The No Alternative To Buhari-Osinbajo 2019 (NATBO 2019), a campaign group, has punched holes into the claim by PDP Presidential Candidate, Alh. Atiku Abubakar, to have impacted the economy with his businesses.
A statement issued by the National Coordinator of the Group Vincent Uba, said that the line of businesses which Atiku engaged in does not benefit Nigeria as much as it benefits other countries.
In 2017, Atiku disclosed that he owned four companies: Intels (Logistics in Oil and Gas), Prodeco (Real Estate, Construction and Oil and Gas), Atiku Farms (started as maize and cotton farm) and ABTI Schools (American University of Nigeria).
1. NICOTES (now Intels) founded in 1989.
2. Prodeco, 1996
2. My farm, 1982.
3. ABTI schools, 1992 https://t.co/eHIhnQbnI5
— Atiku Abubakar (@atiku) September 7, 2017
The group, however claimed that there was no visible manufacturing company owned by Atiku in Nigeria which utilizes local raw materials.
“Atiku Abubakar prides himself as a successful business man that has the magic wand to turn the Nigeria economy into an Eldorado, yet there is no visible or viable manufacturing industry linked to him that engages in sourcing raw materials locally, to encourage the small and medium scale businesses to boost the economy.
“Rather, he takes pleasure in the service delivery sector of the economy where he can easily do shady deals to defraud the government of its expected huge revenue, and convert same for his personal benefit.
“It is, therefore, not surprising that the PDP candidate is already talking about selling the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) if he is elected president in 2019, as he would have perfected plans to sell the NNPC to himself by proxy.
“It is very ironic and sad that the same party, PDP, that ran this country aground and created the current hunger in the country could go to Sokoto and promised to put food on the table for the citizenry as if we are a gullible bunch to be so easily deceived,” he said.
The National Coordinator also recalled with displeasure how Atiku, as Vice President, who claimed to be engaged in livestock farming, focused more on importing frozen meat rather than growing the local sector.
The group dared Atiku to disclose the location of his claimed cattle ranches, alleging that with thousands of cows, he (Atiku) should be the one in the spotlight over the activities of marauding herdsmen rather than painting the narrative that President Muhammadu Buhari, who only has 150 cows in a ranch, was fueling the attacks.
“If it is true that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has thousands of cows in his farm, it would be interesting to know where this farm is located in the form of a ranch anywhere around Nigeria, and what he does with the quantity of cows that he claims to rear.
“Otherwise, it could be safe to say that Atiku has overwhelming influence over the marauding herdsmen who have been carrying out destructive activities and have wreaked havoc in different parts of Nigeria, under the guise of protecting their livestock.
“Much as we suspect that the deadly activities of some of these herdsmen could be sponsored in the build up to the general elections next year, NATBO 2019 suggests that instead of pointing accusing fingers at an innocent man who has only 150 cows in a ranch, who has been contending and curtailing the activities of killer herdsmen, the search lights should be beamed on the person who has thousands in unknown locations.
NATBO 2019 campaign group views this scenario with some measure of curiosity and so suspects that these killings are sponsored by unscrupulous persons to create the impression of non-performance and place the toga on President Muhammadu Buhari,” the statement said.
Uba added that Nigerians have to be properly educated and guided not be deceived by the desperation of the PDP to return to power to further drain the economy that the current administration is working round the clock to fix.