“We Have No Formidable Opponent, Tinubu Is A Billionaire With No Business; Obi Is Atiku’s Creation” Says PDP Not In Crisis, Who Is Atiku then? -, Atiku’s Campaign Spokesman, Dino Melaye
Spokesman for PDP Presidential Flag bearer in the 2023 general election, Senator Dino Melaye has stated that Atiku has no formidable opponent in the upcoming election, stating that Tinubu is a billionaire with no business while Obi is Atiku’s creation.
In an interview with the Tribune Online Newspaper, Melaye answered relevant questions on the plans and position of Atiku and PDP as the 2023 general elections draws near. He stated that PDP was not in crisis, but are trying to resolve what he tagged as domestic issues which is normal in a democratic Society.
Remarking on the formidable nature of their opponents, Melaye stated clearly that PDP had no formidable opponent in the upcoming election. ”
I disagree with you that we have a formidable opponent because the APC has succeeded in campaigning for the PDP as a result of their colossal failure, mismanagement of our resources, as a result of the insecurity in the country, as a result of total collapse of the Naira and massive unemployment.” He said. According to him, the masses were waiting for APC to leave as the party has failed beyond any expectation. He referenced an instance were despite raising budget for security and defence, the Society was plagued by kidnappings and banditry, and all these failures of APC aids the campaign of PDP.
Remarking on the question, what was his reaction to statements by chieftains of APC that the problems if Nigeria encountered by the ruling party in governance, were the fault of PDP, Melaye stated facts thus: “Only a comparative analysis can vindicate the PDP. In 2015, when the APC took over from the PDP, a dollar exchanged for N210. Today, a dollar is about N700. This is pure comparative analysis. A loaf of bread in 2015 was N120; today, it is N800. I bought diesel N180 per liter in 2015; today, it is N800. I flew economy to Lagos N23,000 in 2015 but today, I am paying N100,000 for economy to Lagos. These are verifiable facts and even the insecurity they are talking about was limited to Yobe and Borno states at that time. Today, no part of the country is secure, not even the Federal Capital Territory, to the extent that the president is being threatened with kidnap. Anywhere you see bandits, kidnappers, insurgents looking stronger than the government, or the government doesn’t seem to know how to handle the security situation, automatically, the government is involved.”
To this effect the senator summed it up that the Buhari led administration was nothing but complicit. His words read thus: “this government has demonstrated that they are not ready to fight these bandits. Service chiefs who failed woefully to prosecute and win the war against insurgents were given extension of service as reward for failure. That can only strengthen failure. Even when they finished serving their extension, they were decorated as ambassadors to various countries. How do you rationally, logically explain that? How can the fight against insurgency and banditry stop when the government has shown encouragement for failure, when the government has not been decisive? The Buhari administration has not been categorical.”
On what Atiku would do differently, Melaye established that that Atiku would be a decisive president, unlike Buhari. According to Melaye: “Atiku is going to be a decisive president. He is going to reform the security architecture of this country. He is going to put square pegs in square holes. He is not going to be nepotistic in the appointment of service chiefs. He is not going to be tribalistic in the appointment of relevant security heads and there is going to be ultimatum for performance. In this case, there is no ultimatum for performance, no standard, no line of action. Atiku is not going to do that. In 2001-2002 when the sharia crisis started in Kaduna, Atiku with [Olusegun] Obasanjo was very decisive in tackling that problem head-on. The OPC raised its ugly head at that time. MASSOB raised its ugly head at that time. The Niger Delta crisis also came up at that time, but it was tackled head-on and it never surfaced again. Maitatsine was about to raise its head in Borno but it was tackled head-on. Since Atiku was part of that government, whatever the strategy was at that time, it will be reemployed again.”
