Nasir el-Rufai, governor of Kaduna, says Atiku Abubakar, Nigeria’s former vice president, is haunted by demons. El-Rufai’s statement was a response to an interview granted by Atiku to Zero Tolerance For Corruption, a magazine owned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
El-Rufai said, “This statement is issued in response to the latest falsehoods emerging from Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. He has a record of spewing outright lies and innuendos against my person. As we struggle to build a law-abiding society and secure progressive outcomes for our people, we cannot allow the triumph on these shores of those who will have us move to a post-factual world.
“Not even from a man as practised as Alhaji Atiku is in the dark arts of damaging other people through a campaign of lies from him and his media machine. Therefore, I am constrained to provide a response to the fake news and irresponsible revision of recent history by Alhaji Atiku.
“The report detailing the US Senate findings is online. Alhaji Atiku should tell a better tale of why he is avoiding the United States of America.
“I never had anything to do with the incorporation of Transcorp. Those that established that company like Festus Odimegwu, Tony Elumelu, Otunba Lawal Solarin and Ndi Okereke-Onyiuke are still around and alive. As such, I could not have, and did not offer Alhaji Atiku any shares in Transcorp. I declined the shares that were offered me. Having done that, how could I have offered anyone shares?”
In an interview Atiku granted to a quarterly magazine published by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Zero Tolerance, the former vice-president accused former President Olusegun Obasanjo of scheming to make himself life president.
Atiku also said that the pioneer Chairman of the EFCC, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, had apologised to him for accusing him of corruption, stressing that Obasanjo and his aides decided to tag him as a corrupt person because he foiled the life presidency bid of Obasanjo.
He said, “Did he give any evidence or prove where I was corrupt? Again, this is the same el-Rufai whom I was instrumental in bringing into government and making him Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises, and eventually a minister.
“So, where is the evidence of corruption? It’s just not fair for you to say somebody is corrupt without substantiation. This is the same el-Rufai who testified on TV that he worked with me as DG of BPE for four years and there was never a time I asked him or instructed him to do anything unethical in those years.
“So, how am I a corrupt person? This is the same el-Rufai and others who incorporated Transcorp during my time as Vice-President and offered me shares and I declined. I wrote them officially to say it was unethical of me to accept those offers. So, where is the corruption toga coming from?”
When contacted, the Director, Atiku Media Office, Paul Ibe, said he had seen Nasir el-Rufai’s statement and that the office was preparing a response.
“We are preparing a response,” he said