Barely 24 hours after the shocking revelation by one of President Muhammadu Buhari cabinet members, former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, on Thursday accused the president of abandoning him despite his major contribution in bringing the party to government.
He said he had been sidelined by President Muhammadu Buhari’s government, which he said he helped into power in 2015.
Mr Atiku’s open frustration at the government came a day after Buhari’s minister said she would resign from the cabinet should Atiku announce today he would run for president in 2019.
The Minister for Women Affairs, Jummai Alhassan told the BBC Hausa Service yesterday that Atiku ís her godfather and she would support him against President Buhari should both of them decide to run in the elections in 2019.
In an interview aired during yesterday’s morning programme of the Hausa Service of the Voice of America, VOA, Atiku said he had been sidelined despite the fact that he used his contacts and resources to defeat the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in 2015.
The former vice president spoke from Yola, Adamawa State where he celebrated the Eid-el- Kabir festival.
“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 sidelined, 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,” Mr Atiku said.
He praised President Muhammadu Buhari on the successes recorded in the fight against Boko Haram, but said it was not yet time to celebrate because the ruling government had failed in many fronts.
“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,” he said.
Mr Atiku said very little was achieved in respect of corruption fight. “How many people were arrested, prosecuted and jailed? How much was recovered from the looters?” he asked.
“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.”