as a former Vice President and someone who had worked hard in the formation of the PDP, he deserved respect and decent language from the
party’s leaders.

“The personal insults in the PDP statement succeeded in doing just one thing, which is to depict its managers as childish, petulant, and above all else incompetent. It confirms the notion on the part of many that they don’t have what it takes to live up to their ‘sacred’ mandate,” he said.

He also said the leadership of the PDP has lost its way, and its refusal to recognise its error has prompted the shepherds to, reluctantly, move on, for the nation’s sake to build a better future for the country’s teeming population.

The former vice president said the new guard in the PDP kept a low profile when he and other champions of democracy fought in the frontline to remove the military from power.

“Since almost all of us – the founding members of the PDP – have been hounded out of the party because we allegedly have one aspiration or the other. People who supported military rule or did not even know what was going on are now the masters of PDP, and present themselves as the custodians of the nation’s future. But I challenge anyone of them to show their contribution except looting the Nigerian treasury,” the former Vice President said.

“If I and other patriots working in tandem with the National Assembly did not work together to retain term limits in the Constitution none of those holding power today would have been there from local, state or federal governments. Those who wrap themselves in the PDP banner should at least recognise and respect those of us who made today’s debates possible,” Mr. Abubakar said.

The former vice president said the new masters of the PDP were detached from reality and had chosen to ignore counsel, and that the latest slur illustrates why the party has lost its play, and why it has become a threat to the country’s future.

“I am ready to debate the PDP on issues such as jobs, security, infrastructure, healthcare and the economy, and the unity and peaceful co-existence of Nigeria,” he said.

“But I am not sure the PDP is ready to do this in the calm and objective manner we – all Nigerians – deserve,” he concluded.

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