Lauretta Onochie, special assistant on new media to President Muhammadu Buhari, says former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar cannot win in his local government if he contests the 2019 presidential election.
Abubakar, who defected to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) on Sunday, was quoted to have said he will definitely beat Buhari, should he decide to seek re-election in 2019.
But speaking on Politics Today, a programme on Channels TV, Onochie said, “Atiku has lost touch with reality”.
Onochie said: “Atiku may have had that weight some years ago but over the years he’s been losing that weight and at the moment, I can tell you the even in his local government area in his native Adamawa, he can’t win any election.
“So where is the weight? I think Alhaji Abubakar Atiku has lost touch with reality; I think he needs to check again.
“He is known to hobnob from one party to the other when he cannot have control in that party.
“President Buhari is not competing with him at the moment. What he’s trying to do is to pull President Buhari out of the good work he’s doing and to come to wallow in the mud with him.
“The president also knows that the ban on politics has not been lifted; so, he is not going to come out to wallow in the mud with him.”
On Abubakar’s claim that the All Progressives Congress (APC) had failed Nigerians, Onochie said “absolute bunkum! There is nothing that is further from the truth than what the former vice-president Atiku Abubakar has said.
“Nigeria was on its knees when this present government came into place and it was the same PDP that he has now returned to that has kept Nigeria on its knees for a period of 16 years. It was not under the APC that the economy of the nation almost collapsed right under our eyes.
“I don’t see how this government has caused this problem that it is grappling with today. And this government is trying very hard to clean the mess that this government made over the last 16 years.
“Nobody should expect that these problems will be sorted out in three years. It is not done anywhere.
“As we speak, there is no inch of this country that is still under the occupation of Boko Haram. A lot needs to be done and this government is doing more.”
Asked why the APC has been unable to deliver on its mandate to provide employment, Onochie said the money laundered in the previous administration is to blame.
She, however, added that the Buhari-led government cannot be said to have failed as “jobs are being created every day. It is doing all the best it can. I will not accept nor agree that this government has failed in the aspect of job creation”.