By Ezra Ukanwa, Abuja
A group of Nigerian Youths and women, on Tuesday, said that the presidential flag bearer of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, had 1999-2007 led a remarkable period of sustainable economic growth in the country.
The group was replying to the recent outburst of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who stated in a scathing remark that he made a mistake picking Atiku as his running mate for the 1999 election.
National General Secretary WAYS 4 Atiku Abubakar, Alexander Akinwande, who spoke on behalf of the group in a statement said that the Ex President’s comments against Atiku were unfounded.
According to him, It is uncharitable to play down the roles played by Atiku Abubakar in stabilizing the Nigerian economy under the Obasanjo administration.
“It is with total effort to watch Chief Obasanjo castigating his vice Atiku Abubakar who in the face of total economic depression, led the team that put the economy on the path of sustainable development.
“At least, it is on record that the Obasanjo administration was greeted with financial challenges, having just been birthed by the military government of Gen. Abdusalam Abubakar. It then took the resilience, hard work and total commitment of the Atiku Abubakar-led economic team to devise means for sustainable economic growth to move the nation forward.
“This involved the drastic formulation of economic policies and reforms aimed at generating funds into the coffer of the government by plugging holes in which resources were being either stolen or wasted. In fact, this led to the creation of the EFCC and related anti-corruption agencies.
“It is worthy to note that reforms carried out in the Nigerian Port Authority( NPA) by the team at that time, led to an increase in revenue generation and efficiencies as still seen today. Altogether, the team ensured the cancellation of the country’s external debt by the foreign nations.
“We hereby advise our leaders to always appreciate the efforts of Nigerians who had helped in the process of nation-building in the past for future leaders to emulate. Nigerians in the likes of Atiku Abubakar”, he added.