Atiku To OBJ: I Don't Need Your Endorsemen


Abuja – Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar on Monday said former

President Olusegun Obasanjo had the right to endorse whoever he wanted for

the 2015 presidential elections.
Atiku said this in Abuja at a news conference organised by his media

organisation to intimate the public of a policy review summit coming up at

the Obasanjo Presidential Library in Abeokuta on Oct. 27.

Debunking claims that the three-day conference was a ploy to get Nigeria's

ex-president to endorse him for the next general elections, Atiku said the

choice of Abeokuta for the conference was because his media organisation

felt each time they went to Lagos, the people's daily routine was usurped.

He said: “Abeokuta is a more serene atmosphere for thinking and suits our

purpose. It is not a strategy for endorsement.
“Obasanjo is in the PDP; he has a right to endorse anyone he wants as

president but you will agree with me that the ultimate choice lies with

the electorate.''
According to him, the purpose of the news conference is to announce the

upcoming summit and fine-tune the elemental details of a document he

called the Atiku 2015 Policy Document.
“The draft policy to be reviewed was drawn up within the context of the

manifesto of our party, the APC. This document provides an overview of our

policy position.
“The main thrust is the explicit bid to modify the way the machinery of

Federal Government works by clarifying and streamlining MDAs remits and

responsibilities, removing overlaps and operational redundancies.''

Atiku said the key policy areas to be reviewed were employment generation

and wealth creation, infrastructure and power.
Others are education and skills acquisition, security, citizenship and

governance, agriculture and food security as well as the Niger Delta and

North-East re-integration.
He said the youth should not rely on government for jobs, adding that

government was structured in a way that wealth continued to circulate at

the top echelon of society.
“Nigerians should not rely on the government for jobs as the government

does not have money to do everything. We continue to make the mistake in

this country that government can create the jobs we want.

“One way I will solve this is to sit down with various heads of the

private sector, who are the major creator of jobs, give them tax rebates

and tell them to create half a million jobs for me.

“Don't forget that the millions of youth employed will pay tax and so

whatever I lose from giving tax rebate I'll gain again.

“If we stimulate the private sector, millions of jobs will be created and

it will encourage direct flow of investment into the country,'' Atiku

On privatisation, Atiku said: “I did not privatise refineries neither did

I privatise NITEL; the National Council on Privatisation did that.

He recalled that he told his former boss that if the former government

could conquer what he termed “two mafias'', Nigeria would move forward.

“I remember I told my boss then that we had two mafias which if we solved,

Nigeria would be the better for it. They are the mafias of the NEPA and

the NNPC.
“Unfortunately the mafias are still there,'' he said. (NAN)

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