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Saturday, 16 September 2017

Forget 2019, you carry what is worse than corruption – Lawal tells Atiku

Former Deputy Director of Buhari Presidential Campaign Council, Engineer Mohammed Lawal, has advised the former Vice President Atiku Abubakar to shelve his 2019 presidential ambition because he was carrying a heavy and rotten baggage.

According to him, no amount of money or international connection would make him win the presidential election in Nigeria.

Atiku had during the week challenged anybody, who said he was corrupt to come forward with evidence or forever keep quiet.

He also alleged President Muhammadu Buhari used and dumped him after the 2015 presidential election.

But Lawal, who took Atiku to the cleaners, accused the Turaki Adamawa of plotting President Buhari’s failure because he lost the All Progressives Congress (APC) primary election in 2014.

He told the Sun newspaper: “Atiku didn’t believe that Buhari would win the primary; he didn’t also believe that Buhari would win the election against the then incumbent President Jonathan.

“He said it that Buhari was not going to defeat Jonathan. How can he claim that he spent money for Buhari whom he believed was not going to win the election?

“He was aggrieved that Buhari won the primary, now he is saying he was not invited. He was supposed to invite people but he didn’t and now he is complaining that he was not invited, nor carried along.

“We are in this government and we’re aware of what is going on in this country. We’re aware of the meetings they are holding. We know what they are planning against this government.

“Atiku has several businesses, he’s creating a monopoly by kicking out other players in those fields, leaving them disgruntled, and forcing them to close shops.

“When the issue came up, we said no, we would never allow the idea of one person monopolising the business. We broke that monopoly and many Nigerians are operating those businesses.”

On Atiku’s challenge to anyone who said he is corrupt to prove it, Lawal who is currently a director on the Board of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), said: “First of all, Atiku didn’t serve this government in an executive position. It is not our business to instigate anything. It is people who are instigating. It is not the government that is saying you he is corrupt, it’s the people saying that.

“Whatever has been going on with people who were caught for corruption, it was not Buhari that instigated them – the money found with the NNPC former managing director, the NIA money at Ikoyi house, etc. It is not for you to say that you are not corrupt, people say it; whenever it is necessary some of us will come up. The government should investigate it.

“The monopoly he was enjoying was broken, and there are no regrets about that.

“There are different sets of people, and some think they are cleverer than others. If corruption is evil, monopoly is the devil of corruption. In other climes, fine for monopoly is as heavy if not heavier than fine for corruption. Monopoly, which Atiku was involved is a sweeter corruption.

“Right from the word go, Atiku has not been fair to President Buhari, because he didn’t have it, let everybody lose. That is his position, if not, what warranted his attack on the President on the fight against Boko Haram, when it is very clear and the international community is applauding the efforts of Buhari in decimating the sect.

“After the presidential election, he came to congratulate President Muhammadu Buhari and left the country. He is complaining now that he was not contacted. I served as a Deputy Director at the Presidential Campaign Council. I knew all the intrigues. Atiku fought Buhari tooth and nail. He was extremely unhappy about the loss of the presidential primaries.

“He did not campaign for Buhari during the election. He even refused to contribute any money. He promised to campaign and to contribute to the campaign. He did not contribute anything meaningful.

“Let him say how much he spent. How much did he claim he spent? Is his money more important than his appearance at the campaign? He spent all the money he thinks he has to ensure that Buhari did not win.

“People are not foolish. He told the BBC in 2015 that he was sure that Buhari was not going to win. So, will somebody who did not believe in the party’s candidate spend anything? He thinks he is very clever and spending his money.

“With all his monies, Buhari still drowned him at the APC primary election. The same thing will happen to him. He has to be very careful, or they will even stone him even in his Adamawa State. They will start throwing stones at him if he doesn’t take time, you will see.


“Nobody is afraid of him; he thinks he knows better than everybody and because he has the money. No, politics is not all a matter of money, your personality is also important. He had his time.”

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