Ahead of the 2023 presidential election, the spokesperson for the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential campaign council, Festus Keyamo, has said the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, is the least in terms of capacity to make decisions out of the three leading presidential candidates.
Speaking on Channels Television programme, ‘Politics Today’, on Friday evening, Keyamo said the former vice president has never held any executive position where the buck stops with him.
He said the candidate of his party, Bola Tinubu, and their Labour Party opponent, Peter Obi, are ahead because of their experiences as former governors of Lagos and Anambra States, respectively.
Keyamo, the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, said Obi is “ahead of him (Atiku) in terms of capacity to make decisions. So how are we going to hand the country to somebody who has never held a position, who has never shown capacity where he makes the final call. Atiku Abubakar is not tested, he is not trusted. He has never held such a position, even Obi is ahead of him.”
“The major rival we have today has never held an executive position where he makes the final call in government. So, we cannot second guess. Atiku Abubakar has never held an executive position where he made the final call; he was the vice president, he was not the chief executive, he was never governor, he was never anything. Even Peter Obi is ahead of Atiku Abubakar,” he said.
Keyamo also defended the record of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration on the economy.
He claimed that Nigeria has done better in terms of managing inflation than some advanced economies like the US, Canada, Spain and Germany.
According to the minister, those countries have experienced a higher percentage rise in inflation rate than Nigeria, adding that the opposition cannot campaign on the prices of commodities without putting it from a global perspective.
“It is very lazy to campaign on ‘what is the price of tomato? What is the price of tomatoes now?’ ….Look, you must put it in the context of a global macro-economic situation of the major countries around the world. And to tell you that Nigeria has done extremely well in a context. Don’t quote me that Nigeria has done extremely well when people are suffering, but in the context of what we have seen in the global economy.
“Let me tell you this, the inflation you see today was hovering around 13 per cent—as at 2020 during the pandemic, now we are doing 18 per cent which is around a percentage (increase) of five per cent. That five per cent increased in one of the worst periods of human existence. However, we are better than major countries around the world, like the US, Canada, Russia, like Spain, like Germany. Go and fact-check me.
“I am not saying their inflation is 18 per cent or more, I am not talking of the figure, but the percentage of the increase. In other words, we have tried to keep inflation down, more than other countries that are even bigger than us. Ghana is worse, it did 19 per cent in terms of rise in inflation.
“The inflation in Ghana is about 29 per cent to 30 per cent,” he said.
On insecurity, Keyamo said the current administration has performed exceptionally well in dealing with Boko Haram in the North East and addressing the farmers/herders clashes. He stated that the difference between the current administration and the immediate past administration is that this administration is ready to face the problem.
He also dismissed the concern raised on the recent surge in insecurity in the Federal Capital Territory. He claimed that the media is helping bandits to propagate fear, adding that insecurity is not peculiar to Nigeria.
The minister said the current administration has demonstrated the capacity to address the problem.