The Presidency has faulted claims by Atiku Abubakar, a former vice president, that Nigeria is sliding into becoming a failed state.
Atiku, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 general elections, had in a statement on Sunday lamented that some economic indices suggest that the country is slipping into a failed state.
According to him, the nation’s current predicament was caused by the decision of the All Progressives Congress-led regime to abandon “the people-centred leadership and free trade and deregulatory policies” of the former resident Olusegun Obasanjo administration, which he served as vice president.
But reacting, the Presidency said the country was already in a dire state before President Muhammadu Buhari took office.
Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, in an interview on Sunday said the recent report released by the National Bureau of Statistics that 23.2 million Nigerians are unemployed was not new.
“You will recall that in the build-up to the 2015 elections, when the APC was campaigning, the figure that was used by then-candidate Buhari was that a minimum of 30 million Nigerians were unemployed, particularly youths and that his government was going to do something about it,” Adesina said on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics.
“That was in 2014/2015. So, don’t make it appear like a genie that just came out of the bottle. No, it had always been there. It had always been there.”
The presidential spokesperson lambasted Atiku for his criticism of the president, questioning what he did to improve the state of the country’s economy when he was vice president.
“The former Vice-President was in power for eight years. Now, he is in the opposition. You can’t take whatever he says as the gospel. The question is when former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar was in government with President Olusegun Obasanjo, where did they take the country?
“Where did they leave the country? I have seen clips on social media where he said some things they promised to do, particularly on power; some people collected some trillions and didn’t deliver… Former Vice-President is part of the rot this country became.
“He cannot exculpate himself; he cannot sit in judgment over anybody. He played his part for eight years and they left the country where they left it. He cannot like Pontius Pilate, begin to wash himself clean of what Nigeria has become,” Adesina said.