Furthermore, Melaye opined that Nigeria had no economy anymore, and he then went on to describe Atiku’s blue print thus: “The solution from the Atiku camp is very simple. The agenda for economic reformation is very simple. Atiku is going to make sure that the gap between the black market price of dollar and the official price of naira is bridged. Once there is a gap between the official rates of dollar and naira, and there is a gap between the official price and the black market price, we will continue to have problem with the economy. But Atiku is going to make sure that the price is the same. He is going to bridge the gap. Today, the difference is about N240. Nowhere in the world can you get that. Number two, Atiku is going to diversify the economy. He will also make sure that an enabling environment is created for the private sector to thrive because all over the world today, government is a business, must be handled like a business. And a man who has succeeded in transforming N500 to N5,000, a man who is into manufacturing, education, gas and oil, logistics, health and other sectors of the economy, who has succeeded in these private businesses, there is no reason for him to not succeed in handling government fund and that is the difference between him and the APC candidate. The two of them are multibillionaires. The difference is that Atiku is a billionaire with an enterprise; you can see him in manufacturing, logistics, banking, education, oil and gas; you can see him even in humanities but Bola Ahmed Tinubu is a billionaire without an enterprise.”
He stated that unlike Tinubu who was a billionaire with no enterprise and has not gone back to school after graduating 30-40years ago, Atiku had knowledge of the pros and cons of the economy, understands the role of the private sector in the economy and has a masters in International Relations and Diplomacy from a university in Cambridge.
On whether, Atiku was planning on restructuring, Melaye noted thus: “Atiku has five cardinal points on his agenda and devolution of power is one of them. You know that Atiku Abubakar was the first apostle of restructuring in this country. When it was dangerous for Nigerians, particularly the Northerners, to talk about restructuring, Atiku mentioned restructuring. Atiku not just talked about restructuring but he also authored a book on restructuring. He was in Lagos a few days ago at the NBA annual conference. There, he talked about devolution of power and restructuring. He talked about power being too concentrated at the centre and power having to be devolved to states and local governments.”
Melaye stated that this was not merely words by Atiku, but plans he intend to make a reality as his word is everything to him. On the accusations surrounding Atiku as regards corruption, Melaye state that it was nothing than beer parlor talks which should be disregarded. He buttressed that Atiku had not been arrested or charged with corruption at anytime, and there’s no evidence anywhere to tie him to corruption. According to Melaye, if Atiku was corrupt, Obasanjo at that time would have probed Atiku for corruption but this never happened because Atiku was not corrupt.
Melaye went on further to point out that Atiku was nothing but passionate about the development of Nigeria and not desperate to rule the country. Also, he established that Governor of Rivers state, Gov. Nyesom Wike is a PDP man stating that Wike had confirmed this at the National convention of the party.
On what would be Atiku’s competitive edge over Obi and Tinubu, Melaye said thus: “The fact is that Atiku has a plethora of advantages over Tinubu. Atiku is more fit physically and mentally than Tinubu and fitness is a constitutional requirement to be president of this country. Two, Atiku is more politically and economically savvy and experienced than Tinubu. In fact, of all of the candidates of the major parties, Atiku is the only one that is not running for president for the first time, meaning that he understands the route. Every other person, from Tinubu to Obi, is contesting in a presidential election for the first time. The truth of the matter is that the Villa is looking for a healer, not a patient. We are not looking for someone who will need six months orientation before he can kick-start his presidency. We want a person that will hit the ground running.
Atiku does not need any orientation. He will not be going back to the days of Buhari when, after seven months, the president had not appointed ministers because he did not know how to go about it. This will not be the case with Atiku. From day one, Atiku will hit the ground running because you have a man who is experienced, who has run this country in active capacity in the past.
“I want to even announce that Peter Obi is a creation of Atiku. Nobody knew Peter Obi at the national level before he was announced as the running mate of Atiku Abubakar against all odds in 2019 because Atiku is a talent hunter. So, Atiku discovered Peter Obi, and law 5 of the 48 laws of power says ‘never outshine your master’. That is the reason why any day Peter sees Atiku, he must pay his maximum respect. There is seniority even in the beer parlour. A man taking beer and a man taking champagne, they are not on the same level. I will not say more than that about Peter Obi and Atiku. Peter Obi is a fantastic Nigerian but the presidency of this country is not the same thing as the director general of the National Bureau of Statistics. They are two different things