Atiku Warns S’East, S’West: ‘Don’t Be Deceived By Presidency’s 2023 Pledge’

Atiku Abubakar
Atiku Abubakar

The presidential candidate of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Atiku Abubakar, has alerted the South East and South West geo-political zones of impending danger in falling prey to the gambit, warming them to take their destinies in their hands by doing the right thing in the 2019 general elections.

This followed last week’s statement by Boss Mustapha, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, that the South-East will get a shot at presidency in 2023 after President Muhammadu Buhari’s second term in office.

At the same, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has used return of the presidency to South West in 2023 as a bait to woo their support.

Atiku also said he has perfected a blueprint to eliminate multiple taxation, slash income taxes, as well as commodity tax rates and increase government funding to small and medium enterprises in key sectors of the economy to N500 billion, if elected into power.

In a statement signed by Kassim Afegbua, spokesman of the PDP Presidential Campaign Council, Atiku accused the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, of trading with 2023 in a bid to return to power at all cost.

“In its desperation to hang on to power, despite its abysmal failure so far, the All Progressives Congress, APC, and the Presidency, have resorted to trading with the lure of 2023 Presidency, promising both the South East and South West respectively of the 2023 Presidency in exchange for votes.

“Giving out two promises has exposed the insincerity and dubious intention of the Buhari-led federal government with the people of the South-East and South-West geopolitical zones with empty promises of bequeathing power to the two zones at the same time in 2023.

”This is why Nigerians cannot take the APC and the Buhari Presidency seriously any longer, as we prepare for the 2019 election,” Atiku said in the statement.

Speaking on behalf of the Presidency in Owerri last week, the SGF told the gathering that the President would hand over the reins of power to a South-Easterner, while calling on the people to support President Buhari in 2019.

Similarly, Osinbajo had also told leaders of the South-West to support the re-election of President Buhari so as to get the Presidency in 2023.

According to PDP campaign council, “two principal officers of the same government cannot be fooling Nigerians with vainglorious promises all in the name of re-election.

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”Such discordant tunes by the first and second citizens of our dear country have exposed lack of synergy, and display of double standard and double-speak by chieftains of a government that has continued to display wanton desperation to hold on to power at all cost in the face of monumental failure.”

“How can the President be promising South-Easterners the Presidency when his Vice President is also promising the South-Westerners same position in 2023, all in the name of 2019 re-election?.

“This is a clear show of deceit, desperation, crass insincerity and hypocrisy of the highest order. This is a clarion call on the South-Easterners not to trust such carrot being dangled before them as it has become obvious that this government neither fulfils promises nor keeps any covenant.

“The same government cannot promise the Igbos and Yorubas at the same time if it were sincere about the shape of politics of 2023 Presidency. This government has an uncommon reputation for deceit, lies, insincerity and hypocrisy, especially when it has to do with its 2019 re-election bid.

“Nigerians are beginning to see through the pretensions of Buhari-led federal government; a government that has shown its incapacitation and leadership atrophy in the last three years and crippled the fabric of our collegiate solidarity and unity through nepotism and cronyism.

”The President cannot on the one hand be playing God by decreeing which zone it intends to bequeath the reins of power,  while his Vice President on the other hand is also promising his South-West zone of same position. This is a typical feature of power hawkers, in their desperation to hoodwink buyers to patronise their morbid products.

“The Nigerian public must wake up to this double-speak and vote out this inconsistent government in 2019. It is a responsibility that every Nigerian must buy into in order to save the country from further maladies and misgovernance.”

Meanwhile, the PDP Presidential Campaign Organization, PPCO, has said its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, has perfected a blueprint that will eliminate multiple taxation, slash income taxes, as well as commodity tax rates and increase government funding to small and medium enterprises, in key sectors of the economy if elected into power.

The council the position “marks a clear difference between Atiku Abubakar and President Muhamamdu Buhari who is planning to increase the suffering of Nigerians by imposing more taxes on them in the coming year.”

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The PPCO added that Atiku is personally worried over the current huge tax burden and hidden levies on businesses, common commodities and services by the Muhammadu Buhari administration, which has led to the prevalent economic strangulation, high costs and untold hardship being faced by Nigerians.

In a statement signed by Kola Ologbondiyan, Director, Media and Publicity of PPCO, noted that “a detailed check on the tax regime under President Buhari’s administration shows that apart from huge capital gain taxes, which is crippling businesses and scaring away investors to other countries, Nigerians are also bearing the huge burden of hidden taxes on everyday consumer goods and services.

“It is more disheartening that proceeds from these hidden taxes are allegedly diverted to private purses of corrupt leaders of the All Progressives Congress, APC, and the cabal at the Buhari Presidency, while our infrastructures remain dilapidated.”

The council further urged Nigerians not to despair as the PDP Presidential candidate “has articulated a framework that would not only streamline tax administration in the country and ensure transparency in remittance and spending, but also support private businesses to thrive.

“Part of the framework in Atiku Abubakar’s policy document shows a plan “towards achieving the lowest corporate income tax rate in Africa, in order to make Nigeria one of the most attractive destinations for foreign direct investment”.

“This is in addition to a plan to achieve ‘lower transaction costs (including lowering the capital gain tax) in order to attract investment and boost activities in the capital market’, as well as ensuring that the granting of qualification for tax incentives is in accordance with pre-determined, uniform and clear criteria.

“Part of such incentives for wealth creation includes, extending the mandate of the relevant government agencies to de-risking and provision of technical assistance for small and medium enterprises, increasing their funding window from the current N200 billion to N500 billion and enhancing their access to domestic and global markets for more profitable engagements.