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Atiku, Saraki, others react to vice presidential candidates’ debate

The presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, the Senate president, Bukola Saraki, former Ekiti State Governor, Ayodele Fayose, and other Nigerians have reacted to the vice-presidential candidates’ debate which took place on Friday.

The parties and candidates at the debate were Allied Congress Party of Nigeria (ACPN), Abdulganiyu Galadima; Alliance for New Nigeria (ANN), Khadijah Abdullahi-Iya; All Progressives Congress (APC), Yemi Osinbajo; Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Peter Obi and Young Progressives Party (YPP), Umma Getso.

The debate was organized by the Nigerian Election Debate Group (NEDG) and the Broadcasting Organisations of Nigeria (BON).

The candidate of the PDP, Mr Obi, said the anti-corruption war of the present government is not adding value to the nation’s economy.

“Fighting corruption is not an economic policy. It is not that you can’t fight corruption, but you can fight it more aggressively while addressing economic issues,” he said.

“In 2015, the unemployment rate was 24 per cent but today, it is 40 per cent.

“In 2015, we were attracting $21 billion in foreign direct investment. We attracted only 12 (billion dollars) last year. Our GDP was 520 in 2015 and per-capital was 2,500. Today, it is under 1,900.

“Our stock market has lost over two trillion in one year.”

Mr Osinbajo said, “Corruption is the major cause of the country’s current challenges,` which must be tackled head-on.”

While acknowledging issues of poverty in the county, he said the administration’s social investment programmes were put in place to address poverty in the country and that they invested heavily in power distribution, to address the problem of electricity in the country.

Mrs Getso of the YPP said the girl-child education and women empowerment is her priority. She also emphasised that subsidy in petroleum products is a scam and should be removed completely.

Mrs Abdullahi-Iya of the ANN said her party if voted into office would ensure transparency and tackle unemployment while Mr Galadima of ACPN said his party would work with technocrats to develop the country’s economy and make her the envy of other nations.

However, their responses at the debate drew mixed reactions from Twitter users.

In his reaction, the presidential candidate of PDP, Mr Abubakar, said via his verified Twitter handle, that he watched Mr Obi “with pride.”

@atiku “I watched with pride as @PeterObi laid out our vision to get Nigeria working again. Can’t wait for the presidential debate. #2019Debate”

The Senate president, Mr Saraki said the PDP vice presidential candidate reeled out facts at the debate.

‘Tonight, @PeterObi, the Vice-Presidential Candidate of our great party, @OfficialPDPNig, reeled out the facts. He showed Nigerians across the nation why we need to #GetNigeriaWorkingAgain! #2019Debate.

Also, the former governor of Ekiti State, Mr Fayose, said, “Delighted that our VP candidate, Peter Obi demonstrated high level of understanding of issues relating to the economy of this country. In PDP, we have brains in abundance, while in the other party, they have lies in abundance.

We will surely get Nigeria working again.

While some Nigerians preferred Mr Obi’s presentation and arguments, others believed that Mr Osinbajo performed better.

@4eyedmonk said “Here is my take away: Peter Obi is an expert on China issues. Yemi Osinbajo is an expert on running a government. The other 3 are experts on participating in the Olympics.

Another Twitter user, @AdemolaVictorTv said: “Peter Obi vs Prof Yemi Osinbajo should actually switch and be Presidential Candidates while Atiku and Buhari should be their vice.”

@CallMeGozie said: “Who is watching the VP campaign debate (?), Peter Obi came with facts and figures. Osibanjo came with blame and complain. The women deserve some accolades.”

Another user, @Mr_JAGs: “VP dropped figures and dropped the Source as “World Bank”…. Peter Obi has dropped several figures tonight without a single source….

@kolaayodele wrote that “I don’t believe the @PeterObi figure of 2million cars. We need to cross check other figures he was dropping.

@waleolaN: “Nigerians are tired of hearing the weak 16 years lies. Osibajo forgot about Lagos. He also didnt remember @PeterObi wasn’t even in the PDP then. The Lagos that the professor was part of is still a mess.”

@_Mikeudo said: I was expecting to hear more from Peter Obi, on restructuring and most importantly their plans for SS/SE Nigeria. Man didn’t touch on key issues.

“You see those folks who are attacking Peter Obi for reeling out figures are same folks when they were in school, you try to explain dy/dx to them & they just tell you to go straight to the answer. They just get scared when they see complex numbers. We eat numbers & shit facts!” @gopcy said.

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