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Alhaji Atiku Abubakar’s Interview With The African Report: A Synopsis – By ThankGod Ukachukwu

For those who have not read Alhaji Atiku Abubukar’s interview with The African Report, here’s a synopsis. The talking points.

PS: My views are infused but are glaring though wherever they appear.

He’s introduced as boisterous, full of life, not shy to speak about his vision and plans. He’s not the campaign promise-esque politician, he talks policies. He is interested in systems (deregul­ation and privatisation) and structure (restructuring). Buhari is bland. Lacklustre!

Even opposition acknowledges he’s the most formidable candidate to challenge Buhari but you don’t expect the ruling party to concede defeat, that’ll be an aberration. They resorted to euphemism of big money politics not to rattle themselves because he can fund his own campaign.

Choice of Mr Peter Obi continues to boost his candidacy and the reconciliation with Obasanjo was a masterstroke. Jobs and money will dominate the campaign talking point but Buhari is banking on his regional base to deliver the votes. Ethnic bigotry!

The interview proper, Atiku talks about loans from China with insights. Less conditionalities which makes the loans susceptible to misappropriation, misapplication and malfeasance. Investment in less or non-profitable sector(s) increases tendency to default. Here we go!

Atiku reiterates that Buhari’s economic policy is archaic stating that it is “not market friendly and because of that we have not been getting much foreign investment.” This is indubitable. Nigeria has lost its position as top FDI/FPI to Africa over the past four years.

Atiku does not mix words about floating the naira, arguing that it would attract investors. Floating will most likely lead to inflation but influx of foreign investments will make foreign exchange available. This is big time economic policy making, the type IMF and World Bank likes.

He wants to give oil-producing states 100% of their revenue (this is mouth watering) but would tax the state to maintain the federal government.

This is absolute RESTRUCTURING. The South South and South East would LOVE this. Atiku is their man. Even the South West!

He wants to declare emergency on education. Parents will be punished for not sending their children to school. Education would be made compulsory and I will suggest community service as punishment for any parents found wanting!

On policing, he supports state police. He supports regional policing. He is in fact 100% interested in devolution and unbundling of the behemoth called FG.

He wants to resuscitate grazing reserves that existed in the north in the past. “In each province in the north, we used to have a grazing reserve. During the season, the cattle are in the reserves. When it is off-­season, when farmers would have cultivated all their crops….”

Atiku: “I happen to know how Boko Haram came into being. They were offshoots of political thuggery. Politicians used those boys in Boko Haram to win elections and then abandoned them and then there were no jobs for them.”

Atiku: “Without a stable regul­atory framework, the oil & gas companies will find it difficult to invest more in Nigeria.”

Atiku on corruption: “You can’t deploy only punitive measures to fight corruption. One way of trying to reduce corruption to the barest minimum is also to introduce e-governance.”

“If we have evidence against you we arrest you and prosecute you, and take away the money.”

Atiku on Dasuki and Kanu: “I don’t want to be individualistic on this issue. I reject any illegal detention, any detention that is not based on law and order.”

“Dasuki is being detained il­legally. It is only a court that will say whether he is guilty or not.”

Atiku on referendum for South East: “When we get there. We are going to have a conference to discuss reconstruction. Then we will see. I don’t think there is any part of this country that wants to leave this country. All what they want is fairness, equity and justice.”

Atiku on Rule of Law: “No. The rule of law itself is a guarantor of national security.”

END

 

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