Former Vice president, Atiku Abubakar has said Nigeria will always end up with accidental leadership should the citizens continue to vote leaders without well laid out plans.
Atiku stated this while explaining the solution he has for the troubled Niger Delta region when he spoke at the launch of a book titled “We Are All Biafrans’’ written by Chido Onumah.
“I think the Niger Delta should be handled with a stick and carrot approach. In 2007, before I ran for president, I met with various stakeholders on the Niger Delta issue and they came up with a policy.
“Part of the recommendations was that the ministry be moved to the Niger Delta and not Abuja. We have had administrations that did not do their homework on the Niger Delta.
“If I had won, I would have sold 10 per cent shares in the NNPC; that will give me 20 billion dollars which would build infrastructure for the Niger Delta but we will always end up with accidental leadership.
“Bring peace and development to the Niger Delta then they will stop blowing up pipelines. Then, we will get gas and then power can be stable but until then, we will not get it,” the politician said.
Assessing the President Muhammadu Buhari government, Atiku gave Buhari a “pass mark’’ for his efforts in the first year of his administration.
“He promised to look into issues like power, insurgency, unemployment, corruption and diversification and if you are to take two out of five, you can give him a pass mark. He has dealt with corruption and with Boko Haram. For power, give him time,’’ he said.
The former president also preached autonomy for states, a tax-centred revenue base, enhanced, diversified economic activities and productivity in order to enlarge their tax bases.
He also proposed an end to the indigene-settler dichotomy, the creation of a state police to complement the federal police and help in the fight against crime.
Atiku had said Nigeria, as it is currently constituted, is failing and greater autonomy needs to be granted to the states. He said Nigerians have suffered for too long under a poorly designed constitutional structure.
“Nigeria is not working, as well as it should and part of the reason is the poor way we have structured our economy and governance especially since 1960. The federal government is too big and too powerful relative to the federating units.
“That situation needs to change and calling for that change is patriotic. We must refrain from assuming that anyone calling for restructuring of our federation is working for the breakup of our country. I reject that notion,” he said.