The Presidential Campaign Council of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) on Thursday said the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar was to be blamed for the current unemployment rate in Nigeria.
Spokesman of the APC presidential campaign, Festus Keyamo made the claim while reacting to Atiku and his running mate Peter Obi’s claims on a national television programme ‘The Candidate’.
“The Presidential candidate, who is easily a major contributor to our huge unemployment problem today as a result of his corrupt privatisation programme, counts this failure as a huge experience and wants to repeat same if elected,” Keyamo said.
Currently, Nigeria’s unemployment rate is at 23.1 per cent, from the previous rate of 18.8 per cent released in the third quarter of 2017, National Bureau of Statistics said in December 2018.
Partime employment/underemployment slowed to 20.1 per cent in the third quarter of 2018 from 21.2 per cent in the third quarter of 2017.
Although there was a marginal increase in the number of people employed from to 69.09 million in Q3 2017 to 69.54 million in Q3 2018, the total number of people unemployed upped from 17.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2017 to 20.9 million in the third quarter of 2018.
However, the APC campaign spokesman believes Atiku, who was Nigeria’s vice president from 1999 till 2007 under former Olusegun Obasanjo administration was to be blamed for the increasing unemployment rate.
Prior to the debate, Atiku in his ‘Get Nigeria Working Again’ policy document promised to provide about two million jobs if elected president. Keyamo said Atiku would only enrich himself if elected Nigeria president in the February 16 presidential election.
Keyamo said, “we can safely conclude that he (Atiku) will be fully in the business of corruption if he becomes President.”
According to the APC campaign spokesman, “Atiku/Obi made it clear to Nigerians that conflict of interests as a public servant should be the norm as, during their tenures, they found absolutely nothing wrong then and today, with investing public funds in enterprises they own or their families own.”
He argued that Atiku’s plan for Nigeria cannot be compared to president Muhammadu Buhari’s plans and programmes in his first tenure.
Keyamo alleged that Atiku’s plan to create jobs would only serve as an avenue to achieving personal gains.
“After watching Atiku/Obi on that programme, it has become clear to all Nigerians that our public institutions and commonwealth would be in grave danger if left in the hands of these dodgy and questionable characters who have no morals and no scruples about using and misusing public funds for private gains.”