In Ondo, Tinubu rebuffs Atiku’s plan to sell refineries, cautions Nigerians, ‘don’t sell your birthright’

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Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, flanked from right by APC National Secretary, Senator Iyiola Omisore, Governor of Ondo State, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN), Governor of Kano State, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, and others, at the MKO Abiola Democracy Park, Akure, during the APC Presidential Campaign rally on Saturday January 8, 2023.

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*Slams Obi, says, ‘He saved money instead of people’

*Promises to abolish estimated electricity billing system in Nigeria

The APC presidential candidate said he would abolish estimated electricity billing if he emerges the president in February, adding by stating what will happen to Nigerians if they vote for the Labour Party’s candidate, Peter Obi.

By OUR REPORTER, Akure

“For God’s sake, what has Atiku brought home? He will dispose of our refineries. He did sell our ALSCON. He sold all of it. Where is the money? Where is our return? Where is a produce that we get back?”

The plan by presidential candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, to sell all remaining and newly built national assets including the refineries if elected president of Nigeria has been rebuffed.

Atiku’s announcement at some of his campaign rallies that he will sell the refineries being revived by the current President Muhammadu Buhari caught many Nigerians unawares at a time the nation is set to get its acts together with workable local refineries that will enable it end importation of petroleum products this year.

They believe that many of the national assets sold to private hands in the past by the Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan’s PDP-led respective administrations were sold to party members, who have now used same to sabotage all efforts of the current APC administration of President Buhari to move Nigeria out of the woods, citing the sale of NEPA, Nigerian Airways, collapse of the textile industry and deliberate action to ensure that all refineries built by Muhammadu Buhari as military regime’s Federal Commissioner of Petroleum Resources go moribund until his return in 2015.

During his campaign visit to Akure, Ondo State on Saturday, Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, warned Nigerians especially those with their Permanent Voter’s Cards (PVCs) to vote in next month presidential election against allowing such politicians like Atiku to sell their patrimony for a little price, emphasising that it is their birthright that must be sold.

The DEFENDER reports that Atiku, as Vice President during the era Olusegun Obasanjo was President, under the guise of privatisation supervised the sales of those national assets many of whose workers laid off were not settled until President Buhari between 2015 and now as APC government leader did including that of Nigerian Airways, NEPA and NITEL laid but unpaid workers. Each of those privatised national assets have never been allowed to work even from the hands of private owners, hence, despite efforts of the Buhari government to invest hugely in power supply, they did not allow electricity to work.

These and more reasons make Nigerians surprised when the same Atiku came against and told the electorates point bank “if you vote me as President, I will do the same thing again”.

But Tinubu, the APC’s presidential candidate said ‘never’ again will it happen and he advised Nigerians never to allow him, he said in Akure on Saturday, but vote for him (Tinubu), as said in Benin earlier, to continue with the legacy of ending importation of petroleum of products, bring textile back to the Nigerian industrial sector, ensure single foreign exchange rate system and make the country’s economy work again.

In Akure, Tinubu said: “He (Atiku) doesn’t want to do the brain and hard work required to build a better nation. Instead, he would rather sell your birthright to the highest bidder and his cronies, and run off with the proceeds,” Tinubu said.

“The truth of the difference between my leadership and that of Mr Obi lies in one observation. My people, you cannot entrust your future or that of our nation to Mr Sell-Everything – Atiku or the stingy Mr Obi.

“For God’s sake, what has Atiku brought home? He will dispose of our refineries. He did sell our ALSCON. He sold all of it. Where is the money? Where is our return? Where is a produce that we get back?”

Taking a swipe at the Labour Party (LP), Dr. Peter Obi, over his antecedents, in Akure on Saturday, Tinubu reacted to some of the comments coming from the camp of Obi-Datti campaign organisation as Obi remained unapologetic about his efforts to shore up the state coffers before his exit as Anambra governor in 2014.

According to the Labour Party’s governorship candidate in Abia State, Dr. Alex Otti, the Anambra State had $155 million in its coffers upon Obi’s exit.

