By Temidayo Akinsuyi
Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN), Chairman of the Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC), on Tuesday said there is no basis for comparison between President Muhammadu Buhari and former Vice- President Atiku Abubakar as far as the 2019 presidential election is concerned.
Buhari emerged as the presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) at the weekend while Atiku also defeated 11 other aspirants to become the flag bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Speaking in an interview with DAILY INDEPENDENT, Sagay, who is currently in the United States, said he didn’t perceive Atiku as a threat to President Buhari because as a former Vice- President, Atiku has no records to run with except making promises, which he may not fulfil if elected president.
On the contrary, he said President Buhari’s record of integrity, his management of the economy, tackling challenges of insecurity especially the Boko Haram menace and his social investment programme, which has uplifted many poor Nigerians will get him re-elected by appreciative Nigerians.
“No. I don’t see Atiku as a threat to President Buhari. We are talking of records here. Buhari has a record extending from 1984. He has integrity, not only that, he has sustained the fight against corruption. It is unprecedented.
“We also have the social investment programme, which monies recovered from corrupt people are being applied for the improvement of the lives of the most vulnerable members of the public. The economy is going up; oil subsidy fraud has been eliminated.
“The Boko Haram militants have been seriously decimated, I can go on and on. Talking of records, former Vice-President Atiku has nothing to run on except the words of his mouth. So, there is no basis for comparison between the two”.
On the promise by Atiku that he will restructure Nigeria within six months if elected president, Sagay said while that is a good campaign point, restructuring will not solve all Nigeria’s problems.
He, however, said the APC also has plans for restructuring the country, which necessitated the setting up of the committee on restructuring chaired by Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State.
“Yes, he said he will restructure Nigeria within six months if elected president. To me, that is a good campaign point. It is good but there is no evidence that Buhari will not ascent to any form of restructuring even though he is not so positive about it”.
“If you read the report of the party’s committee on restructuring, the one headed by El-Rufai, it is clear and very strong. So, the APC is committed to restructuring too and so, it is not an advantage for Atiku”.
“Restructuring will not solve all our problems. What of due process, what of integrity, what of honesty, what of all the things that ensures that the state resources are applied and the resources of the state are not divided by a few people. So, all those things are important” he said.
On the role of former President, Olusegun Obasanjo in determining who the president in the forthcoming presidential election, Sagay said Nigerians should not attach any importance to the ex-president who he described as irrelevant.
“ I don’t think Obasanjo is irrelevant. He doesn’t have more influence than myself. So, I believe Nigerians should just forget about him” he said.
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