Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, has stated his doubts of a free and fair poll ahead of the general elections in 2019.
The presidential aspirant under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, expressed fears for the election.
According to an AFP report, Atiku, on Monday evening said: “Some of my fears for the current election” are that, “the characters that are involved this time, as far as the leadership of this country is concerned, are different from 2015.”
Atiku expressed fears that the presidential election in 2019 may not be free with President Muhammadu Buhari, a retired military man, in leading the affairs of the nation.
The former Vice President, made a comparison between immediate past president, Goodluck Jonathan and current President, Muhammadu Buhari.
He said unlike former President Goodluck Jonathan, who was in power during the 2015 general elections and was “much more level-headed” being a “peaceful, (and) very patriotic Nigerian,” the country was now dealing with “a retired general, (who is) very uncompromising, also power-drunk; (and) who will not be ready to leave power without a fight.”
Atiku vs. Osinbajo rift
Atiku also called on the current Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo to tell Nigerians the decision by the Federal Government to share $322m Abacha’s loot and also request for a fresh $328m loan from China.
The new loan is said to be for Information and Communications Technology development.
Atiku was reacting to Osinbajo’s response to the former Vice President’s reaction to the need to restructure the country.
He dismissed Osinbajo’s assertion that his (Atiku’s) ideas on restructuring were vague, saying restructuring was a necessity, not an option.
In a statement he signed in Abuja on Tuesday, he accused Osinbajo of making a U-turn on the issue of restructuring.
The former Vice President said of Osinbajo, “Faced with an avalanche of public condemnation for his 360-degree turn on the concept of restructuring, it is understandable that the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has written to Premium Times to douse the tension his comments created.
“However, in doing so, the Vice President should not attempt to revise history by saying that he spoke against ‘geographic restructuring.’
“I have been in the forefront of the discourse on restructuring since the 1995 Abacha Constitutional Conference and to the best of my knowledge, there has not been any term like ‘geographic restructuring’.
“It is a strange concept, not only because it is not what the restructuring debate is all about, but also because the words of the Vice President, which prompted my response, were clear, unambiguous and unequivocal.
“Mr Osinbajo said, ‘the problem with our country is not a matter of restructuring.’ That I disagree with and so do many other Nigerians. If the Vice President has changed his stance, I welcome it, but we should not use one finger to hide behind semantics.
“For the Vice President to say ‘Alhaji Atiku’s concept of restructuring is understandably vague, because he seeks to cover every aspect of human existence in that definition’, is most unfortunate.
“I have been very clear, detailed, and unambiguous about my ideas for restructuring. At several occasions, including, but not limited to my speeches at the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House), and at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (made in April this year and July 2017, respectively), I gave very clear and concise ideas about restructuring including: “Devolution of powers and resources to the states; matching grants from the Federal Government to the states to help them grow their internally generated revenue position; privatization of unviable Federal Government-owned assets.”
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