Atiku and the Unanswered Corruption Questions
The former vice president of Nigeria and the presidential candidate of the main opposition party in the forthcoming election, People’s Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar’s name has been stained with several corruption allegations over the years.
The accusation has gotten louder since he decamped from the ruling party, All Progressive Congress in 2017 and since the Waziri of Adamawa won the ticket as the front-runner of the PDP in the presidential election scheduled for February 2019 the allegation became a trending discussion all over the country.
The origin of Atiku’s corruption allegations can be traced to when he was vice president from 1999 to 2007. During the second tenure of Atiku and the then president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo they had a disagreement towards the end of their second term when Obasanjo was planning to trick the National Assembly into getting a third term. Atiku was instrumental in making the third term bid of his boss unsuccessful.
This move by Atiku didn’t sit well with his boss who later went all out to unleash several cases of corruption allegation against his vice.
Although the former vice president has not been indicted in any corruption case in the past, there have been several corruption allegations that trail the septuagenarian.
Atiku’s corruption allegation can be traced to his time in the Nigerian Customs Service, Atiku worked with the customs for 20 years and rose to the position of deputy director before retirement. It was alleged that Atiku perpetuated several illegal means to amass wealth during this period.
There are also corruption allegations concerning the privatization of national assets that was supervised by Atiku when he was the vice president of the country. It was alleged that Atiku sold most of the national assets to himself and his cronies.
In 2005 Atiku was involved in another corruption case when United States congressman, William J. Jefferson was caught on tape revealing that he was planning to pay Atiku a sum of $500,000 to help his company get a contract from the Nigerian government. This is the reason Atiku has been unable to travel to the US since then.
There are several other corruption questions and allegations directed at the PDP’s presidential candidate and he is yet to answer some of these questions although his camp claimed that if he was guilty of all the allegations he would have been charged to court since leaving office in 2003.
At a time like this in the country when most of the populace are faced with hardship which is caused by mismanagement of funds by government officials, it is better he address some of these issues as it will play a major role in the outcome of the 2019 general elections.