Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has knocked President Muhammadu Buhari over what he described as a forged unemployment report.
Describing the job report released on Wednesday by the National Bureau of Statistics as terrible and catastrophic, Atiku countered that 20.93 million Nigerians lost their jobs under the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration.
In a statement on Wednesday by his media adviser, Paul Ibe, Atiku accused the Presidency of arm-twisting the Statistician General of the Federation, Dr. Yemi Kale.
The statement said, “We expected a terrible job report, particularly with the comment on live television from the President’s spokesman, Garba Shehu, that President Buhari had ordered the Statistician General of the Federation, Dr. Yemi Kale, to fudge the latest job reports.
“However, the job report released by the National Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday November 19, 2018, is not just terrible, it is catastrophic. They show that under the All Progressives Congress administration, a whopping 20.93 million Nigerians have lost their jobs!
“To put this in perspective the unemployed population in Nigeria is now twice the population of Benin Republic!
“Nigeria cannot continue like this, especially with an administration that continues to blame others for things that they should find solutions for with the latest ridiculous episode being President Buhari’s blaming of former President Jonathan for his own inability to appoint ministers for six months, an action that is directly responsible for the sorry state of unemployment in Nigeria.
“We urge Nigerians to note that a President who can’t create jobs or wealth in his own private business cannot create jobs or wealth for the public because you cannot give what you do not have.
“Right now, Nigeria is the world headquarters of extreme poverty and our main challenge is jobs. Atiku Abubakar is an expert at job and wealth creation having created 50,000 jobs in his own private capacity.
“Whatever is entrusted into the hands of Waziri Atiku Abubakar blooms. This is a man who will never have 150 cattle year in and year out. This is a man who will never blame others and will always accept responsibility for changing things. Nigeria needs jobs and Atiku means JOBS.
“Finally, we would like to commend the Statistician General of the Federation for having the courage to stand up to President Buhari by releasing the inconvenient truth about the state of unemployment in Nigeria.The party was reacting to a directive by the President to the Statistician General of Nigeria, Mr. Yemi Kale, to change the existing data on unemployment”.