By Dirisu Yakubu
Aba- Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the 2019 elections, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has again taken a swipe at President Muhammadu Buhari and All Progressives Congress, APC, saying they lack the skill to manage nation’s economy.
Atiku who stated this Wednesday at a townhall meeting and interactive session with South-East business community in Aba, Abia state, also accused the government of President Buhari of destroying the foundation laid by the PDP in its 16 years in office in the area of business facilitation and promotion.
Accompanied by his wife, Jennifer and a host of party bigwigs, the PDP flag bearer promised to harness the creative energies of the business community in the South-East to facilitate job creation if voted into office.
He said: “This government doesn’t have the capacity, the will to do it (create jobs). We started the ease of doing business in Nigeria but this government came and completely destroyed it. We made it possible for business to be incorporated in 24 hours. We want to do it again and make it possible to register business on your own computers.
“I will do whatever I can to promote business as long as it is within the confines of our laws. I will do this not because I am a businessman but I want to see prosperity in our country.
“I know and feel you pain because I’m also one of you but we have to work together to remove those challenges, those pains of doing business.
“It was PDP administration that established dry ports. So, why would we not want them to function properly? If you want them to work, you had better return PDP back to power.
He told the gathering of businessmen that the PDP Presidential ticket is a unique one which if given the opportunity, will make a difference in the lives of the people.
“We have two great businessmen in myself and Peter Obi. Nigeria has not had this (combination) since independence,” Atiku added.
Speaking earlier, Vice Presidential candidate, Peter Obi described Atiku as the man with the Midas touch to create wealth for the vast majority of Nigerians.
“The incoming President is different. He is a businessman, he has created wealth. If you have created wealth, you can manage Nigeria. He knows what’s happening in the market.
“Atiku will solve manufacturing problems because he’s a manufacturer. The next PDP government will be totally different because we have a man who has an idea. Under Atiku, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises, SMEs will not be looking for money, money will be looking for SMEs,” he stated.
On his part, national chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus lamented what he termed the worsening security situation in the country even as he described the killing on Tuesday of former Defense Chief, Alex Badeh whose sad event happened along the Keffi-Abuja road on his way from his farm.
“Our country is in distress, the economy has collapsed and government has collapsed. Badeh was brutally murdered yesterday (Tuesday), a former Defense Chief.
“Nigeria was the largest economy in Africa but now the poverty capital of the world
Buhari doesn’t take responsibility for anything and he is not aware people are hungry.
“People are being killed, his kitchen cabinet is corrupt but he is not aware.
“Atiku is a man you whose presence you can feel. He can engage and interact with you.
He has a policy document that will unlock the potentials of this country,” he said.
While urging the South-East to rally behind the PDP, Secondus assured the capacity -filled hall of supporters that Atiku would tackle the scourge of security challenges in the land.
“We are lagging behind in the comity of nations and we must weep for our country.
You must take the responsibility as election is around the corner to encourage people to vote and defend their votes.
Also speaking, Ify Okolue, Zonal Director, Nigeria Shippers Council bemoaned the difficulties importers experienced as a result of ports congestion, asking Atiku to ensure the revival of all ports in the country.
The town hall meeting was attended by Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia state, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, Senator Ben Obi, Kema Chikwe, Senator Liyel Imoke and Otunba Gbenga Daniel.
Others were Okwesilieze Nwodo, Achike Udenwa and Oseloka Obazee among others.