In reaction to an online report which suggests that one of the freed kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls, attempted suicide to protest being compelled to attend one of his schools, ex Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, says he was not aware of anyone being forced to attend one of his schools.
Atiku, who is also the founder of the American University of Nigeria group of schools in Yola, Adamawa State, faulted an online report quote, “Not everything is about 2019.”
“The Waziri Adamawa prays that those who have suffered so much get all the treatment and support they need, and urgently calls on the Federal Government to honor its promise to make Nigerians feel safe again,” the statement said.
“His Excellency Atiku Abubakar (Waziri Adamawa), Vice-President of Nigeria, 1999-2007 and founder of the AUN Group of Schools is shocked that some would-be journalists think it is fair game to exploit a young girl’s trauma to score cheap political points.
“Atiku Abubakar is not aware that anyone is forced to attend ABTI schools. The story is contrived hogwash. He urges the media, a critical partner in our march to progress and development, to remember that not everything is about 2019.
“I wish to stress that the intention of the Waziri Adamawa was to give the freed Chibok girls (just like he did to an earlier batch in 2014) the best possible education, and that was why he helped set up the foundation programme to create such an opportunity in a familiar environment.
“Unfortunately, the best intentions can backfire. These girls are still healing, and clearly, the recent deterioration of the security situation in the North-East has opened old wounds.”
In the mean time, there are indications that the APC National Working Committee members are divided on how to handle statements credited to Atiku and the Minister of Women Affairs, Aisha Alhassan.
It was disclosed that the NWC would at its meeting today (Monday) discuss the possibility of punishing the former Vice-President and the minister.
According to Punch, the National Vice-Chairman, North-East, Mustapha Salihu, had also confirmed today’s meeting.
Meanwhile one of the party chieftains anonymously told journalists that Atiku may not be suspended by the party as a punishment, however, he may be isolated from the party and the government.
Others who defended his outburst said Atiku was simply voicing out his frustration about the shoddy treatment he had been receiving since the APC came to power.
The anonymous party member said,
“Aside from not consulting him on a number of issues, his business interests have come under attack by the same government he worked hard to bring to power.
“Some individuals around the President are using Buhari’s name and office to make enemies for him. You and I know that the sudden change of policy with respect to the ports operations which Intels use to handle is not an accident.
“The man is a businessman and politician and like everybody else, he had certain expectations when he joined the party and worked with others to form a government.
However, the source cautioned that the ex VP “ought to have avoided saying what he said to the media because members of the cabal who have always been pushing for his isolation now have further ammunition to fight him.
“I am afraid, he risks further isolation because even those close to him within the party may be compelled to switch camp for political survival,” the party member said.