Festus Keyamo, Nigeria’s Minister of State for Labour and Employment and presidential campaign spokesperson of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has rated Peter Obi as more grounded in decision making than Atiku Abubakar.
Keyamo said Atiku, a former vice-president and presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has never held any executive position in government and as such cannot be trusted in terms of his capacity to make decisions.
According to the minister, he considers Obi a more prepared rival to Tinubu as the Labour Party presidential candidate was a two-time executive governor of Anambra State.
Mr Obi is “ahead of him (Mr Atiku) in terms of capacity to make decisions. So how are we going to hand the country to somebody who has never held a position—who has never shown capacity where he makes the final call. Atiku Abubakar is not tested, he is not trusted. He has never held such a position, even Obi is ahead of him.
“The major rival we have today has never held an executive position where he makes the final call in government. So, we cannot second guess—Atiku Abubakar has never held an executive position where he made the final call; he was the vice president, he was not the chief executive, he was never governor, he was never anything. Even Peter Obi is ahead of Atiku Abubakar,” Keyamo said while featuring on Channels TV’s ‘Politics Today’ on Friday.
Atiku had recently suggested that Tinubu was mentally unfit to lead the country, daring the APC presidential candidate to grant a one-hour interview to prove him wrong. Tinubu has yet to take up the challenge.
Prior to this, the PDP candidate had taken a dig at Tinubu over his choice of a fellow Muslim as his vice presidential running mate, saying “My fundamental disagreement with Asiwaju (Bola Tinubu) since 2007 was on the issue of Muslim-Muslim ticket. That was my fundamental disagreement and departure politically from Asiwaju.”
Reacting, the APC presidential candidate described Atiku as a liar who “is willing to render any form of untruth if he thinks it might gain him a single vote.”
Speaking through his media aide, Tunde Rahman, Tinubu said contrary to Atiku’s claim, it was the PDP presidential candidate that “offered me the vice presidential ticket in 2007” adding “Let me also say that my religion has not changed. When he offered the position to me, I was a Muslim and I believe he was aware of my religious faith at the time.”