Abuja – Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar has pointedly accused the Ibrahim Magu-led Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), of feeding the media with deliberate falsehoods with the attempt to cause disaffection and bad blood between him and former President Olusegun Obasanjo on the one hand and Nigerians in general.
The former vice president said it is important for Nigerians and members of the international community to know and remind the present administration that former President Olusegun Obasanjo established the EFCC to be an investigative body and not a propaganda or enforcement arm of the ruling party, as it is now being misused.
He therefore called on Nigerians to be watchful for false and misleading stories planted in the media by the EFCC against his person, former President Olusegun Obasanjo and other persons deemed to be opponents of the APC-led Federal Government.
The former vice president pointedly said that there is desperation on the part of the current administration to rope in former President Olusegun Obasanjo into a crime as a way of silencing his voice, which they see as the preeminent critical voice against the misrule that they have foisted on Nigerians.
These were contained in a statement by the Media office of Atiku, which said that some patriotic journalists, alarmed by the wickedness of the EFCC’s underhand and unprofessional actions, exposed their dastardly plans.
While expressing disappointment at the EFCC’s moves, Atiku stressed that such an action is tantamount to a river denying its own source, stressing that Chief Olusegun Obasanjo is the fountain of origin of the EFCC, who founded the institution and nurtured it to maturity.
The former vice president said that donations to institutions set up to promote peace in Nigeria and Africa are to be commended, not criminalized, adding that Presidential libraries in America and other parts of the world are similarly funded by donations from civic-minded individuals.
Atiku declared; “For the avoidance of doubt, Mallam Babalele Abdullahi, Atiku Abubakar’s son-in-law, did not donate any money in cash to the Olusegun Obasanjo Library.
“Yes, he did facilitate a donation of fifty million naira to the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library, but so did many other individuals, including civic-minded traditional rulers, state Governors, bankers and captains of industry. “This is because the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library is a non-governmental organisation that plays a pivotal role in promoting peace and stability in Nigeria, and that should be applauded.
“Unlike another past leader, who did not improve himself or Nigeria after leaving office, but sat down nursing grudges and plotting revenge, former President Olusegun Obasanjo improved himself and Nigeria by authoring books, founding international think tanks and engaging in peace and capacity building efforts.
“For the avoidance of doubt, Mallam Abdullahi’s donation of fifty million naira was made via a bank transfer, in full compliance with the law. He did not donate or make any payment in cash, as the EFCC is erroneously and salaciously misleading the public.
“Furthermore, the sources of these funds are completely legitimate and have been conclusively proven to the EFCC. “It is instructive to note that even the EFCC has not once claimed these funds to be the proceeds of any illegal activity whatsoever.
“The truth is that there is desperation on the part of the current administration to rope in former President Olusegun Obasanjo into a crime as a way of silencing his voice, which they see as the preeminent critical voice against the misrule that they have foisted on Nigerians.
“This is why they asked the Federal Inland Revenue Service to falsely and libelously include his name in a published list of tax evaders, along with the names of other Peoples Democratic Party sympathisers, such as prominent international singer and pride of Nigeria, Davido, who played a prominent role in PDP’s gubernatorial campaign in Osun state, for which he is being punished.
“We are therefore calling on Nigerians to be watchful for false and misleading stories planted in the media by the EFCC against Atiku Abubakar, former President Olusegun Obasanjo and other persons deemed to be opponents of this government.
“May we also add that whenever the EFCC wish to come up with mischief, they fly their kite in The Nation Newspaper. This is now a pattern. It should be clear to Nigerians that the Presidency, APC, the EFCC, The FIRS and The Nation are now working together as five fingers of the same leprous hands,” Atiku stated.