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Buhari’s supporters blame Atiku, Obasanjo for Nigeria’s multi-dimensional poverty

Dyepkazah Shibayan

The Buhari Media Organisation (BMO) says Atiku Abubakar, former vice president and presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), should be blamed for the country’s poverty figures.

The organisation said this on Tuesday in reaction to a statement credited to Atiku accusing the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration of plunging the country into multi-dimensional poverty, citing a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) report.

Niyi Akinsiju and Cassidy Madueke, BMO chairman and secretary, said the period Nigeria had an “exponential spike” in the number of people living below $1 was during the reign of PDP.

They said Abubakar and ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo created the pathway for Nigeria’s struggle with poverty through their non-transparent privatisation process.

“The UN body had noted that slightly over 98 million Nigerians were living in multi-dimensional poverty, but, as usual, the PDP presidential candidate did not fully grasp the details before launching an attack on President Buhari,” the statement read.

“The report indicated that about 46 per cent of Nigerians were poor as at today, but Atiku Abubakar needs to be reminded that 60.9 percent of Nigerians, or 100 million people, were living below the poverty threshold in 2010, and 120 million in 2012, according to the World Bank, which is the body that provides a global poverty headcount.

“Interestingly, the period the country had an exponential spike in the number of people living below $1 a day was during the 16 unbroken years that the former Vice-President’s party held sway in Nigeria.

“It is not a secret that Alhaji Abubakar was the executor-in-chief of what has gone down in the annals of the nation as a major heist of the nation’s assets, an action that later pitched him against former President Obasanjo.

“He literally sold off several government-owned enterprises for less than their market values to his cronies to strip and cannibalise, and in the process, tens of thousands of workers were denied their livelihood and laid off without benefits. It is also on record that he kept one of the prized assets (Onne Port) to himself.”

The group urged Atiku to “look into the nearest mirror” to see the person to blame for the poverty figures “or maybe he could tell us how many people he drove into penury and how many had their pensions paid, even after the terminal date of the Obasanjo administration”.

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