Atiku: After using our money and influence to win, this govt sidelined me

Atiku Abubakar, former Vice President, says he was one of the people whose “money and influence” were used to hand victory to President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015, but he has been sidelined by the same government.

Speaking during a telephone interview with the Hausa service of VOA, Atiku also said the government has failed on many fronts in the fight against the Boko Haram insurgents, wondering why the counter-insurgency operations have lasted for more than five years without any tangible result.

Atiku maintained that the Buhari-led administration has “failed in many fronts” with regards to the issue of combating terrorism.

“Yes, there were successes but not comprehensive success because the Boko Haram miscreants are still very active, killing our people and many local government councils in Borno and Yobe are under their firm grip,” he said.

“People cannot dare go back to their dwellings. This thing baffles me. I never imagined that Nigeria would fight a protracted battle with Boko Haram for five years.

“At a time, we fought the Biafra war, which was more complicated because of the terrain in the South but the Biafran soldiers were roundly subdued in 30 months. But here we are, fighting an endless battle with the Boko Haram and there’s no end in sight.”

Atiku also criticised the current anti-corruption campaign of the federal government, saying it has achieved very little.

“How many people were arrested, prosecuted and jailed? How much was recovered from the looters?” he queried.

“When we [former President Olusegun Obasanjo and himself] came on board in 1999, I remember we recovered between $4.5 and $4.7 billion from those who looted under [late Sani] Abacha.”

Atiku lamented that the All Progressives Congress (APC) had sidelined him after using his platform and resources to achieve electoral victory in 2015.

“Honestly speaking, I’m still a member of the APC; I was part of all the processes, including campaigns until success was achieved,” he said.

“But sadly, soon after the formation of government, I was sidelined. I have no relationship with the government, I’ve not been contacted even once to comment on anything and in turn, I maintained my distance.



    “They used our money and influence to get to where they are but three years down the lane, this is where we are.”

    Atiku’s interview with the VOA came on the same day Aisha Alhassan, Minister of Women Affairs, told the BBC Hausa service that she would not support Buhari should he decide to seek re-election in 2019.

    Alhassan said that Atiku had been her godfather even before she ventured into politics and therefore has her support for the next general election.

    “Let me tell you today, if Baba says he is going to contest in 2019, I swear to Allah, I will go before him and kneel and tell him that ‘Baba I am grateful for the opportunity you gave me to serve your government as a minister but Baba just like you know, I will support only Atiku because he is my godfather,'” Alhassan was quoted as saying.

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