Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), said he wonders why the All Progressives Congress (APC) included two Nigerian billionaire businessmen, Aliko Dangote and Femi Otedola in their Presidential Campaign Council just recently constituted on Friday 28 December.
Atiku said he had expected the billionaires to have been rightly included in the economic management team of the administration where their wealth and job creations and entrepreneurial skills where in critical need to help the government chart a better response to the record job losses and economic stagnation it superintends.
Atiku was speaking through one of his presidential campaign spokesmen, Kassim Afegbua. He said the ruling party’s action was indicative of a party desperate to win at all costs.
He said “These people are businessmen, not politicians. These are the kind of people Nigerians expect to see in the economic management team because of what they have done for this country.
“He (Buhari) is simply out to blackmail them because by the time they fund his campaign, he will turn around and call them corrupt businessmen. Nigerians can now see for themselves what we have been talking about all this while and we call on them to vote out this grossly incompetent administration, whose stock in trade is blackmail of perceived enemies.”
But Femi Adesina, special adviser to the president on media and publicity tried to push back at the criticism explaining that Alhaji Aliko Dangote is not “a card carrying member of APC” neither “a
Segun Awosanya, the convener of the End SARS Movement, said the appointments of the businessmen is “hypocrisy and identity politics of hate”
“It is okay for Femi Otedola and Alhaji Aliko Dangote to be on GMB’s campaign organisation in the bid to ensure he cements his reign upon the ruin of the Nation,” Awosanya tweeted on Friday.
Awosanya said that the moguls have been “enjoying monopolistic advantages and dollar grants illegal earnings” to “ensure the status remains.”
Furthermore, the PDP Presidential Campaign Organization (PPCO) added that the inclusion of serving ministers, heads of ministries, parastatals in Buhari’s campaign council, was to serve as conduit pipes to divert public funds to fund Buhari’s reelection campaigns.
DANGOTE NOT MEMBER OF APC CAMPAIGN COUNCIL It has become imperative to further clarify the status of Alhaji Aliko…
The PPCO accused the presidency and the APC of secretly drawing over
N478 million from the coffers of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) – who’s Chairman is Nsima Ekere and now the gubernatorial candidate of the party in Akwa Ibom State – to rent a crowd and offset bills in President Muhammadu Buhari’s re-election campaign rally in Uyo, Akwa-Ibom state.
In a statement issued by Kola Ologbondiyan, director of media and publicity of PPCO, the party said it was aware of the protests by some eminent Nigerians, including foremost businessmen who were allegedly named as members of the APC campaign council without their consent, in a desperate bid to showcase an impression that they are supporting Mr President’s re-election bid.
N478 million NDDC fund which was originally budgeted for development projects in the Niger Delta was diverted to renting and transportation of crowd from other parts of the country to the rally to create an impression of popularity for President Buhari in the region.
“Further information at our party’s disposal, shows that the said
N478 million is part of the wholesome sum of N1.2 billion allegedly siphoned in tranches from the NDDC treasury by the cabal at the presidency and APC leaders, who have been stealing money from various government agencies to finance President Buhari’s campaign.
“Our party also has it on good authority that this ignoble scheme of siphoning NDDC development fund to finance his campaign was the main reason President Buhari foisted an unpopular leadership at the management of the NDDC despite the protests by critical stakeholders in all the states of the Niger Delta.
“Furthermore, the PPCO is aware of the dissention by some APC leaders over President Buhari’s unilateral listing of individuals into his campaign council as announced by his media aide, without recourse to the selection process of the APC leadership. “This further shows the dictatorial tendencies of the Buhari presidency and his arrogant disdain for constituted authority,” the statement read in part.