A former Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili, has debunked Atiku Abubakar’s statement that he was head of economic management under former president Olusegun Obasanjo’s regime as vice president
NewsOnline reports Atiku, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate had on Monday at NESG policy forum in Lagos said he was the head of the economic management team from 1999 to 2007 as the vice president of the country.
Atiku said his policies and managerial prowess were instrumental in the success of the economic management team which secured Nigeria’s economy.
He said, “As head of the economic management team while I was Vice President, I was instrumental in designing a private sector revival strategy and advocated for the opening of the economy for private sector investments in several sectors. And we made tremendous progress.”
“I’m sure you still remember the good old days of rapid economic growth with stable interest and exchange rates, low inflation, low unemployment rates and low poverty headcount. We paid off nearly all of our foreign debt which was crippling the country,” he asked the audience.
The PDP presidential candidate added that the challenges facing Nigeria are enormous, he warned that electing a president who is not experienced – an indirect reference to the Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi – or the candidate of the party that brought the country the challenges – an indirect reference to the All Progressives Congress (APC) – will affect the country.
“No one should downplay the enormity of the task ahead. I have a good knowledge of the challenges facing Nigeria. I will come prepared and experienced.
“It will be dangerous for Nigeria to relinquish their future to a greenhorn or the national leader of the same party that brought us to this very sorry situation,” Atiku added.
However, Oby Ezekwesili who was also a member of the economic management team inaugurated by Obasanjo refuted Atiku’s claim. She said Atiku lied and is deceiving Nigerians by claiming a glory he did not work for.
The former Minister of Education under Obasanjo at the time Atiku was vice president said, “Dear former Vice President Atiku, please ask the handlers of your Twitter account to stop misleading the public. You were never the Head of the Economic Management Team.
“This absurd Lie does you no good at all. Please ask your Team to stop it”, Ezekwesili wrote.
She added, “President Obasanjo’s first term like I once said in my interview was mostly focused on rebuilding the grossly eroded social and political fabrics of Nigeria after many decades of military adventurism in governance. He did not set up an Economic Team at that time.”