Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The Atiku Presidential Campaign Organisation (APCO) has described the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Muhammed, as the high priest of the All Progressives Congress (APC) cult of liars.
This may not be unconnected to the news story on a national daily of Saturday, October 20, 2018, with the headline ‘2019: International media query emergence of Atiku over suspicious source of wealth’.
In the said report, Mohammed, at a lecture in the Royal Institute for International Affairs (Chatham House) with the topic, ‘Nigeria’s National Unity: Towards Participation and Shared Values’, was quoted to have said: “We do not need to do anything extra because we have delivered on all our promises and Nigerians are quite happy and satisfied with the government.”
APCO, in a statement Sunday, said that the true position of things was that ever since the emergence of Atiku Abubakar as the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the international media has been agog with praise for Atiku and hope for a new dawn in Nigeria.
It said: “One curious issue that kept occurring was that anytime I spoke about how we have waged war against corruption, the journalists kept asking me a question. They asked me: How can you claim to have succeeded in waging war against corruption, when one of the major contestants in the 2019 general election is actually a man with stupendous wealth but cannot explain the source of his wealth?
“How anyone would take the word of a confirmed liar, as Lai Mohammed, for the Gospel truth is beyond us.
“How the minister of information of a government that has turned Nigeria into the world headquarters for extreme poverty can say that is beyond imagination. Is Mr. Mohammed claiming that his party promised and delivered poverty and Nigerians are satisfied with this world record poverty?
“If Lai Mohammed can lie openly at Chatham House in front of the international press and diplomatic corps, is it a big thing for him to lie about his accounts with the international media?”
APCO said that Reuters praised Atiku as having long enjoyed support from the business elite in Nigeria’s commercial capital Lagos for his conservative-capitalist ideals.
It added that not one single international paper, magazine, TV station or website has had anything negative to say about Atiku’s emergence, saying: “Lie only exists in the fallacious imagination of Lai Mohammed.”
APCO said that on the contrary, the international media and even reputable global financial institutions have predicted doom for Nigeria should President Muhammadu Buhari be re-elected.
According to one of the world’s largest banks, HSBC, “A second term for Mr Buhari however raises the risk of limited economic progress and further fiscal deterioration, prolonging the stagnation of his first term, particularly if there is no move towards completing reform of the exchange rate system or fiscal adjustments that diversify government revenues away from oil.”
On its own part, The Economist wrote off the Buhari administration as a failure, saying: “The 2019 elections will be a close contest between the ruling APC and the PDP. We expect the PDP presidential candidate to win.”
It said Nigerians can no longer be hoodwinked by the Orwellian propaganda that is the signature of the current administration.