Atiku Abubakar, the People’s Democratic Party’s presidential candidate for the 2019 general election has advised President Muhammadu Buhari to stop behaving like a Father Christmas and be more prudent with Nigeria’s resources instead of going about donating money to other countries.
Atiku said this in reaction to reports that the federal government had approved a donation of $500,000, that is about N180,000,000, to the Republic of Guinea Bissau ahead of its November 18 legislative election.
The minister of foreign affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, disclosed this when receiving Jose Filho, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General to Guinea Bissau in Abuja on Tuesday.
Onyeama said the federal government also approved electoral kits and vehicles to enhance the successful conduct of the country’s election, and that Buhari’s gesture was to help Guinea Bissau get out of what has been a very difficult situation for a number of years.
However, Atiku Abubakar in a statement by his media office in Abuja on Sunday wondered why a country whose leaders had vowed to sell its national assets would still be donating money without considering its implications.
He accused Buhari’s administration of persisting in “reckless wastefulness” of the country’s resources, and advised that Nigeria’s resources should be used for the country and its people and not as donations to others.
“Recently, we had cause to counsel the Buhari administration to be more prudent with national resources after the government declared its intention to sell national assets built by previous administrations to fund their business as usual 2019 budget.
“Apparently, rather than give heed to our pro bono patriotic advise, the Buhari administration is persisting in the financial profligacy that has seen them destroy a once thriving economy.
“In the latest instance, the Buhari government has announced that it is making a $500,000 donation to Guinea Bissau, along with other material donations.
“Our response is to ask why a nation that has been officially named as the world headquarters for extreme poverty, will donate her resources to others instead of using them to solve pressing domestic problems?
“This is the same government that is so cash strapped that it has so far borrowed ₦13 trillion in three years putting our economy in even greater peril.
“How prudent is it to go about taking loans from whomsoever cares to lend you money and then turn around to give out those same monies even when your own people are suffering the worst forms of poverty they have ever endured?
“We call on the Buhari administration to cut their coat according to their cloth. He should stop donating like Father Christmas. He should attend to then need of Nigerians.