Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar on Monday said former President Olusegun Obasanjo had the right to endorse whoever he wanted for the 2015 presidential elections.
Mr. Abubakar said this in Abuja at a news conference organised by his media organisation to intimate the public of a policy review summit coming up at the Obasanjo Presidential Library in Abeokuta on Oct. 27.
Debunking claims that the three-day conference was a ploy to get Nigeria’s ex-president to endorse him for the next general elections, Mr. Atiku said the choice of Abeokuta for the conference was because his media organisation felt each time they went to Lagos, the people’s daily routine was usurped.
“Abeokuta is a more serene atmosphere for thinking and suits our purpose. It is not a strategy for endorsement.
“Obasanjo is in the PDP; he has a right to endorse anyone he wants as president but you will agree with me that the ultimate choice lies with the electorate,” Mr. Abubakar said.
According to him, the purpose of the news conference was to announce the upcoming summit and fine-tune the elemental details of a document he called the Atiku 2015 Policy Document.
“The draft policy to be reviewed was drawn up within the context of the manifesto of our party, the APC. This document provides an overview of our policy position.
“The main thrust is the explicit bid to modify the way the machinery of Federal Government works by clarifying and streamlining MDAs remits and responsibilities, removing overlaps and operational redundancies,” he said.
Mr. Abubakar said the key policy areas to be reviewed were employment generation and wealth creation, infrastructure and power. Others are education and skills acquisition, security, citizenship and governance, agriculture and food security as well as the Niger Delta and North-East re-integration.
He said the youth should not rely on government for jobs, adding that government was structured in a way that wealth continued to circulate at the top echelon of society.
“Nigerians should not rely on the government for jobs as the government does not have money to do everything. We continue to make the mistake in this country that government can create the jobs we want.
“One way I will solve this is to sit down with various heads of the private sector, who are the major creator of jobs, give them tax rebates and tell them to create half a million jobs for me.
“Don’t forget that the millions of youth employed will pay tax and so whatever I lose from giving tax rebate I’ll gain again.
“If we stimulate the private sector, millions of jobs will be created and it will encourage direct flow of investment into the country,’’ Mr. Abubakar said.