By Patience Danjuma
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar yesterday lashed out at those he described as self-righteous political enemies, saying they should either prove his alleged corrupt activities or keep quiet and mind the skeletons in their own closets.
The APC chieftain also said that he would fight corruption like never before if given the opportunity to preside over the affairs of the country.
Abubakar made the charge at a facility tour of the new ultra-modern Yaliam Press Limited in Jabi area of Abuja on Monday.
“It is sickening to continue to regurgitate allegations of corruption against me by people who have failed to come forward with a single shred of evidence of my misconduct while in office,” a press statement released by his media office in Abuja quoted the former Vice President as saying.
He added that people who have no initiative, personal resourcefulness and ideas about wealth creation always assume that a man cannot build himself without stealing, even as he noted that “people who are bereft of ideas about entrepreneurial spirit always think that everyone else is a thief just like them”.
He added that it is morally offensive for people who despise honest labour to become judges in the courts of public opinion.
The Waziri Adamawa explained that though he has not been convicted of corruption by any court in the land or elsewhere, his political enemies have been parading a fake morality to fool gullible Nigerians.
“Despite previous desperate efforts to link me with corruption, the William Jefferson trial in the United States ended in 2009 without indicting me or linking me to corrupt activities,” he said.
Atiku who was responding to the welcome address by the chairman/CEO of Yaliam Press Limited, Yahaya Ali Amfani, recalled that he had pasted a reminder at his bed rest during his training as a Custom Officer that he (Atiku) would retire from any agency if he had not attained the headship of the place at the age of 40.
He said that he was only able to attain the position of Deputy Director before his exit in 1989 to chart a career in business.
Atiku told the management and staff of Yaliam Press that he retired from the Customs Service with untainted record, and that if anybody has evidence that he stole a kobo at the Customs or during his tenure as vice president, such accusers should come forward or file a petition against him.
He boasted that he didn’t become a vice president in 1999 as a pauper because he had been a successful investor throughout his retirement life.
“If Atiku is a thief merely because of his resourcefulness and successful investments, my political enemies should tell Nigerians the sources of their own stupendous wealth,” he added.
He charged the management and staff of the company to manifest the values of honesty, hard work and diligence, the attributes, he said, stood him in good stead during his years as a public servant and entrepreneur.
The former vice president said he is well equipped to fight corruption because of his vast experiences, both in the public and private sectors, and his ability to build a team capable of accomplishing the task.
“I will shock everyone because I believe that I will fight corruption like never before,” he said.
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