The Candidates: APC faults Atiku, Obi’s claims on economy, others

The Presidential Campaign Council of the All Progressives Congress has listed what it tags the six lies allegedly told by the Peoples Democratic Party’s presidential candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar; and his running mate, Peter Obi.

The council alleged that the two told the lies when they appeared in a programme, The Candidates, on Wednesday.

The spokesperson for the PCC, Festus Keyamo (SAN), said, “It is a well-documented fact that at handover, the GDP growth rate was 2.35 per cent. The economy was on a free fall as the GDP growth rate had dropped for three consecutive quarters.

“Alhaji Atiku Abubakar claims recession was caused by the APC government. With a consistent and rapid drop of our GDP, their Coordinating Minister of the Economy at that time, Okonjo Iweala; former Central Bank governor, Prof. Charles Soludo; and the Central Bank governor at the time, now Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, warned the PDP government and Nigerians that we were headed for a recession.

“Alhaji Atiku Abubakar claimed that security challenges were restricted to the North-East during their time. Nigerians will recall that the Boko Haram activities had spread all over the North-East, North-West and North-Central. For instance, UN headquarters, police headquarters, a bus stop in Nyanya, a prominent Plaza in Wuse II were all bombed during the era of the last government in Abuja. A church or mosque was bombed every week in 2013/2014.

Keyamo claimed the herders-farmers clashes were the deadliest in 2014, claiming over 1,300 lives in a short period across the North.

On Obi’s claim that out-of-school children grew to 13.5 million under this administration, Keyamo said the figure of 13.2 million out-of-school children was a 2015 survey by UNICEF.

“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 PCC faulted Atiku’s claim that as a customs officer, there was nothing wrong at that time setting up a company that had dealings in the Ports that were under customs supervision.

“The Code of Conduct for Public Officers was first enshrined in the 1979 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Atiku Abubakar co-founded the company as a serving customs officer, three years after the 1979 constitution came into operation. According to Section 1 of the 5th Schedule to the 1979 Constitution, a public officer shall not put himself in a position where his personal interest conflicts with his duties and responsibilities.

‘By establishing a company involved in port-related business at a time when he was an officer in the Nigeria Customs Service charge with managing the Ports, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar definitely put himself in a position where his personal (business) interest conflicted with his duties as a public officer.”