2023: ‘You’re a political tourist, we’ll retire you to Dubai,’ Shettima tells Atiku

    The vice presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Kashim Shettima, has described the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, as a political tourist, who will be permanently retired to the United Arab Emirates after the 2023 election.

    Mr Shettima spoke at the presentation of the manifesto of the APC to the business community and organised private sector in Lagos on Tuesday.

    He took a swipe at the former vice president and questioned his academic qualification. He said the certificate Mr Atiku got from the Kano School of Hygiene only qualifies him to be “wole wole” a Yoruba word for sanitation inspection officer.

    Mr Shettima also criticised Mr Atiku on his long history of participating in presidential elections. He stated that the PDP candidate is not Abraham Lincoln, a former president of the United States, but a Raila Odinga, who has a reputation of losing several presidential elections in Kenya.

    “I respect Atiku Abubakar but leadership goes beyond ‘unstatesman-like’ ranting. Someone who cannot unite his own party, I wonder how he is going to unite this nation. The world is talking of artificial intelligence, of big data, of nanotechnology. The training that the elder statesman got from Kano School of Hygiene is that of a wole wole.

    “And believe me, the ability to sell bottle water does not make one an expert on the economy. Atiku Abubakar is not Abraham Lincoln, he is more of a Raila Odinga. Next year, we are going to permanently retire the political tourist back to Dubai,” he said.

    Mr Atiku has participated in several presidential elections either at the level of primary or the main election.

    The presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi also got some jabs in Mr Shettima’s speech as he described the former Anambra State governor as a peddler of dubious statistics.

    He added that Mr Obi is basking in mediocre performance as a governor of Anambra State.

    “Of all the candidates in this race, who has the experience? Who has the track record? And of course, who has the intellect to catapult this nation to a higher pedestal.

    “Leadership goes beyond glamourising poverty, we don’t glamourise poverty, we fight poverty. I won’t tell you that I have two pairs of shoes—I have a single watch. Leadership goes beyond dubious statistics or basking in a mediocre performance as the governor of Anambra State,” he said.

    Among Nigeria’s numerous national challenges, which do you think the next president should focus on first?

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