Former Vice President and chieftain of All Progressives Congress, APC, yesterday took on his critics, asking them to provide proof of allegations of corruption against him.
“If anyone has evidence against me, tender it now or shut up forever,” Atiku told his critics. In a statement issued in Abuja, Atiku advised his self-righteous political enemies to either prove his alleged corrupt activities, or mind the skeletons in their own closets and keep quiet.
He also said he would fight corruption like never before, if he was given the opportunity to preside over the affairs of the country. The statement said Atiku spoke during a facility tour of the new ultra-modern Yaliam Press Limited in Jabi area of Abuja. He said: “It is sickening to continue to regurgitate allegations of corruption against me by people who have failed to come forward with a single shred of evidence of my misconduct while in office.
“People who have no initiative, personal resourcefulness and ideas about wealth creation, always assume that a man cannot build himself without stealing. “People who are bereft of ideas about entrepreneurial spirit always think that everyone else is a thief like them.”
He added that it was morally offensive for people who despised honest labour to become judges in the courts of public opinion. The Waziri Adamawa explained that though he had not been convicted of corruption by any court in the land or elsewhere, his political enemies had been parading a fake morality to fool gullible Nigerians.
“Despite previous desperate efforts to link me with corruption, the William Jefferson trial in the United States ended in 2009 without indicting me or linking me to corrupt activities,” he said. Atiku, who was responding to the welcome address by the Chairman/CEO of Yaliam Press Limited, Yahaya Ali Amfani, recalled that he had pasted a reminder at his bed rest during his training as a Custom Officer that he (Atiku) would retire from any agency if he had not attained the headship of the place at the age of 40.
Atiku said that he was only able to attain the position of Deputy Director before his exit in 1989 to chart a career in business. Atiku told the management and staff of Yaliam Press that he retired from the Customs Service with untainted record, stressing that if anybody had evidence that he stole a kobo at the Customs or during his tenure as Vice President, such accusers should come forward or file a petition against him.
Atiku said he didn’t become a Vice President in 1999 as a pauper, noting he had been a successful investor throughout his retirement life. “If Atiku is a thief merely because of his resourcefulness and successful investments, my political enemies should tell Nigerians the sources of their own stupendous wealth,” he added.