Placing Atiku Abubakar On Moral Scale, By Mukhtar Jarmajo

It is obvious that despite the very many political parties that will participate in the 2019 presidential election, the two political parties to watch are the All Progressives` Congress (APC) and the Peoples` Democratic Party (PDP).  They have the strongest contestants and have the widest coverage in Nigeria. Already, many political analysts have concluded that either the incumbent president Muhammadu Buhari (APC) or the former vice president Atiku Abubakar (PDP) will win the presidential election slated for early next year.
And as such, the two are being weighed against each other on the basis of their respective track records, competencies and work-plans to see who is likely to attract the attention of Nigerians as to beat the other comes 16th February, 2019. But Buhari is no equal to Atiku on all the grounds the two are being weighed. He has a track record of integrity, dedication to duty and an overwhelming competence.
Recall that Buhari was at several times a military governor, petroleum minister, head of state, executive chairman of the defunct PTF and now president. In all this, he has not any allegations bordering on morality. More so, Buhari discharged his duties effectively and efficiently. Today, he is taking Nigeria to the next level; a higher level where the nation will prosper having got its foundations underpinned in the last three years.
On the contrary meanwhile, Atiku has so many questions bordering on morality to answer. For instance, two notable Nigerians who have worked quite closely with him have in their several books labelled corruption allegations against Atiku. Former President Olusegun Obasanjo and former Chairman of the EFCC Nuhu Ribadu have openly alleged that Atiku is lacking in morality.
And while moral capital is one of the most essential ingredients of quality leadership, Atiku Abubakar is yet to clear his name on all the allegations they have labelled against him. The only thing he did each time they released their books was to engage them in exchange of words. And that has never been a way to come clean on any allegations.
Hear Obasanjo on Atiku in his book, “My Watch”: “What I did not know which came out glaringly later,  was his parental background which was somewhat shadowy, his propensity to corruption, his tendency to disloyalty, his inability to say and stick to the truth all the time, a propensity for poor judgment, his belief and reliance on marabouts, his lack of transparency, his trust in money to buy his way out on all issues and his readiness to sacrifice morality, integrity, propriety, truth and national interest for self and selfish interest.”
And in pages 84 and 85 of his book “My Story,” Nuhu Ribadu – the pioneer EFCC Chairman – said the following on Atiku: “The EFCC worked hand in glove with the FBI in the case of Atiku Abubakar, then Nigeria’s Vice President. The American authorities’ requested the EFCC’s help in the investigation of William Jefferson, a congressman from Louisiana suspected of pocketing and paying kickbacks to facilitate juicy business deals in Africa. Jefferson – who had stashed $90,000 of suspected bribe money in a freezer at his Washington DC home – was suspected, among other things, of being involved in shady dealings with Abubakar to facilitate a telecom venture in Nigeria. In 2009 Jefferson was convicted of corruption in the United States.”
Ribadu continued: “The FBI request prompted the EFCC to look into the Vice President’s affairs. The Commission had received local complaints about alleged wrongdoing at the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF),  a parastatal tasked with training personnel and promoting technology for the oil industry. An investigation had already resulted in the arrest of the PTDF’s executive secretary – who eventually escaped abroad – and the recovery of about 200 million naira ($1.3 million) in cash. Following the US authorities’ request for assistance, the EFCC linked some of the money diverted from the PTDF to Abubakar. Although I left the EFCC before the Commission could arrest or charge him, a case against the former Vice President is still open in the United States.
According to a report from the US Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, Abubakar and his wife laundered over $40 million into the United States between 2000 and 2008.”
So now that the former Vice President is asking us to give him the highest job in the land, it is important Nigerians seek legible explanations from Atiku on what his former boss Obasanjo and Nigeria’s former anti-graft czar Ribadu said of him.
Jarmajo can be reached through dattuwamanga@gmail.com
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