Campaign issues: Tinubu, Atiku fight dirty, cast stones at each other


…Chatham House, Atiku Lagos Rally raise dust

…Atiku battle weary, showing signs of frustration — Tinubu

…Clears record of educational qualifications, says he’s in possession of Chicago Uni certificate

…As PDP blows hot on performance of Tinubu at Chatham House

…Says performance a disgrace

By Moses Adeniyi

Reactions trailing campaign events on Monday have brought the presidential candidates of two leading parties contesting the 2023 General Elections, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to contest of words, with each bloc casting stones at each other.

Two major events including PDP’s presidential rally in Lagos and Tinubu’s presentations at the Chatham House on Monday provoked exchanged of words by the two opponents.

Presidential Candidate of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu on Monday mocked his counterpart in the opposition PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, stating he is “battle weary,” and expressing signs of frustration.

He advised his counterpart to throw in the towel in order to save face and avoid imminent, disgraceful defeat at the polls.

Tinubu in a statement issued on his behalf by the Director of Public Affairs and Chief Spokesperson of his Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) Barr. Festus Keyamo SAN, was reacting to comments by Atiku that Tinubu never developed Lagos as Governor.

He said, “At the scandalously scanty PDP campaign rally today in Lagos State, the candidate of the PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar decided to take the ignoble path of bare-faced lies by telling the people of Lagos State that the APC candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu did not develop Lagos State, but rather the Federal Government did.”

Keyamo reminded Atiku that despite conspiring to seize the funds of the people of Lagos State as Vice-President of Nigeria, “Tinubu conquered that handicap by performing wonders as Governor and subsequently as leader of the ruling party of Lagos State.”

He said in more volatile climes, “the people of Lagos State would not have allowed Atiku Abubakar to step on the soil of Lagos State because of that ignoble role his government played to attempt to destroy Lagos, but thanks to Asiwaju, today Lagos is a peaceful place and a home for all, hence he could still come to Lagos to spew such lies to the people of Lagos State.

“Let us remind Atiku Abubakar that after the Federal Government exited Lagos after the Orkar coup of 1990, the Federal Government left the infrastructure in Lagos to deteriorate whilst concentrating on developing Abuja.

“It was after Asiwaju assumed office in 1999 that he began to revive and rebuild the infrastructure in Lagos State. A clear example is the Bar Beach the FG could not contain in all their years in Lagos State.

“It was during the tenure of Tinubu that the idea for the Eko Atlantic was conceived and planned and the continuation of the project proceeded unhindered under Fashola who has himself acknowledged the making of it to Tinubu.

“Others are the various high-calibre roads constructed by Tinubu like the Kudirat Abiola Road; Awolowo Road, Ikoyi; Akin Adesola Rd, VI; Adeola Odeku Rd, VI; Agege Motor Road; Ikotun-Igando Rd; Yaba-Itire-Lawanson-Ojuelegba Rd; LASU-IBA Rd; Ajah-Badore Rd; Oba Sekumade Rd, Ikorodu; Bourdillon-Gerald Rd; Lekki Expressway; Adetokunbo Ademola Rd, etc.

“Agencies like LAWMA, HIGHWAY MANAGERS, LASTMA, KAI, CBD, LAGBUS, LASEPA, LASAMBUS etc were all launched to develop different sectors. These are verifiable facts.

“It is obvious Atiku Abubakar and the PDP have their backs against the wall with the rebellion to and shunning of his campaign by key Governors and stakeholders in his party that has made him battle weary. Atiku Abubakar is already showing signs of frustration.

“We advise Atiku Abubakar to pack up his campaign to save his face rather than face the imminent disgrace at the polls,” he added.

This is just as Tinubu further replied critics of his educational qualifications, mocking them for wasting their resources on a wild goose chase.

Speaking on Monday at the Chatham House, Tinubu said he was born on March 29, 1952 and that he has never disowned his biological father.

He said one of his fellow contestants who has been sponsoring sundry allegations against him is now rumoured to be a non-Nigerian but that he (Tinubu) has never made it a campaign issue.

On his sojourn at Chicago State University, Tinubu said he is now in possession of his original certificate.

He said, “I was dated March 29, 1952. My record is consistent. The records are there. The transcript is there. I am not claiming another father. I am Tinubu proper. If they want a DNA, they could ask for one. One of them has been accused of not even being a Nigerian citizen. I didn’t touch that area. Deloitte has confirmed me. Chicago State University can confirm it. Now, I can announce that I have received my original replacement degree certificate.

