Abuja—Atiku Abubakar, the presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic party (PDP), has demanded an apology from Kashim Shettima, vice-presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), over his recent ‘disrespectful and irresponsible statements.’
Shettima had criticised one of the businesses of Abubakar at an event in Lagos, saying being an owner of a table water company does not mean he understands the economy.
“And believe me, the ability to sell bottled water doesn’t make one an expert on the economy,” Shettima had said.
According to TheCable, In a statement issued on Wednesday night by Paul Ibe, Atiku’s media adviser, the former vice president of Nigeria said any business that employs workers should be valued.
Atiku said politics should not make anyone utter “irresponsible statements”.
“It is with utter dismay that we listened to the presidential candidate of the APC, Bola Tinubu and his running mate talk condescendingly about other presidential candidates at a gathering that they invited members of the private sector to on Tuesday,” the statement reads.
“The remarks from the candidates of the APC show gross irresponsibility and disrespect.
“It is indicative that the Tinubu-Shettima administration will be anti-entrepreneurship and business.
“One would have thought that the duo would use the advantage of such a gathering to talk about solutions that their party, APC, has foisted on the country. Rather, they went on the ultra highway of political indecency.
“Any business that produces products, creates jobs and delivers dividends, especially in this era of the APC administration when the country is bleeding jobs is an asset and should not be mocked.
“It is irrelevant if it is a small business or a big business. And for Shettima, it is more shameful that he will denigrate a going business that employs a large chunk of people in the Northeast region.
“Even Atiku’s opponents have acknowledged the business resume that has seen him being engaged in businesses covering farming, animal feed, beverages, banking, logistics, polymer and plastics, education, among others employing thousands directly and hundreds of thousands indirectly.”
The PDP presidential candidate said Shettima should apologise to Nigerians, especially those who benefit from his business.
“Politics does not confer on anyone the license to make irresponsible statements,” Abubakar said.
He said Shettima should have used the opportunity of the gathering to discuss what he and Tinubu intend to do for Nigerians.
He said Shettima “chose to embarrass their guests, using their audience to play vile political games”.
“For someone who self-appoints as the APC national leader, it is ridiculous that the presidential candidate of the APC failed to proffer solutions to the economic woes that his party has foisted on Nigerians in the past seven years,” the statement reads.
“Unlike Tinubu who sat idly by and watched his APC ruin Nigeria to the current sorry state, the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar has been consistent in proffering solutions to the myriads of ineffective policy options of the APC administration.
“Atiku, it was, who first raised the alarm about the debt burden that the APC has thrown Nigeria into. It was also Atiku who continued to call the attention of the nation to the need to diversify the economy away from heavy dependence on the exploration of crude oil.
“Atiku, again, was the one who said that the quickest path to lift the majority of Nigerians out of the poverty belt, is for the government to give incentives to the private sector in order for them to create more jobs for Nigerians.
“Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, Atiku pioneered the private donor relief funds, which opened the gateway for other Nigerians of means to follow suit in providing succor to people who were worst hit by the attendant self-isolation regulation in the management of the pandemic.”