From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, has denied reports that he attacked President Muhammadu Buhari during his campaign rally in Calabar, the Cross-River State capital.
Speaking through a statement signed by Bayo Onanuga,
Director, Media and Publicity, Tinubu-Shettima APC Presidential Campaign Council (PCC), Asiwaju insisted that he could not have made any disparaging statement against Buhari.
He insisted that his reference to exchange rate was not in any way an attack on the Buhari-led APC administration but attempt to capture how the economic mismanagement of the PDP created forex crisis in the country since 2015.
“We find it important to correct the misrepresentation of the statement of our candidate, Tinubu at the campaign rally in Calabar by a section of the media.
“While addressing the mammoth crowd of party supporters, Tinubu urged them not to vote for Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar because of their litany of failures while in power for 16 years.
“The reference to exchange rate was not in any way an attack on the Muhammadu Buhari-led All Progressives Congress administration but an attempt to capture how the economic mismanagement of the PDP created forex crisis in the country since 2015,” he clarified in the statement.
Reacting further, the statement read: “Anyone who followed the entire sequence and context of what Asiwaju said at the rally in Calabar will know he directed his missiles against PDP and Atiku. Let’s we forget, the PDP left the forex reserve at $28 billion by May 2015, when Buhari took over despite unprecedented revenue from crude oil.
“Even with the massive oil theft and low price of crude, until recently, President Buhari had built up the reserve to about $38 billion. The PDP in 1999 met the exchange rate at N85 to one US dollar in 1999 and left it at N230 in 2015.
“The futile attempt to misrepresent Tinubu by the mischievous PDP media did not detract from his central message. Our candidate explicitly said the people should not follow PDP and Atiku because they don’t know the road.
“Asiwaju could not have meant President Buhari does not know road, having celebrated, numerous times, the achievements of the Buhari administration. Tinubu had also said at campaign fora he would build on the achievements, when elected on 25 February. It is simply illogical that the same Asiwaju would attack the Buhari administration of not knowing the road,” he clarified.
“In contrast, throughout this campaign up till now, Tinubu has consistently said PDP and all the opposition parties put together do not know the road to prosperity for Nigeria. He also said the competing candidates do not have the track record he amassed as governor of Lagos.
“As the frontrunner in the race, he has promised to implement his robust Action Plan that will bring socio-economic prosperity to our country.
“APC, its leadership and President Buhari are strongly united behind our presidential candidate. All the sponsored innuendos, invented and imaginary discord in APC which the failed PDP and their media organs hope to cash on to win the coming election will blow up in their faces,” the statement read.