Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar has urged the President Muhammadu Buhari-led All Progressives Congress administration to fulfil its promise to Nigerians to make them feel safe again.
Atiku, who is also the founder of the American University of Nigeria group of schools in Yola, Adamawa State, faulted an online report on one of the Chibok girls.
Faulting the report, Atiku said, “Not everything is about 2019.”
The former Vice-President said this in a statement signed on his behalf by his Media Adviser, Mazi Paul Ibe, in Abuja, on Sunday.
Atiku was reacting to an online publication suggesting that one of the freed kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls, attempted suicide to protest being compelled to attend one of his schools.
He noted that he was not aware that anyone was being forced to attend one of his schools.
“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 honour its promise to make Nigerians feel safe again,” the statement said.
The statement partly read, “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.”
Meanwhile, 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.
Reports have it that the NWC would at its meeting today (Monday) discuss the possibility of punishing the former Vice-President and the minister.