Atiku Abubakar, former vice-president, says Nigeria “urgently” needs a leader who can unite the country and heal deep wounds.
In an interview with Dele Momodu, Ovation publisher, he said Nigeria is bleeding dangerously because President Muhammadu Buhari has polarised the country.
He said the government has lost total grip on all aspects of governance and that the president appears to be totally confused.
“Therefore, the leader Nigeria needs urgently is one who can unite the country and heal the deep wounds, not another Buhari who would further divide Nigeria and deepen the wounds,” he said.
“Check my records Dele, my office as vice president reflected the best of Nigeria; the guys were young and vibrant, and I gave them the wings to fly.”
On the public perception that he is a corrupt leader, Atiku insisted that he has never stolen public funds.
He said: “I have thrown the challenge repeatedly that anyone who has any corrupt charges against me should come forward. I never stole government money. Do you think President Obasanjo would not have exposed me if there was any such act of stealing?”
“The youths have every right to ask and be answered convincingly. The youths of today are confident and bold. No leader can treat them as nobody. But in my case, they have been lied to about Atiku and fed with a lot of propaganda. I applied to America for visa which was not granted. A man who is afraid of being arrested won’t go near the American embassy, it is simple logic.
“If America says come today, I will board the flight and go there soonest. Perhaps, America was fed with lies about me. It is normal in politics. The Indian and Kenyan leaders could not visit America at a time. America is not like Nigeria where we convict people on the pages of newspapers.”
While speaking on his plans for the economy and his business dealings, he said, “I will definitely create an enabling environment for our business icons and young entrepreneurs to thrive. What I see today in this government is the promotion of poverty and the glorification of backwardness. How can a government be gloating that they are fighting corruption when thousands, if not millions, are losing jobs and even their lives?
‘Nigeria has to be managed as serious business and I’m certainly equipped in that aspect more than any other.”