A member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council (PCC), Ayo Oyalowo has downplayed recent attacks by the party’s presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu’s on his counterpart of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar.
Tinubu, last Friday, mocked Atiku over the latter’s multiple attempts to occupy the number one political office in the country.
Atiku, aged 76, previously lost presidential bids in 1993, 2007, 2011, 2015 and 2019.
Oyalowo, who made a live appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Monday, argued that Tinubu’s political jibes on Atiku were simply to “spice up” the 2023 campaign.
However, spokesperson for the PDP PCC, Charles Aniagwu, in his response, pointed out that President Muhammadu Buhari had similarly contested for president four times prior to his win in 2015 via the newly amalgamated APC.
“Even Charles knows that he is just making a mountain out of a molehill. Normally, in political contests, there are necessary times you throw jibes,” Oyalowo said.
“We have seen about two, three times the two men have met at the airport on different trips and we’ve seen how convivial they were. So, the jibes are just necessary to spice up the contest.
“It is not the content; the content here is, what are we going to do that we believe Atiku cannot do? That is the issue here.”
The APC campaigner alleged that Atiku as Vice President under the Olusegun Obasanjo administration, Federal Government-owned companies such as the Aluminium Smelter Company of Nigeria (ALSCON), Nigerian Telecommunications Limited (NITEL), and Nigeria Airways, were undervalued and sold in the government’s privatisation efforts.
But Aniagwu stated that while Atiku was in power, the PDP-led government established the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Crimes Commission (ICPC).
“I would remind him (Oyalowo) that the PDP administration embarked on bank consolidation to the extent that today, when you put your funds in the bank, no matter what happens to that bank, your fund is safe,” the campaign spokesman said.
“I will also remind him about reforms in the pension sector. A number of times, they talk about money in the Excess Crude Account (ECA) as if that was the tree that grew in one forest.
“That money in the ECA was made possible because Obasanjo/Atiku administration was able to realise that we were getting some funds far in excess of what was budgeted, and rather than wasting it, we needed to save for a rainy day.”
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