The former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar has recounted how his committee tactfully recovered $2.8 billion of stolen government funds from corrupt public officials during the Olusegun Obasanjo administration.
According to him, ever since, no government has been able to record such achievement in the fight against corruption in Nigeria. Naija News reports that Atiku who said this in Kaduna at an interactive session organised by the Arewa Joint Committee noted that some corrupt officials still dare to contest to hold political positions after stealing government funds. The Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) presidential candidate, who served as vice-president under the Olusegun Obasanjo administration, explained that when they came to the office then, there was a list of people who had stolen public funds, and also abundant evidence gathered by various investigative bodies of the where about of the monies. He furthered that “so I went to Mr President and I said if we say we are going to prosecute all these people, we will spend the next 10 years until we leave office, we will not be able to jail them, we will not get the money. So, he said, ‘what do you propose?’Then I proposed we set up a panel, to call every one of them confidentially. Then he set up a panel, he made me the chairman, made the attorney general a member.” We started calling them one by one, and say we have evidence you have stolen money and this is where the money is, return the money and we give you two or five per cent and within a few months we collected $2.8 billion. Since then no government has been able to recover the stolen money and some of the people that recovered money have even returned to Nigeria contested elections, they were in the National Assembly, they are governors and so on and so forth,” he remarked Atiku however confirmed that corruption can be handled in different ways and that there wasn’t a single way of dealing with it, stating that another way is to ensure that all loopholes that can tempt public officers to be corrupt should be blocked. “You cannot sit down as head of state and you don’t know what your ministers are doing, what your directors are doing, you don’t know what anybody is doing, it’s not possible. Anyway, not with Atiku, maybe with somebody else,” he said. Speaking to the various socioeconomic challenges faced by Nigerians in the North, the PDP presidential hopeful noted that he had the magic wand to surmount the problems bedevilling them. He said, “I am committed to articulating and implementing the transformation and development agenda of a united, secure and prosperous country. Nigeria has never been overwhelmed by insecurity in all parts of the country. Sadly, we have reached a point where the functions of the state have been usurped by separatists, bandits insurgents and terrorists.”
This article was originally published on Naija News