I was an Orphan – Atiku

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has again blamed the past administrations in the country over the poor handling of the Boko Haram Islamist sect.

The politician was visibly upset over the manner the insurgent group was allowed to fester in the North East at the detriment of Nigerians residing there, saying that the Boko Haram sect should not have reared its ugly head in the country at the time it did, if he were the Nigerian leader.

He made the remark on Tuesday night at the American University of Nigeria, (AUN) Yola, Adamawa State while distributing relief materials to over 5,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

“If I were the President of Nigeria when Boko Haram started, I would have used all means at my disposal to avert the challenges.

“When we were in government in 2002, a similar incident which could have been more deadly emanated in Yobe State and we immediately checkmated it and nothing was heard of it again”, he stated.

The philanthropist/businessman was of the view that to curb such dangerous groups from taking root “required a steadfast leadership that is decisive in dealing with it.”

In his words: “For Boko Haram insurgents to have overran seven out of the 21 local government areas of Adamawa State beats my imagination, and the efforts I put in place that prevented Boko Haram from capturing the entire state is left between me and my creator”Atiku said.

Continuing, the politician noted that although he did not know his own father very well, that the setback did not prevent him from reaching his goal in life and becoming what he is today.

“As an orphan, I identified with the less-privileged ones in the society.”

Atiku told the gathering that “as I clock 70 years of age this year, I will continue to dedicate all my activities to the cause of the internally displaced persons, not only in Adamawa, but in Borno, Yobe and other IDPs camps spread across the country.”

The former Vice President called on all his admirers who wish to identify with him as part of his 70th birthday anniversary to channel them to the IDPs.

While commending the Adamawa Peace Initiative for championing the cause of the less privileged in the state, Atiku stressed that when the initiative was conceived and put together, the organisers never envisaged the eruption of Boko Haram insurgency, adding that the organisation has now assumed the major focal point in reaching out to the displaced persons in the society.

Earlier, Atiku Abubakar along with members of the Adamawa Initiative had visited the St. Theresa Catholic Cathedral and the Jama’atul Nasir Islam (JNI) where they distributed relief materials to the IDPs there.

On the present economic recession in the country, the former VICE President absolved the All Progressives Congress (APC)- led federal government of any wrong doing and blamed the recession on the fall of the price of oil in the international market.

In his opening remarks, the President of the American University of Nigeria, Dr Mergee Ensign lauded Abubakar for identifying with IDPs and urged other well-to- do Nigerians to emulate the gesture.


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