Nasir el-Rufai, governor of Kaduna state, has accused former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar of understanding the art of spreading falsehood. Reacting to the allegation that he offered Abubakar some shares in Transorp Plc, El-Rufai wondered how he could have done that when he also turned down the shares that the company gave him.
Abubakar had told Zero Tolerance, a publication of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) that he rejected El-Rufai’s shares on ethical ground.
“El-Rufai and others who incorporated Transcorp during my time as vice-president and offered me shares and I declined,” Abubakar had said. Alleging that Abubakar has a record of telling lies against him, El-Rufai said owners of the company should be contacted in order to set the records straight.
“This statement is issued in response to the latest falsehoods to emerge from Alhaji Atiku Abubukar. He has a record of spewing outright lies and innuendo against my
he said in a statement. “As we struggle to build a law-abiding society and secure progressive outcomes for our people, we cannot allow the triumph on these shores of those who will have us move to a post-factual world. “Not even from a man as practiced as Alhaji Atiku is in the
dark arts of damaging other people through a campaign of lies from him and his media machine.
“I am constrained to provide a response to the irresponsible revision of recent history by Alhaji Atiku. I never had anything to do with the incorporation of Transcorp. Those that established that company and fronted it like Festus Odimegwu, Tony Elumelu, Otunba Lawal Solarin and Ndi
Okereke-Onyiuke are still around and alive. “As such I could not have and did not offer Alhaji Atiku any shares in Transcorp.
I declined the shares that were offered to me. Having done that, how could I have offered anyone shares?” El-Rufai said he was the one who advised Abubakar, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a former minister, not to accept shares from Transcorp.
He added that Abubakar and Okonjo-Iweala were directly involved in approving the sales of national assets at the time. El-Rufai maintained that the recent utterances by the former
number two man were attestation to the fact that the things he wrote in his book: ‘The Accidental Public Servant’, which was published three years ago, were true.
“In fact, I advised President Olusegun Obasanjo, Alhaji Atiku and then finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala not to accept the shares that were then being offered by the promoters of Transcorp. My counsel to them was based on the grounds that they would face conflicts of interest when Transcorp bids for privatisation assets,” he said.
“At the time Alhaji Atiku and Ngozi were chair and vice-chair of the National council on Privatisation, and were particularly directly involved in approving the sales of state-
owned enterprises and assets.
“It is too late in the day to try to pretend that the fiasco concerning the attempt by then Senators Ibrahim Mantu and Jonathan Zwingina to extort money from me for Senate clearance never happened. All Alhaji Atiku has just done is confirm that he paid the senators, as I revealed in Page 139 of my book.
“When I published The Accidental Public Servant in 2013, Alhaji Atiku unleashed his media team in a campaign of vilification. Despite the viciousness of the attacks, they did not contest or explain away his shenanigans that were detailed in the book, from the Ericsson manoeuvre, to the Abuja water treatment plant contract and his obsession with marabouts and their assurances of the political big prize.
He might also consider a full reckoning for what he and his acolytes did with public funds in the PTDF imbroglio, rather than indulging the usual bold face of the Nigerian big-man. “As a federal public servant, my oath of allegiance appropriately stood with the Federal Republic of Nigeria, not the big men whose conduct I was privileged to witness at close quarters. People like Alhaji Atiku think that loyalty to them should be the goal of a public officer, and that it should trump the oath of allegiance to the country.”
El-Rufai claimed that Abubakar had launched his 2019 election bid, and was only looking for those to turn to “collateral damage”. While pledging total support for President Muhammadu
Buhari, he challenged Abubakar to clear his name from the corruption allegations leveled against him.
He also dared Abubakar to explain why he has been avoiding travelling to the US. “Alhaji Atiku is already running for 2019, and he thinks that he can make people like us collateral damage in his attempt to rejuvenate his image,” he said. “This obsession for power inclined him to support the rebellion against the party that manifested in the national assembly, and is continuing with obvious disrespect for the incumbent president.
Everyone knows that I support and will continue to work for the success of President Muhammadu Buhari as he leads our country through tough times.
“Like everyone else, Alhaji Atiku is entitled to rehabilitation. But that often requires coming clean with the people. Can Alhaji Atiku explain the findings in the report of the United States Senate Permanent Sub-Committee on Investigations which detailed a pattern of wire transfers of more than USD 40m from offshore companies like Siemens into bank accounts controlled by him and one of his wives?
“The report detailing the US Senate findings is online, as one of four case histories of foreign corruption in the USA. Alhaji Atiku should tell a better tale of why he is avoiding the
United States of America. “Someone as obsessed with Nigeria’s presidency as he is, should clear up such matters conclusively. We wait to see how well he does with that.”