The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has said that his ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) counterpart, Bola Tinubu, wants to become the next president of Nigeria because he plans to appropriate assets belonging to the Nigerian government across the country to himself as he did when he was the Lagos State governor.
Atiku, who spoke through a statement by his Special Assistant on Public Communication, Phrank Shaibu, said this while reacting to Tinubu’s claim that Atiku sold off government assets and diverted the proceeds to himself while he was the vice president under former President Olusegun Obasanjo.
According to Atiku, Lagos State where Tinubu has been ruling directly and indirectly since 1999 has become his personal fiefdom and property.
The former vice president in the statement recalled that Tinubu in an interview with The News Magazine about 10 years ago recounted how he returned to Nigeria after the June 12 struggle with nothing.
He quoted Tinubu as saying, “They dispossessed me of the house, as well as my office on Saka Tinubu Street. My vehicles and everything else I owned. They claimed they found bombs in it and dispossessed me of it. I was totally cleaned out. I had only five shirts, 2000 pounds and jackets.”
However, Atiku noted that Tinubu has become stupendously wealthy by taking over critical government properties in Lagos State.
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He said, “Tinubu converted the land where Lagos Polytechnic (LASPOTECH) was located at Ikosi near the old toll gate. He chased away the students in 2006 and went ahead to allocate the choice plots to himself, his cronies and political associates. The headquarters of Television Continental (TVC), which is owned by him, is located there. We dare him to deny this.”
He further stated that Tinubu became the first governor in history to sign an obnoxious pension law that guaranteed lifetime benefits for himself and his family.
“The obnoxious pension law provides that a former governor of Lagos gets a residential house at any location of his choice in Lagos State and one residential house in the Federal Capital Territory for the governor on two consecutive terms.
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“Tinubu’s law also stated that he will get six brand new cars every three years, 100 percent of the basic salary of the serving governor, free health care for himself and members of his family; furniture allowance, which is 300 percent of their annual basic salary house maintenance allowance, which is 10 percent of basic salary utility allowance, which is 20 percent of the salary and car maintenance allowance, which is 30 percent of the annual basic salary.”
“Other benefits include entertainment allowance, which is 10 percent of the basic salary and a personal assistant, who will earn 25 percent of the governor’s annual basic salary. Even former Presidents of Nigeria do not enjoy such largesse,” the statement added.