The Atiku Support Groups have condemned the Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Festus Keyamo, over his comment against the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
Naija News reports that Keyamo had in a recent interview on Channels TV claimed that the former vice president does not have anything to offer Nigerians as President.
The minister further stated that the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, is better than Atiku in capacity and experience.
In a statement on Sunday, the group described Tinubu as a bad product, whose source of income, real identity, and educational qualifications are questionable.
The group also faulted Keyamo for saying that Atiku has only been the Vice President and did not have the final say in making decisions while he was in government.
The statement reads: “It may be that Mr. Keyamo is faced with selling such a bad product as Bola Tinubu, a man who voluntarily entered into a drug assets forfeiture plea bargain with the US Department of Justice and who has multiple questions on his source of wealth, real identity, and educational qualifications, that he is doing the next best thing, de-marketing his main rival.
“It is not true that vice presidents do not have executive experience and capacity, to the extent where they have the final call. At least in Nigeria and the United States. By virtue of Section 153 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended, the Vice President has final executive control and capacity over the National Economic Council.
“As a matter of fact, Atiku Abubakar headed the National Economic Council during the Obasanjo years. The National Economic Council comprises the Vice President as the Executive Chairman, the 36 state Governors, as well as the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
“At the time that Atiku Abubakar headed the National Economic Council, Bola Tinubu, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso and Peter Obi were all members and sat under him. In other words, Atiku was their boss.
“Not only was Atiku Abubakar the boss of these bosses (Tinubu, Kwankwaso, and Obi), but he also led the National Economic Council at a time when Nigeria paid off all her foreign debts to the Paris Club and other Bretton Woods institutions, meaning that not only does he have experience, but his experience is good.
“Atiku Abubakar was also the chairman of the National Council on Privatisation, which is a statutory body and he thrived in that position. Meaning that he also has the further executive experience that is positive.
“It would be recalled that Atiku Abubakar stood in for then President Obasanjo on multiple occasions. One of such occasion was on July 10, 2003, when the governor of Anambra, Chris Ngige, was abducted while then President Obasanjo had travelled and then Vice President Atiku Abubakar was in charge.
“In an interview with THISDAY newspapers on August 16, 2020, Chris Ngige revealed how Atiku Abubakar ordered Tafa Balogun, the then Inspector General of Police, to restore him to power. What will Festus Keyamo call that, if not executive authority? This is the same executive authority that enabled Vice President Yemi Osinbajo sack the Director General of the Department of State Security, Lawal Daura, on August 7, 2018.
“And although it is fallacious to say that Waziri Atiku Abubakar has no executive experience, let us for the sake of argument condescend to Keyamo’s pedestrianism. How much executive experience did Kennedy, Obama, and Trump have before going on to be President? None. Yet, they performed.”