“Deloitte trained me as an accountant. Mobil has affirmed my records. In the private sector, who among them can brag about these?”

Questions over Tinubu’s age and educational qualifications have been on top subject of discourse, with critics questioning his degree and age.

Meanwhile, Tinubu’s presentation at the Chatham House on Monday, evoked knocks from the opposition party on reason why he extended questions put at him to his close associates who accompanied him to answer.

In a whip at Tinubu’s approach to questions put to him, the Atiku/Okowa Campaign Presidential Campaign Organisation described the outing of Tinubu at the Chatham House, London, as disgraceful.

The PDP Campaign said Tinubu’s outing was a pathetic display of vacuity, stating he failed to perform the simplest of tasks required of a person desiring to lead the world’s largest black nation.

Spokesperson of the Atiku-Okowa Presidential Campaign, Kola Ologbondiyan, in Abuja, on Monday,  said, “Nigerians including supporters of the APC Presidential Candidate were thoroughly embarrassed to watch Asiwaju Tinubu who earlier showboated with a scripted speech went blank on the world stage in tragic display of emptiness and inability to personally address questions that were put to him on economy, security and other challenges facing our nation.

“Our Campaign finds it very appalling that a candidate aspiring to be the President of a nation as complex as Nigeria exhibited an embarrassing inability to coordinate his own thought process to the extent that he could not personally think through issues and address them but had to direct questions put to him including those on his health and policies to others to answer.

“Asiwaju Tinubu has confirmed to Nigerians and the world that he has no business contesting the 2023 Presidential election; that he is grossly incompetent, completely unprepared for leadership and intends to transfer the onerous task of leading our nation to proxies and a cabal that did not seek votes from Nigerians.

“Of course, Nigerians cannot afford to have a President who cannot take responsibility to lead but intend to shift burden to others apparently to find scapegoats to blame for his inevitable failures.

“The APC Presidential Candidate ended up becoming a butt of international joke as he could not provide any lead on the critical issues of economy, security, youth development and foreign policies, despite notes passed to him at the event by his handlers.”

The PDP campaign asked Nigerians to recall that it had earlier cautioned Asiwaju Tinubu and his handlers not to embarrass the nation by exhibiting his constant gaffes on the International Stage at Chatham House.

He subsequently enjoined Tinubu’s handlers to stop embarrassing him by always pushing him to make public appearances, even when they are aware of his many incompetence.

“What Nigerians expect is for the Tinubu/Shettima Presidential Campaign to apologize to the nation and stop embarrassing their principal with poorly scripted appearances.

“Now that the APC Presidential Candidate, Asiwaju Tinubu has confirmed his unpreparedness and lack of capacity on the world state, we urge that he should immediately collapse his campaign, stop wasting resources, go home and rest.

“In any case, Nigerians are resolute in their support for the PDP Presidential Candidate, Atiku Abubakar, who has continued to exhibit, unparalleled capacity and preparedness for leadership as also witnessed in his Arise TV Town Hall meeting,” he said.

The PDP Campaign Spokesperson noted that Atiku personally took questions and professionally outlined his policy programmes which touched on realistic solutions to the challenges brought to the nation by the failed All Progressives Congress (APC) administration.

This, among many other cogent reasons, he said, makes the Atiku-Okowa PDP ticket the winning one come 2023.

In response however, Tinubu has revealed why he asked some members of the party to respond to questions directed to him at Chatham House, London, on Monday.

According to Tinubu, his political allies were delegated to respond to questions in order to reflect his method of ‘team-ship.’

Addressing Nigerians and foreigners at Chatham House, Tinubu after his opening remarks, assigned Kaduna Governor Nasir El-Rufai to speak on how he would address insecurity and asked the Director of Strategic Communication of the APC Presidential Campaign Council, Dele Alake, to respond to the question on oil theft.

Also, the APC National Leader delegated a former Commissioner for Finance in Lagos State, Wale Edun, to respond to a question on how he would boost the economy if he becomes president.

Others who attended to various questions were the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila; former Ekiti Governor, Kayode Fayemi; and APC National Women’s Leader, Dr Betta Edu.

Tinubu giving rationale for his approach, said, “Let me demonstrate here one of those philosophies and doctrines that I believe firmly in, it is team-ship, unbreakable team. To demonstrate that, I’ll assign it to my team.”