However, the APC’s Asiwaju Tinubu said Obi’s approach of saving the money as against saving the people was unbecoming of a state leader that he was.

While campaigning in the Ondo State capital, he shared his Renewed Hope agenda with the crowd of supporters before telling them that “these things do not come by accident.”

He said his vision for the country can only be harvested by progressive and democratic governance, which according to him Obi cannot do.

“He (Obi) cares little that his policies and actions have a chance to show how progressive he could be when he was the governor of Anambra State. All he could do was boast that he saved money – I don’t know how much.

“But I tell you, it is a wicked parent like Obi, given the opportunity to feed his children, invest in tomorrow on their behalf and hold money in his hands while the children starve and go to bed hungry. That is Obi wickedness,” he said.

According to him, only a “heartless governor” would hold onto money despite hungry schoolchildren, and roads and clinics in a state of disrepair. In the view of the former Lagos governor, neither the city dweller nor the farmer prospers at such a time.

“In the end, he refused to save the people because he preferred to save the money and he claimed to be a party labour (sic). Is that labour? You will have to be labouring under a terrible delusion if you think he will do a better job for this nation than he did for Anambra State.

“What is there to be proud of? After Obi left, Obi has nothing to be proud of. Instead, Obi moved, left Anambra crying. He moved to Lagos. Obi… Obi…. Import and export. Warehouse economist. Obi, why did you do that?

“You now ran away to Labour. What kind of Labour? It means you have no understanding of what it means. When they talk of dignity of labour, instead [of him] to save the people, instead he saved the money. I am indeed very sorry,” he said.

At the MKO Abiola Democracy Park in the state capital, where he was received by the Governor of Ondo State, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN) assisted by party supporters from across Ondo State who had gathered to listen to him, Tinubu urged the people to cast their votes for him for a better Nigeria.

The APC presidential candidate said he would abolish estimated electricity billing if he emerges the president in February, adding by stating what will happen to Nigerians if they vote for the Labour Party’s candidate, Peter Obi.

He also said the PDP’s candidate, Atiku Abubakar, has nothing to offer than to sell the nation’s critical assets to the highest bidders and squander the funds.

“Ondo is known as a progressive state, followed by other states like Ogun, Oyo and I appreciate our progressive governors. This incoming election is our own, it is vote of inheritance. It is vote of three in one. Don’t lose your PVCs, your PVCs is your right,” he said.

“Our rally today is a signal of our renewed Hope for Nigeria, that February 25, you will go and make a wise decision, you will vote massively for me, I am too sure and very sure that you will vote for APC and that’s why I am very happy.

“I will win this election. Atiku cannot do it, he doesn’t want to build a better nation. Instead, he will rather sell your birthright to the highest bidders. Atiku’s policies and action are nothing.

“Obi has a chance to show up a progressive when he was a governor of Anambra State, all he could do was to boast that he saved money when he was the Governor of Anambra State

“My people, you cannot entrust your future and that of our nation to Atiku and Obi. What has Atiku brought to Nigeria?

“Myself and my running mate, Shettima, are ready to renew your hope through empowerment for all of you, If you give me your mandate as you promised, I will work so hard, put money in your pocket.

“I love what Governor Akeredolu has done in Ondo State. He has improved the infrastructure status of Ondo State. We will work together with Ondo State to be an economic centre. We will develop the Ondo Deep Sea Port. We will develop uninterrupted energy.

“We will do more to develop Ondo State and Nigeria as a whole. We are a people of peace and prosperity. Our educational sector will receive priority in our government.

“No children of the poor will be left behind. If you don’t have the money, we will establish students credit loan so that you can go to school. You will be educated, you will be expert.”

Earlier, Mr Akeredolu said Ondo State and the entire South-west region would support the Tinubu/Shettima ticket massively.

Also speaking, the APC Chairman in Ondo State, Ade Adetimehin, assured that the party leaders from across the state were united to deliver for Mr Tinubu come next month.

The rally was also attended by Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje; governors as well as the National Secretary of the APC, Iyiola Omisore; and many other party leaders in the South-west.


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