By Teslim Olawore
A Civil Society Organization, the New Agenda for Positive Change, has taken a jibe at the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, for holding a strategy session with over 400 members of his team in Dubai, UAE.
The Dubai meeting had in attendance, Atiku’s running mate, Peter Obi; the Senate President, Bukola Saraki. Also in the meeting were ex-Ogun Governor, Gbenga Daniel; ex-aide to former President, Reno Omokri, Bayelsa East Senator, Ben Bruce among several others.
Reacting, to the meeting, the group said the development was a sad reminder of Atiku’s extravagant lifestyle, elitist mindset to governance, during his reign as the vice-president, which Nigerians had not forget.
Raymond Clarke Amuna, President of the group, in his speech said the development was an indication to his dangerous tendency to hand Nigeria over to foreign interests, with Dubai being his latest preference. Amuna in his statement challenged the PDP candidate to explain to Nigerians how he intends to run a domestic-oriented economy for the masses with the kind of lavish lifestyle of taking his strategy team with over 400 members to Dubai. He warned that a vote for Atiku would definitely signal a return to the era where even bottled water is imported into the country and Nigerians will again be conditioned to believe that only imported things are good.
President of the group lamented that there are various exotic venues in Nigeria that he could have used and have members of his team spend money to boost the local economy but he decided to expend his N20 million annual income in ferrying Peter Obi, Secondus and other clowns in his circus to Dubai for the strategy session.
He said the first thing of note is that Atiku Abubakar, a onetime Vice President (1999 to 2007) and by default the Chairman of the National Economic Council (NEC) at the time, was the originator of privatization, it was under him that the chant of ‘government has no business in business’ or ‘government is incapable of managing businesses’ first gained ground and has remained a part of our collective psyche today.
“Furthermore, the PDP presidential candidate is unmindful of the reality that the proceeds will be managed differently from the 16 years that his party was in power. It is publicly known that even the small money for which national assets were sold under his watch ended up in individual’s pockets”.