Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar has said it is too risky for Nigerians to hand over their future to their main rivals in the 2023 presidential election.

Political pundits have narrowed the race down to Atiku, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Peter Obi of the Labor Party.

Speaking at the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) Presidential Dialogue on the Economy in Lagos on Monday, Atiku said he has a good understanding of the challenges facing Nigeria.

Atiku described Obi as a novice and alleged that the APC-led government led Nigerians into “this unfortunate situation.”

He said: “Experience is important and we must avoid the mistakes of the recent past. It is too risky for Nigerians to hand over their future to a green horn or the national leader of the same party that got us into this sorry situation.

“This is election season. So, you will see and hear of snake oil sellers, false prophets, and purveyors of false hope and misleading statistics. There is, therefore, a need for caution.

“We must also remember that the doctor who poisoned and continues to poison the patient cannot be trusted to provide the curative treatment. The stakes are high, so we have to get it right. This may well be our last chance to do so.

“The Nigerian economy is barely growing. Per capita income, a measure of citizens’ well-being, has progressively declined since 2015 due to declining production and rapid population growth. Our people are worse today than in 2015.

“The oil and gas sector, which is the country’s main source of foreign exchange, has been in decline for most of the period since 2014. For many economic sectors and ordinary citizens, it still feels like we are in a recession.

“Under the current administration our people are not working. More than 23 million people are out of work. In just 5 years between 2015 and 2020, the number of people with full employment fell by 54%, from 68 million to 31 million people. This is terrifying in a country of 200 million people.

“And the majority of the unemployed are young men and women, lacking not only the means to survive, but also any hope for the future. The number of unemployed youth increased by 9 million from 4 million in 2015 to 13 million in 2020.

“High youth unemployment and limited employment opportunities pose serious economic and security challenges. Therefore, it is an urgent matter to ensure that there are enough jobs for the youth of Nigeria. More Nigerians are poorer and more miserable today than in 2015.”