Nigeria’s ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), says President Bola Tinubu and the US President, Joe Biden, did not meet on the sideline of the UN General Assembly because they had earlier met at the G-20 Nations summit in India.
Felix Morka, the spokesperson of the party, in a statement on Monday, said the two leaders did not see any reason to meet again in New York.
Mr Morka’s statement was in response to a press release issued by the media team of the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 election, Atiku Abubakar, on the performance of the Tinubu administration.
Phrank Shaibu, an aide to Atiku, had in a statement accused the ruling party of lying to Nigerians, including about a meeting between Mr Tinubu and the US President.
Briefing journalists on 15 September ahead of the UNGA, presidential spokesperson, Ajuri Ngelale, said Mr Tinubu would be meeting with Mr Biden on the sidelines of the event in New York.
Mr Ngelale also said the Nigerian leader would hold talks with his Brazilian counterpart, Lula Silva.
Mr Morka, in his statement, said the meeting between Messrs Tinubu and Biden was not necessary and not even on the schedule of the President.
“The matter of the proposed meeting with United States of America President Joe Biden does not even require elaboration. Having met with President Tinubu on the sidelines of the G-20 Nations summit in India, another meeting with President Biden during the United Nation’s General Assembly (UNGA) had become unnecessary and was not even on President Tinubu’s schedule, contrary to preliminary indications on the matter,” he said.
The APC spokesperson said Mr Shuaibu “clearly does not understand or lacks the constitutive capacity to understand.”
He also dismissed the accusation that the ruling party is engaging in “propaganda” instead of addressing the issues facing the country.
He said Mr Tinubu has been making bold decisions to reform the economy.
“The President has dutifully appointed experienced and highly skilled professionals to key institutions of the economy, including the Ministry of Finance, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and created the Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy in a patriotic zeal to reposition and grow the economy,” Mr Morka said.
Three days ago, a group, the Centre for Reform and Public Advocacy (CRPA), had said it reliably gathered that the State Department told the US President that the case against the authenticity of Tinubu’s university degree from the Chicago State University was still ongoing in a US court in Chicago and “it is highly likely that the litigation may run against the President’s interest.”
Read the APC statement in full:
ATIKU ABUBAKAR’S MEDIA AIDE IS MISLED, TRAUMATIZED BY BOSS’ SERIAL ELECTORAL FAILURE*
In an unfledged statement, Phrank Shaibu, Media Aide to the Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, outed himself in his warped and misleading suggestion that the APC-led Administration was hoodwinking Nigerians with propaganda. He further alleged that the administration was only interested in “telling lies rather than rescuing citizens from the bottomless pit of bad governance.”
In his pathological and cynical flippancy, Atiku’s Aide delved into matters he clearly does not understand or lacks the constitutive capacity to understand as a result of post-electoral traumatic stress disorder (PeTSD) arising from his boss’ serial electoral failure.
Unsurprisingly, Shaibu’s only ‘evidence’ for such an arrant conclusion is that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has appointed more media aides than economic and security advisers, conveniently glossing over the fact that Mr President was swift in rejigging the security architecture and repositioning the Armed Forces for optimal performance in defence of lives and property.
Certainly, he does not understand the issues and the interplay of statecraft and economic management initiatives by President Tinubu to remove age-old distortions and contradictions and accelerate and solidify all-round recovery and prosperity for our country.
That Shaibu described as “lies”, the administration’s courageous decisions to remove fuel subsidy, harmonize the foreign exchange regimes and sign into law the Students’ Loan Act, only buttresses his poor understanding of economic development and governance. That the fine details of these visionary and people-centred policies are still being worked out and have yet to run their due course cannot and do not negate their valid objectives and potential transformative impact. The President has dutifully appointed experienced and highly skilled professionals to key institutions of the economy, including the Ministry of Finance, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) and created the Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy in a patriotic zeal to reposition and grow the economy.
Shaibu’s claim that the fuel subsidy is back is not correct. The government’s intervention to ensure some measure of price stability and predictability does not amount to the return of the ruinous fuel subsidy of the recent past.
Lifting the Visa ban on Nigerians by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) authorities should ordinarily make any well-meaning Nigerian happy. Diplomatic rapprochement between Nigeria and UAE authorities is ongoing and details of outcomes will soon be made public.
The matter of the proposed meeting with United States of America President Joe Biden does not even require elaboration. Having met with President Tinubu on the sidelines of the G-20 Nations summit in India, another meeting with President Biden during the United Nation’s General Assembly (UNGA) had become unnecessary and was not even on President Tinubu’s schedule, contrary to preliminary indications on the matter.
Nigeria is facing pressing challenges that require focused efforts and undivided attention. Issues such as economic recovery, security of lives and property, infrastructure development, and social welfare demand continuous, sustained and innovative efforts.
President Tinubu is committed to ensuring an inclusive, honest, transparent and accountable governance system. We encourage citizens to actively participate in democratic processes, ventilate their views, and contribute constructively to national conversations. As the discerning people that we are, we remain confident that Nigerians will continue to differentiate between genuine, constructive and development-oriented criticisms and those driven by self-interest, mercenary considerations and disruptive political agenda.
While we urge Nigerians to ignore purveyors of fake news and other inanities, it is obvious that Shaibu and his likes will stop at nothing in their desperation to distort facts and give oxygen to their politically knocked-out principal. But that can only worsen his infamy in the light of the President’s determined commitment and strides to improving the social and economic conditions for all Nigerians.
The PDP and all its agents of misinformation should know by now that no amount of sleazy propaganda, muckraking, lies, half-truths, misrepresentations, misinformation or disinformation will confer the presidency of Nigeria on their candidate.
Nigerians have freely chosen our party, the APC, and President Bola Tinubu, to continue to steer the ship of state. And the President is making good his campaign promises to deliver purposeful leadership to remake Nigeria, open the economy to rewarding investments, promote inclusive growth, create jobs, secure lives and property and renew hope for a vibrant future.
Felix Morka, Esq.
National Publicity Secretary
All Progressives Congress (APC)