Atiku said this in defence of his choice to stage an October 27 policy review summit at the Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta, Ogun State. The three-day conference was perceived as Atkiu’s strategy to ingratiate himself with Obasanjo and secure his endorsement for the 2015 election.
Former Vice President and presidential hopeful on the platform of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Atiku Abubakar, on Monday said that ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo withholds the right to endorse anyone he desires for the 2015 presidential election, but it is the people who will ultimately decide Nigeria’s next president.
Atiku said this in defence of his choice to stage an October 27 policy review summit at the Obasanjo Presidential Library, Abeokuta, Ogun State.
The three-day conference was perceived as Atkiu’s strategy to ingratiate himself with Obasanjo and secure his endorsement for the 2015 election.
But the former PDP man said the choice of Abeokuta was due to the traffic problems experienced in Lagos during past programmes and its effect on the schedule of participants.
“Abeokuta is a more serene atmosphere for thinking and suits our purpose. It is not a strategy for endorsement,” Atiku said.
“Obasanjo is in the PDP. He has a right to endorse anyone he wants as president, but you will agree with me that the ultimate choice lies with the electorate.”
He disclosed that the policy review summit was called to polish up details of the ‘Atiku 2015 policy document’, the draft of which was drawn up within the context of APC’s manifest.
“This document provides an overview of our policy position,” he said.
“The main thrust is the explicit bid to modify the way the machinery of federal government works by clarifying and streamlining MDAs remits and responsibilities, removing overlaps and operational redundancies.”
He itemised the important policy areas up for review as employment generation and wealth creation, integration of the Niger Delta and northeast with the rest of the country, infrastructure and power, education and skills acquisition, security, citizenship and governance, agriculture and food security.
Atiku also explained that his strategy for creating jobs would be private-sector driven. He therefore implored youths not to rely on government for jobs, as government alone could not create jobs.
“Nigerians should not rely on the government for jobs, as the government does not have money to do everything. We continue to make the mistake in this country that government can create the jobs we want,” he said.
“One way I will solve this is to sit down with various heads of the private sector who are the major creator of jobs, give them tax rebates and tell them to create half a million jobs for me.
“Don’t forget that the millions of youth employed will pay tax and so whatever I lose from giving tax rebate I’ll gain again. If we stimulate the private sector, millions of jobs will be created and it will encourage direct flow of investment into the country.”
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