Former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has complained of being pushed to the corner by President Muhammadu Buhari’s government, which he said he helped to power in 2015.
Atiku’s salvo at the government came on a day one of Buhari’s ministers said she would resign from the cabinet should Atiku signify intention to run for president in 2019.
In an interview aired during yesterday’s morning programme of the Hausa Service of the Voice of America (VOA), Atiku said he had been sidelined despite the fact that he used his contacts and resources to defeat the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in 2015.
“Honestly speaking, I’m still a member of the APC; I was part of all the processes, including campaigns until success was achieved.
“But sadly, soon after the formation of government I was side-lined, I have no relationship with the government; I’ve not been contacted even once to comment on anything and in turn, I maintained my distance. They used our money and influence to get to where they are but three years down the line, this is where we are,” Atiku said.
He praised President Buhari on the successes recorded in the fight against Boko Haram, but said it is not yet time to celebrate because the government has failed on many fronts.
“Yes, there were successes but not comprehensive success because the Boko Haram miscreants are still very active, killing our people and many local government councils in Borno and Yobe are under their firm grip. People cannot dare go back to their dwellings.
“This thing baffles me; I never imagined that Nigeria will fight a protracted battle with Boko Haram for five years. At a time, we fought the Biafra war, which was more complicated because of the terrain in the South but the Biafran soldiers were roundly subdued in 30 months. But here we’re, fighting an endless battle with the Boko Haram and there’s no end in sight,” he said.
On corruption, Atiku said very little has been achieved in that respect.
“How many people were arrested, prosecuted and jailed? How much was recovered from the looters?
“When we came on board in 1999, I remember we recovered between $4.5 and $4.7 billion from those that looted under (late Sani) Abacha,” he said.