Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar criticised President Muhammadu Buhari in the New Year, alleging that his government’s laziness had led the country to experience a multi-faceted slowdown in the previous year.
Atiku, in his New Year’s Letter, said the outgoing year was very dramatic, and it was only by the grace of the Almighty God that Nigerians lived to see the coming year.
“It is cheering that we are entering the New Year with refreshing news of a handful of certified vaccines against the dreaded Covid-19 virus. And better still is news of commencement of vaccination in some parts of the world. I am expectant that the vaccine(s) would soon be available for vaccination in Nigeria. It is also hoped that very soon life would return to normal.
“As a country, we have taken our share of the blow that Covid-19 dealt to the globe. And worst still, we suffered a multi-facet downcast on account of of lazy and uninspiring leadership from the government at the center – most especially,” he said.
Atiku added: “But just as I often do, I pray that God should heal the hearts of families who have lost loved ones to the disease, as well as those who died on account of insecurity and ringing poverty occasioned by a poor management of our national economy.”
He said the harm that the pandemic had caused to lives persisted, and that it would take some time for the country to resolve.
Atiku stated that however bad as the virus was, the fundamental lesson that the scourge reinforced was “our bond as one species of homo sapiens, in which an attack on one is an attack on all.
“Moving forward, we would require the same kind of cooperation that it takes to develop an antidote to Covid-19, to come up with solutions to many of the other ills that confront our world. Perhaps, that is the lesson to be taken from the pandemic, and it should be our pathway into the New Year.”
According to him, “just like it was with the deadly virus, we are exposed to a common threat of terrorism, kidnapping and sundry criminalities; threat of economic meltdown, unemployment and poverty; and, even our solution to the problem of climate change must be within the focus of conserving the planet we call home.
“We cannot wholly defeat any of these threats if we refuse to cooperate and work together irrespective of our intangible differences.”
He said that Nigerians were aware of the problems facing the world, adding that they do not need to start listing them, but that what the people must not let happen is allowing their vulnerability to bolster their power.
“Our diversity offers a rare opportunity of plural perspectives to finding a solution to our problems. If we fail to take that advantage, we would be weaker while the problems keep growing bigger and the blame will be on us.
“As we embrace this New Year with brighter hopes of restoration, let us do so with even a stronger commitment to unity, cooperation and mutual love. Let us work as one people, under one God with one country to call home.
I wish every Nigerian a prosperous Year 2021 and I do pray that every family shall find renewal in the New Year,” he said.