The Candidates: Everything Atiku Abubakar said on NTA January 30, 2019

Speaking on a question and answer forum tagged “The Candidates” hosted by Kadariah Ahmed on the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), the Presidential candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Alhaji Atiku Abubakar spoke on many burning issues which his rival in the APC have been using as political points against him.

Atiku on The Candidates 2

Here are the five crucial issues he talked about according to The Punch:

  • My wife was never charged for any crime
  • As customs officer, I was allowed to buy private company
  • Considering amnesty for corrupt persons
  • Why I am running for president
  • A single individual can’t end poverty

My wife was never charged for any crime –Atiku

Atiku Abubakar said that at no time did any organisation transfer $2m to one of his wives’ bank account for whatever purposes.

Atiku said that no American court has found his wife culpable of corrupt enrichment and that she has been travelling to and from America without any form of harassment or hindrance from any quarters.

He disclosed that the said wife was also an American citizen.

Atiku on The Candidates 2

As customs officer, I was allowed to buy private company- Atiku

The Presidential candidate said as an officer of the Nigeria Customs Service, he was allowed to buy major shares in a private company.

The moderator, Kadariah Ahmed, had asked Atiku whether it was right of him to set up a logistics company to do clearing and forwarding at the Apapa Port while he was still in active service.

However, Atiku said he did not set up the company but only bought shares at the time.

He said, “It was not an abuse of office because it was an issue of share purchase and at that point it was very lawful for public officers to buy shares. I don’t know how old you were but there was the Indigenisation Decree which was passed by the military government which allowed public officers to legitimately acquire shares.”

The former Vice-President said the company, which eventually metamorphosed into INTELS, was an oil and gas company and not a clearing and forwarding company as alleged.

He said INTELS is not a monopoly as reported.

“There was competition. It was not a monopoly,” he said.

The Candidate: Atiku considers amnesty for corrupt persons

He also disclosed that amnesty for corrupt persons will not be a bad idea.

The moderator, Kadariah Ahmed, had asked Atiku if corrupt persons would be granted amnesty if he becomes President.

The PDP candidate said, “Why not? I give you an example of Turkey. Turkey gave amnesty and all the monies taken abroad were brought back and the government said when you bring the money back, you don’t need to pay taxes. Invest in manufacturing, technology and real estate.

“And look at Turkey today. It is like any other European country today.”

Why I am running for president–Atiku

The former Vice-President said he is running for president to bring his business and political experience to bare in the governance of the country.

Abubakar said he saw himself as a bridge between the current and future generations.

The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party said, “I would like to claim that, as far as experience is concerned, I am the most experienced. Secondly, I am bringing my business experience, which I acquired over a long period, almost two decades after leaving public service.

“Thirdly, I believe that I am a candidate for the future because I try to bridge the current generation and the future generation. When we come to the issue of security, at the time they came in, the security challenge was restricted to the North-East.

“Today, it has spread to two other northern zones — North-West and North-Central. I don’t think that is a good performance. On the basis of that, I think Nigerians needs to know all that. The current All Progressives Congress administration has really not performed to their expectations.”

The Candidates: A single individual can’t end poverty –Atiku

Atiku disagreed with the host of The Candidate, Kadaria Ahmed, saying, as one of the two main employers of labour in Adamawa State, he is not responsible for the perceived high poverty rate in the state.

He argued that however anyone might argue, an individual is incapable of ending poverty.

His vice presidential running mate, Peter Obi, said that instead of being condemned, Atiku should be commended for being the only presidential candidate in Nigeria who has not only made a success of his own life, but he is also an employer of labour, apart from the Adamawa State Government.

The duo spoke at The Candidate, a political forum hosted by the NTA.

What do you think of the above statements made by the PDP presidential candidate? Join the conversation by commenting.