Atiku knocks el-Rufai, calls his book a fiction
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar yesterday knocked the former Minister for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) for presenting fiction meant for self glorification at the expense of truth in his latest book titled ‘The Accidental Servant’
This is coming as the former Head of State, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, at the El-Rufai’s book-launch berated President Goodluck Jonathan for paying less attention to education in the country preferring instead to spend bulk of the government’s budget on security.
The former Vice President, while reacting to some contents in the book El-Rufai presented to the public yesterday, dismissed his book as a collection of fiction, half-truths, exaggeration and reflection of selective memory.
Atiku in a statement made available to newsmen by his campaign office said he was particularly piqued by the claim by el-Rufai that he had almost resigned as the former Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) because of alleged persistent pressure and interference by former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, who was then the Chairman of the National Council on Privatization.
The organization recalled that el-Rufai had told a Senate Committee then that he had unfettered access to former President Olusegun Obasanjo and that he had the discretion to by-pass the Council on Privatization headed by Atiku in order to get the approval of the President.
Atiku wondered how el-Rufai could reconcile his threat of resignation with the accounts he told the Senate about the latitude of freedom he enjoyed at BPE because of his closeness to former President Obasanjo.
On the claim by el-Rufai that former President Obasanjo went on bended knees before former Vice President Atiku Abubakar to seek his cooperation for second term bid in 2003, the media office dismissed the claim as a figment of el-Rufai’s wild imagination. It said such claim lacked any credibility because Atiku and Obasanjo were alone together behind closed doors and that they alone knew what actually transpired between them.
Rather than el-Rufai feeding the public with such fabrications, the statement read, the former Minister should have provided or quoted the authority for such claim since he was not at the private meeting between former President Obasanjo and Vice President Atiku Abubakar.
Meanwhile, Gen. Buhari had criticized President Jonathan for neglecting the nation’s education insisting that El-Rufai could excel in life because of his robust educational background. According to him, former nation’s leaders including Sir Ahmadu Bello and Chief Obafemi Awolowo spent substantial part of their earnings while in government on education.
The former Head of State pointed out that while Bello invested 46 percent of his budgets in education in the northern region, Awolowo in the west invested about 55 percent. He however lamented that Jonathan’s administration is spending less than 10 percent of its budget on education with the remaining going for security.
Commenting on the nation’s institutions, Buhari stressed that the British bequeathed strong and virile institutions to the nation’s leaders at independence but that such required leaders with strong determination and will to drive them.
He said that Nigeria had strong institutions established since its colonial period, adding “and what we need now should only be visionary leadership, committed toward sustainable development. However, the institutions have been destroyed and now we have problems and we need strong people to rebuild them.
“I believe that quality education is very important and should be given maximum concentration. But when you spend less than 10 per cent of the budget on education and the rest on security it means trouble to the economy,” he said.