The All Progressive Congress Presidential Campaign Campaign Council, on Wednesday, reacted to claims that its flag bearer, Bola Tinubu slammed President Muhammadu Buhari, during his campaign in Calabar, Cross River State.
Reports emerged that Tinubu criticized Buhari’s administration over management of Nigeria’s foreign exchange market which has led to the depreciation of the naira.
The recent attack is coming some days after he criticized the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)’s naira redesign policy and the current fuel scarcity in major cities across the country, alleging that they are part of the plots to sabotage his victory at the forthcoming presidential election.
Tinubu made this known on Tuesday evening, 31 January, while addressing the crowd at APC’s presidential campaign rally in Calabar, Cross River State.
Tinubu, while delivering his speech slammed the federal government for taking the exchange rate from about N200 to a dollar to about N800 a dollar in the black market.
Reacting to the latest accusation thrown at Tinubu, Bayo Onanuga, Director, Media and Publicity, APC Presidential Campaign Council, in a statement said it is important to correct the misrepresentation of the statement of the party’s flag bearer at the campaign rally in Calabar yesterday.
The statement was published by a section of some media outlets especially Thisday Newspaper and its broadcast arm, Arise News.
While addressing the party supporters and people of Cross Rivers State, that came to listen to his message of Renewed Hope at U.J Esuene Stadium, Tinubu urged the people not to vote for Peoples Democratic Party 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.
“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 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.
“What Asiwaju could be faulted for doing in Calabar was that he cited the wrong figures. And this, except for 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,” it said.
The statement said Tinubu could not have meant Buhari did not know road, having celebrated numerous times the achievements of the Buhari administration, stressing that 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.
“In contrast, throughout this campaign up till now, Asiwaju 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 the 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.
“We are not unmindful of the antics of Thisday and Arise News to deliberately misrepresent our candidate and accentuate anything they think will project Asiwaju Tinubu in a bad light since the beginning of this electioneering circle,” the council added.
According to the Council: “We want to state categorically that all the machinations of the opposition elements to put a wedge between President Muhammadu Buhari and Asiwaju Tinubu will fail.
“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 in Arise and ThisDay hope to cash on to win the coming election will blow up in their faces.”