The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the February presidential election, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, said despite the claim by President Bola Tinubu in his inaugural speech, that fuel subsidy has been removed, the Federal Government is still subsidising the product.
Atiku in a statement by his Special Assistant on Public Communication Phrank Shaibu, noted that with oil price now sells at $94 per barrel, and naira exchanging at N1,000/$1, it is obvious that the Federal Government is paying some money to keep the price of fuel at N620 per litre in the country.
“Nigerians should not be deceived. Tinubu’s claim that there is no subsidy is a lie from the pit of hell, and the fact that they are even hiding the information means there is no transparency, and the money is probably being stolen again,” the former vice president stated.
He advised Nigerians to be wary of information from the president’s media handlers, noting that for the fact that Tinubu had more media aides than economic and security advisers was evidence that his administration would rely on propaganda as a state policy.
“My advice to the Nigerian media is to always fact-check any claim made by this government as this would help maintain their credibility,” he warned.
Atiku disclosed that he has identified ten lies Tinubu has dished to Nigerians since he became president on May 29.
According to him, apart from the claim by Tinubu’s media aides, that the the United Arab Emerita (UAE) has lifted the visa ban on Nigerians immediately, which turned out to be false, the claim that Tinubu was the first African president to ring the NASDAQ bell, was a huge embarrassment to Nigeria.
“It has since been established that Malawian president Jakaya Kikwete, rang the bell on September 21, 2011, he noted.
The former vice president recalled that the presidential spokesperson Ajuri Ngelale, on August 27, issued a statement where he quoted US presidential envoy, Ambassador Molly Phee, who is also Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, that “President Joe Biden is asking to meet with you (Tinubu) on the sidelines of UNGA (United Nations General Assembly), and you are the only African leader he has requested to meet. It is a mark of his high regard for your leadership.”
Atiku said “this has turned out to be another embarrassing lie as Tinubu has departed UNGA and never met President Biden.”
He argued that the president’s claim on the floor of NASDAQ that he has retooled the nation’s “exchange rate to a reliable, dependable one figure floating of the naira, and telling his audience “You are free to take in your money and bring out your money,” is also a lie.
The PDP candidate observed that the exchange rate on the I&E Window is about N780/$1, and about N1,000/$1 at the parallel market.
“Besides, foreign airlines still have over $600 million funds stuck in Nigeria. Tinubu, therefore, lied when he said ‘you are free to take in your money and bring out your money,'” he added.
Atiku said naira continues its free fall despite the promise by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on September 6, to inject $10 billion into the foreign exchange market to clear the FX backlog within two weeks.
“Days after the deadline passed, not a single cent has been injected into the system,” he stated.
He also accused the president of running a clannish government despite his promise to Nigerians in his inaugural speech to “serve with prejudice towards none.”
Atiku alleged that Tinubu is “running a government of the clannish, by the clannish and for the clannish,” pointing out that all key appointments he made in CBN, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), customs, army, police, immigration, went to his own part of the country, while “he himself is the petroleum and gas minister.
“Tinubu appointed 10 ministers from the South West and only five from the South East. If this isn’t prejudice, I don’t know what it is.”
The PDP candidate said he has been justified when he raised the alarm that $3 billion loan the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) claimed to had obtained from Afrexim to stabilise the naira, was a ruse.
“Now, we have been justified as the naira is now trading at $1/N1,000 on the black market, while Afrexim Bank has refused to speak on it. This was just audio money.
“Perhaps the biggest scam and deceit of the Tinubu administration was the Student Loan Act, which he signed on June 12.
“The new law provides loans for students’ tuition only. It doesn’t cover any other educational expenses.
“After the law was signed, all Federal Government schools began increasing school fees.
“But Dele Alake, the Special Adviser on Media, as he then was, said in a statement that tuition in all government schools remains free and that the only fees that were increased were accommodation, laboratory, library and other costs.
“So if tuition is free and the Students Loan Act covers only tuition fee, that means the Student Loan Act is pointless, and no money will be released.
“In essence, Tinubu’s government has prodded government schools to increase fees while no loans will be given to the students. This is the height of deception and wickedness.”
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