SAN FRANCISCO, September 06 (THEWILL) – Former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar on Wednesday opened-up that he has been sidelined by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari despite using his contacts and resources to help the All Progressives Congress, APC, defeat the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in 2015.
By this open complaint against the ruling party, the former Vice President, who is nursing a presidential ambition, may be on his way back to his former party – the PDP. The Adamawa chapter of the party had in July set up a committee with the mandate of returning Atiku back to its fold, noting that he is being under-utilised in the APC.
On Wednesday, a minister serving in Buhari’s government, Aisha Alhassan stated that she called Atiku Nigeria’s President in 2019 because “we all hope he is going to contest,” adding that she would rather support the former Vice President for the nation’s plum job.
In an interview aired during the morning programme of the Voice of America, VOA, Hausa Service, Atiku said he was edged out soon after the formation of the Buhari government which he said he helped to power in the 2015 presidential election.
According to him, “Honestly speaking, I’m still a member of the APC; I was part of all the processes, including campaigns until success was achieved.
“But sadly, soon after the formation of government; I was side-lined, I have no any 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’re but three years down the lane, this is where we are.”
Commending Buhari on the successes recorded in the fight against Boko Haram, the former Vice President stated that it was not yet time to celebrate as the government in power had failed in many fronts.
His words, “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. People cannot dare go back to their dwellings
“This thing baffles me; I never imagined that Nigeria will 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’re, fighting an endless battle with the Boko Haram and there’s no end in sight.”
Atiku, who stated that very little have been achieved in the fight against corruption, asked: “How many people were arrested, prosecuted and jailed? How much was recovered from the looters?”.
“When we came on board in 1999, I remember we recovered between $4.5 and $4.7 billion from those that looted under (Late Sani) Abacha,” the ex-Vice President added.