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2015 Presidency: I’ve Never Been Convicted Of Corruption, Says Atiku

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar

Former Nigeria’s Vice President, Atiku Abubakar says insinuations of corruption and allegations of corruption levelled against him were the handiwork of his political adversaries bent on denting his image as he has never been convicted of corruption.

Abubakar was in Lagos on Monday where he briefed newsmen, saying that “I have not been charged of corruption, I am the most investigated Nigerian today. All these investigations revealed nothing, so it is a question of perception. I am capable of running a corruption free economy.

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar

“Corruption can always be tackled by deploying political will and building institutions to deal with corruption. There has been no administration that has done that in the country better than our administration.”

“According to him, “we set up all the anti-corruption institutions to deal with corruption. They may not be perfect but the fact that we set up these institutions to deal with corruption is an effort we made to deal with the issue of corruption. During our period, many people were charged in court for corruption than any other administration.

“Then again, the records have to be put right that with the draft of the Economic and Financial crimes Commission (EFCC), what we wanted was a tougher EFCC than what the National Assembly approved, they watered it, we wanted a tougher EFCC.”

He explained that when it was eventually approved, “I went out of my way because there was no appropriation for the agency to borrow money from a government agency to enable EFCC function effectively pending when the National Assembly will appropriate money for the agency. So, no administration has done as much as we had done to fight corruption since the return of democracy in Nigeria.”

Abubakar added that he is now a brand new political person refined to transform the country, saying that the period he had been out of power had given him the ample opportunity to study the challenges rocking the country and measures needed to solve the problems.

He said he had already offered himself for election under the All Progressive Congress (APC) for next year’s poll.

“If anything, I want you to see me as the new Atiku. I was in government the first time from 1999 to 2007 and I always thank my God that it did not continue. I have had a break. That break has enabled me to interact with ordinary Nigerians and know what they want and listen to them. Probably if I had continued and became the president, I wouldn’t have been the new Atiku I want to be,” he said.

Abubakar said he would pay attention to matters affecting the youths, saying that between 50 and 70 percent of the population were youths and therefore the future of this country is theirs, adding that his government was also trying to work out partnership with youths to see how they could ensure smooth generational transfer.

“I have interacted with the youths on the social media. They are very much on social media and it is dominated by the youths. It is extremely important to engage the youths so that we can understand their thinking and what they want and what they expect from politicians,” he said.

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