By Abba Dukuwa
The Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Candidate in the upcoming 2019 general elections Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is a most accused politician of being very corrupt and right from Obasanjo smeared Atiku ’s image in order to stop him from succeeding him in 2007.
Since 2007 when they left office he has been without immunity, why has he not been prosecuted before any competent court of jurisdiction?
Many former governors and ministers have been successfully charged, prosecuted and convicted since 2007, why have successive administrations been unable to prosecute Atiku if there are corruption charges against him? Even Buhari’s government that mouths anti-corruption platitudes has not been able to pin him down on any corruption charges.
Former President Obasanjo even tried to use various courts which were unsuccessful as the courts of the land discharged and acquitted Atiku. If Yar’adua, Jonathan and Buhari could not probe him still the Waziri of Adamawa is innocent in the eye of the law, its apt to quote chairman, Presidential Advisory Committee against Corruption, Prof Itse Sagay, what is really delaying or suspending any action is a question of proof. I don’t think that is certain.’’ Yes, there is no concrete proof. Usually, this kind of thing which is called bad belle in local Nigerian parlance is sheepishly done by the political detractors that want to pull him down at all cost.
Besides, it is also instructive to observe that, a man is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of competent jurisdiction; nobody, therefore, has the right to label another as guilty until the court does so.
Again, it is important to note that, if indeed, the former vice president had been corrupt this will have glaringly manifested since 1999, why wait for these years before trying very hard to nail him at all cost, to prevent him from vying for the presidency in the election? In today’s Nigeria, how many people amongst the political gladiators can come out and tell the public how they truly made their money?
Let right thinking Nigerians knows that the only constitutional role assigned to the office of the Vice President is the chairmanship of the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting made up of the 36 governors of the Federation, CBN Governor, and Minister of Finance etc.
The National Economic Council plays an advisory role just like the National Council of States forum as its decisions or resolutions are not binding on the President who is the chief executive of the country.
The heaters accused him of being rich but the money he has is the money he made in private business before he became the vice president. Much more importantly is the fact that even as the former vice president he never awarded contracts and has no direct access to public funds, he has lost more money in government than when he was in private business.
Some have gone to the extent of saying that he made his money through dubious means or by fraudulent practices, and the response of the vice president has always been that if anybody, anywhere has any evidence that he was engaged in any unwholesome dealings, at any stage of his life, they should go to court. And, he has repeatedly subjected himself to public scrutiny at all times, exuding uncommon confidence that his track records are impeccable.
Some have even argued that, he made so much money from the privatization exercise because he was the chairman of National Economic Council; even people that make the frivolous statements are asked to mention in specific terms, the companies he has cornered personally or through proxies, they are usually unable to substantiate their spurious claims. It is imperative to underscore the fact that Atiku is one politician who before he became the vice president, never held any political appointment, he had all along been a civil servant and when he retired he went into private business, which was very successful and dint of hard work. Much more importantly is the fact that even as the vice president he never awarded contracts and has no direct access to public funds. The money he has is the money he made in private business before he became the vice president.
Despite smeared Atiku’s image, Waziri remains the most fearful politician in the country many Nigerians never knew Waziri Adamawa is a man of principle and incorruptible custom officer while in active service. The PDP presidential hopeful is ready to expunge previous avenues for wastages through transparent and accountable administration as well as implement his agenda for robust self-reliance policy that will enable the incoming administration to create multi-faceted job opportunities for the masses, especially the teeming youth population in the state via massive local and foreign direct investments. In all fairness, the flag bearer the PDP presidential candidate in the upcoming 2019 election is an experienced leader going by his exploits being a former vice president. The general consensus is that he is indeed a man of high-grade intelligence fully prepared for the task ahead
Many Nigerians are anxious to get a glimpse of how the elections will look like unlike in 2015, when change battled continuity. 2019 is most likely going to be maintaining a change versus changing the change. They are overwhelmingly awaiting the February 2019 presidential polls to vote for a far-reaching departure from politics of subservience to snobbish overloads paying lip service to religious piety and crass insensitivity towards the people’s material and spiritual well-being.
Dukawa is a public commentator and a media practitioner who wrote in from Kano and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org