Atiku, Presidency trade words over Tinubu’s private trip, insecurity

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Atiku, Presidency trade words over Tinubu’s private trip, insecurity

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has taken a swipe at President Bola Tinubu for embarking on a private trip abroad at a time when there are killings and kidnappings in the country.

The presidency in a swift response said Atiku’s statement accusing the president of fiddling amidst some security and economic challenges is “to say the least, reckless.”

The presidential candidate of the main opposition, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has called on the president to step aside if he is overwhelmed by the office, noting that the country cannot afford another “Tourist-in-Chief.”

Atiku’s position is contained in a statement he posted on his verified X handle @atiku on Tuesday.

But in a swift response, the Presidency described the former vice president’s remark as reckless.

“Tinubu is playing fiddle while Nigeria is drowning in the ocean of insecurity. To imagine that the Commander-in-Chief is on a so-called private visit while kidnappers kill a nursing mother and grandmother in Abuja for failing to pay N90m ransom and two monarchs in Ekiti, among other regular tragedies besetting Nigerians.

“If the shoes are too big for Emilokan, he should step aside. Nigeria does not need another Tourist-in-Chief. The country needs 24/7 leadership to confront the pervasive insecurity and collapsing economy. -AA,” the former vice president posted.

In his response, Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, assured that Tinubu is on top of the situation.

Onanuga said coming days after the former vice president made “an equally reckless allegation” against the President on the crude for loan deal for NNPC Limited, his latest statement fell short of what is expected from an elder statesman.

The statement added: “We like to believe that Alhaji Atiku is still not nursing the hangover of his electoral defeat and now latches on any issue to attack President Tinubu.

“President Tinubu did not travel without informing Nigerians of his whereabouts. He announced a private visit to France and announced a return date.

“While in France, President Tinubu has been following developments at home and he is on top of the situation in the country. Today’s inauguration of the Tripartite Committee on National Minimum wage bore his imprimatur.

“He is in constant touch with his officials and security chiefs and has directed them to stamp out every form of criminality in the country.

“He has particularly ordered them to apprehend those criminals responsible for the murder of two monarchs in Ekiti State and the kidnapping of some pupils in the state.

“We are already seeing results with the arrest of over 139 kidnappers around Abuja, Kaduna and Benue States in the last one week. The police Special Intervention Squad (SIS) and DSS have also rescued 154 abducted persons in the last few days.

“Just last week President Tinubu approved N50billion as Special Fund to address some of the lingering security challenges in North East where Alhaji Atiku hails from. To cope with the kidnapping challenges in the FCT, President Tinubu also approved funds for the acquisition of equipment to track criminals.

“If Alhaji Atiku is really concerned about security issues and not playing cheap politics, he should have known that President Tinubu is on top of issues and working hard to restore peace to every part of our country.

“Our security agencies are working very hard to bring the security situation under control. President Tinubu is giving them all the necessary support they need to win the battle against criminal elements and secure every inch of our country

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