A policy group in Nigeria has picked some loopholes in Atiku Abubakar’s policy plan, noting that, it lacks remorse and is not people friendly.
The Economy and Strategy Team of the Buhari Campaign Organisation was reacting to the Peoples Democratic Party’s presidential candidate’s speech in Sokoto where he flagged off his 2019 campaign.
Mr Abubakar had claimed that he will run a people-friendly government but the group differed, stressing that his policy plan said otherwise when viewed in detail.
The group said it thought that Mr Abubakar’s policy document would blow the ruling APC out of the water because its ideas are already out there, and because the candidate had amassed enough resources to enable him employ pawns and foot soldiers that could run an effective media blitz.
“In the end, it was a non-event. To use a colloquialism it was ‘a damp squib’. If one wants to be kind, the best that can be said about the Atiku Policy Document is that it was rushed out to create a policy platform to mask the real intentions which is to regain power to continue business as usual,” the group said in a statement. Adding that, “Let us be candid, it is a wishy-washy, unimaginative and internally inconsistent document. In short it is ‘Disatikulated’.
“Given the relative although unlikely chances of the PDP of becoming the official opposition in 2019, it is important to quickly deconstruct its ideas and to do so by way of general comments and some more specific comments.”
The group noted that the document is not original and borrows liberally from other people’s policy documents from within and outside Nigeria. “As such, it is bland and unimaginative and does not specify how the things it hopes to achieve can be done in terms of resources and bureaucratic capacity of the country.”
“It is alright to propose implementing ‘pro-poor policies that will enhance their participation in economic activities and improve household incomes’ Anyone can say that. The issue is how? After all, we in the APC have shown what is possible with our ground breaking Social Investment Programme.”
The group explained that one of the most striking things about the Atiku Policy Document is that it is mostly bereft of people-oriented policies. “In its haste to pander to big business, our blinkered friends in the PDP completely relegate the issues around investing in the Nigerian people to talking about poverty alleviation.”
“Apart from showing ignorance about the latest thinking around the positive impact that tackling multi-dimensional poverty has on growth, for the Atiku people to be talking about mere poverty alleviation shows that they are completely insensitive to the needs of ordinary Nigerians.
“In case what we are saying is not clear, let us put it in other words. Nobody in serious international development discourse these days talks about poverty alleviation. The reversion to poverty eradication later on in the document does not help their case. It only underscores the sloppy preparation of the document.
“Another great drawback of the Atiku Policy Document is that it pretends as if the past never happened. It makes no atonement for past looting and misgovernance and goes on as if there was nothing untoward in its past.
“How can Atiku Abubakar talk about privatisation with a straight face? How can any PDP person fail to explain why huge funds were voted year after year for projects with no results to show? It is only here in Nigeria that a party boasts about projects it started but ‘Did Not Finish (DNF)’ which is the result given to failed athletes.
The group said it carried out a thorough analysis of the Atiku document and that it talks about increasing debt with a straight face.
“How about the huge debts left for the incoming APC government that were hidden away? These include the $6.8bn on unsettled JV cash calls or indeed the up to N2.2 trillion owed to States, contractors, pensioners, exporters etc. that created a huge debt overhang in the economy but were excluded from official debt figures? Even religions that offer forgiveness do so on the basis of repentance for past misdeeds,” the group said.