By Dirisu Yakubu
ABUJA- Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has said no politician faced the kind of investigations he was subjected to while serving as Vice President in the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo.
Atiku stated this yesterday while fielding questions from an audience participation programme tagged “The Candidates,” a Presidential interactive programme anchored by Kadaira Ahmed. Responding to a question taken from a quote from Obasanjo”s Memoir, “My Watch” wherein the former President raised questions bordering on Atiku’s character; the former Vice President said despite what was written of him by his former boss, he was never found wanting in spite of the investigations carried out on him.
“Nobody has been investigated by President Obasanjo more than myself. I was investigated by I was not found wanting,” he said.
His running mate and former Anambra state governor, Peter Obi who waded in almost simultaneously drew comparison in football matches which has seen referees reverse decisions earlier taken with the benefit of credible information. According to Obi, Obasanjo has since forgiven Atiku having realised he erred about his past opinion on the PDP candidate.
On what stands him out among the pack of other Presidential candidates, Atiku said his experience is a virtue no other candidate boasts of. He said, “Among us, I am the most experienced. I am also bringing my business experience which I garnered over the years to bear,” even as described himself as a bridge between the future and present administration.
He denied setting up a clearing and forwarding company that was a sole monopoly, saying there was a lot of competition among the companies. According to Atiku, the company which later became Intel played by the rules all the time.
“The issue of monopoly was not there. It is a complete misrepresentation of fact to say Intel was a monopoly,” he stated.
On his anti-corruption strategy, the former Vice President said he would work more on prevention than cure, noting that he would introduce technology in the public sector to eliminate personal relationship between citizens and government establishment.
He also spoke about the nation’s justice system this way: “My quarrel with the Nigerian justice system is the delay. We will be looking at the legislature and the procedures adopted by the judiciary. We will sit down with the judiciary and the legislative arms of government to address the issue.”
He also absolved his wife, Jennifer Atiku of complicity in the Siemens Scandals that made the headlines a few years ago. While noting that he knew that his wife was mentioned in the alleged scam, Atiku said she was neither indicted nor charged.
“The company (Siemens) was fined for series of offences, not necessarily on the issue of my wife,” he added. He promised to put and an end to farmers/herdsmen clashes if elected into office even as he noted that job creation would occupy a pride of place in his administration.