As the 2019 election campaigns kicked off on Sunday, Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), reminded President Muhammadu Buhari that only plans and not promises could get Nigeria working again.
Atiku, who punched holes in the ‘Next Level’ campaign initiated by Buhari, pointed out that without a concrete policy, the ‘Next Level’ promises were nothing more than propaganda.
In a statement by his Campaign Organisation, Atiku stated: “Our attention has been drawn to the launch of the so-called ‘Next Level’ campaign initiated today by the Buhari campaign and we congratulate them even as we make bold to ask one or two questions as part of our efforts to run an issue-based campaign.
“Reading through the presentation, we note that it is very vague on policy and very big on promises. Promises are cheap. Anyone can make promises and indeed, President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress did make quite a number of promises which they either denied or did not fulfil, such as the promise to create three million jobs per annum and to equalise the value of the naira with the dollar.
“However, policies are the plans and roadmaps that will be used to achieve those promises. Promises made without policies are like a house without a foundation, they will fall. And we have seen proof of that in Nigeria in the last three years.
“Without a concrete policy, these ‘Next Level’ promises are nothing more than next level propaganda. We counsel the Buhari campaign that the time for propaganda has gone and Nigerians are now interested in proper agenda.
“In fact, the feedback we have received from Nigerians is one of alarm. Over the last three and a half years of the Buhari administration, Nigeria was officially named as the world headquarters for extreme poverty. Nigerians are asking if this administration is planning ‘next level’ poverty for them?”
Atiku enumerated what the nation was going through under Buhari’s government.
“Under this government, 11 million Nigerians have lost their jobs and the administration is so panicky that it has refused to fund the National Bureau of Statistics to release the latest unemployment numbers. Nigerians are asking if this administration is planning ‘next level’ unemployment for them?
“Under Buhari, the value of the naira has been so devalued that Bloomberg rated the naira as the worst performing currency on earth. The nation wants to know if this government plans ‘next level’ devaluation of the naira for them?”
Atiku took a swipe at Buhari’s a vowed war against corruption, and noted that the country has recorded its worst in Corruption Perception Index (CPI) in recent years.
He said, “In 2018, Transparency International announced that Nigeria made her worst ever retrogression in the Corruption Perception Index moving 12 steps backwards from 136 under the Peoples Democratic Party to 144 under Buhari. Nigerians are asking if this administration is planning ‘next level’ corruption for them?
“The so-called ‘next level’ launch was an anti-climax in that it just exposed the fact that all that the Buhari government is promising Nigerians is more of the same. If the state of the average Nigerian has not improved in the last three and a half years, more of the same is obviously not what they need.”
The former vice president called on Nigerians not to lose hope but await the launch of his policies, plans, and programmes to get Nigeria working again.
“Remember those who fail to plan, plan to fail. Atiku has a plan. Atiku means jobs and at 12 noon on Monday, November 19, 2018, you will hear from the man with the plan,” he added.