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Monday, 13 October 2014

I dont need your Endorsement: Atiku to Obasanjo

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 plot 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 said. 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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