A former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, has replied popular Nigerian comedian, IGoDye, who recently accused him of trying to take advantage of young people for his political aims.
The comedian had earlier asked Mr. Abubakar not to use “sentimental empathy on the youth” to express his 2019 presidential bid.
One of the foundations the former leader had used in defending his defection was the promise to empower the youth if given the presidential slot.
IGoDye had in a open letter to the former Vice President, asked him to advocate a clear process that will produce a youthful leadership in the 2019 election adding that the former vice president should not deceive the youth in a bid to score political point.
While replying the comedian via his website, Mr. Abubakar said that while he is not a messiah, he did not promise ‘Eldorado or $1 = N1’ a clear jab at the Muhammadu Buhari administration.
While urging the comedian as well as all Nigerians to judge him by the successes in his private business, Mr. Abubakar stressed that he did not become rich while serving in government.
He also pointed to the successes recorded in his private businesses as proof that he can deliver if elected president in 2019.
The letter reads in part:
“I Go Dye, I’m not a messiah. I do not promise Eldorado or $1 = N1. But I always ask to look at the economic progress we made under my leadership and what I am doing in private business and judge me by those. People say I became rich in government. It’s a lie. I had hundreds of millions of dollars in assets declared in 1999. My businesses (my shares of which were held in a Blind Trust while I was in government) continued to grow since then.
“I was able to personally bankroll the PDP back then, so surely I was not poor. But I understand it is politics. So it’s normal to be called names.
But how come in all these years, none of my opponents has found any evidence to indict me? The people who are afraid of me changing the status quo they enjoy will always try to frighten young people about me.
“Some people believe youth empowerment is giving handouts to young people instead of building a strong economy. They are wrong.
They want to give handouts so they can control young people. But how long can we continue like that? Our country is borrowing to pay salaries, yet we are still holding on to outdated models just so we can control young people for elections.
“The success of young Nigerian entrepreneurs in IT & technology, retail, music, and arts shows that given the chance, they can run anything. My job is to be a bridge, which supports our young people achieve these ideals.
I will never say only I can do this. I can’t do it alone. I need your support, I Go Dye, so help our economy grow, to ensure that within 10 years, our young people can take over completely.
“In summary, I Go Dye, I am not a person who says what he cannot do or show proof. I am giving you an invitation to sit down and ask me any questions you may have. I would also like to take you around, show you some of the businesses I have built, and let you speak to the young people who run those places. It is good to try to convince you that I can do better by our young people, but it is even better to show you. Send me a direct message on Twitter, and we will take it from there.”