Address ruins you brought on Nigeria’s economy, Atiku tells Buhari

•Says ‘stop campaign of calumny against opposition, judiciary’

President Muhammadu Buhari has been challenged to respond to the United Nations’ indictment that his administration has mismanaged the economy of the country, leading to 98 million Nigerians living in multidimensional poverty.

Former vice-president of Nigeria and presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 general election, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, on Saturday, threw this challenge to the Buhari leadership, noting that the administration, perhaps, failed to respond to the statistics by the world organisation because the report “is factual.”

A statement signed by the Media Adviser to the former vice-president, Mr Paul Ibe, also berated the Buhari administration for attempting to blackmail and disrespect the judiciary by calling it out on how it might choose to do its job.

Atiku, who is challenging Buhari’s victory in the March 23, 2019 presidential election at the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal, noted that another plausible reason the Buhari administration had not responded to the UN report might be because “Atiku Abubakar has yet to make a remark on the report,” promising that if his [Atiku’s] response was all it took for Buhari to address the affliction his government has brought on Nigerians, then he would always be ready to speak up for Nigerians.

“On July 10, the United Nations reawakened Nigerians to the brutal reality of how poorly the Muhammadu Buhari administration has managed the nation’s economy with a damning verdict that 98 million Nigerians live in multi-dimensional poverty.

“Like it is typical of General Buhari and his handlers, they didn’t make any comment about the scary statistics coming from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

“Quite regrettably too, the administration has been groping in the dark since 2015, the reason majority of Nigerians decided not to reward their failures during the February 23 presidential poll consequently leading to the heist that characterised the conduct of that poll.

“The other plausible reason they didn’t deem it fit to respond to the report is because Atiku Abubakar has yet to make a remark on the report. If the only reason why the Buhari administration will react to the affliction it has brought on Nigerians is for Atiku to call the nation’s attention to how bad things have gone in the country under the slumber of General Buhari, Atiku will more than always be ready to stand and speak up for the millions of countrymen and women who have become victims of his (Buhari’s) misrule and grand cluelessness,” the statement said.

Atiku accused the Federal Government of living in denial and relying on propaganda, which he said was “the only machine the administration could operate without a glitch,” rather than addressing reports from reputable organisations on the welfare and well-being of troops at the frontline of the war against insurgency.

“We need to restate that Atiku Abubakar respects the practical purpose of the judiciary as an arm of government saddled with the responsibility of dispensing justice. Therefore, for the Buhari administration to call out the judiciary on how they might choose to do their job is not only an emotional blackmail to the bench, it is also very disrespectful to the integrity of the honourable justices of the court of law,” the statement added.