Atiku Abubakar, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), for the 2019 election, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to resign over his recent comment and assessment on the Nigerian economy.
Buhari had told state governors last Friday in Abuja, during a meeting over the new national minimum wage, that the economy had become so challenging that the federal government had to strategize on how to save it. He also admonished Nigerians to brace up for tough times ahead.
Atiku in a statement issued on Sunday by his Special Assistant on Public Communication, Phrank Shaibu, described the presidentâ€™s assessment as self-indicting.
He said the nationâ€™s economy had collapsed under Buhariâ€™s watch, saying the comment was a ploy to attract the sympathy of Nigerians, whom he has put under terrible suffering and hardship in the last three and half years.
â€œThe 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,â€ he said.
Atiku added, â€œThe 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.â€
The former vice president also said it was annoying that Buhariâ€™s had continued â€œto 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.â€
He further said the presidentâ€™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.
â€œUnless those in charge of the APC and the partyâ€™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.
â€œOr do we need a prophet to tell us that the presidentâ€™s admission of the state of the nationâ€™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?â€
He called on the APC to apologise to Nigerians for bringing them suffering and promise not to have anything to do with governance again, especially with the 2019 elections fast approaching.