Atiku replies Comedian I Go Dye, says he’s not deceiving the youth

Atiku Abubakar
A former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar

A former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, has replied popular Nigerian comedian, IGoDye, who recently accused him of trying to take advantage of young people for his political aims.

The comedian had earlier asked Mr. Abubakar not to use “sentimental empathy on the youth” to express his 2019 presidential bid.

One of the foundations the former leader had used in defending his defection was the promise to empower the youth if given the presidential slot.

IGoDye had in a open letter to the former Vice President, asked him to advocate a clear process that will produce a youthful leadership in the 2019 election adding that the former vice president should not deceive the youth in a bid to score political point.

While replying the comedian via his website, Mr. Abubakar said that while he is not a messiah, he did not promise ‘Eldorado or $1 = N1’ a clear jab at the Muhammadu Buhari administration.

While urging the comedian as well as all Nigerians to judge him by the successes in his private business, Mr. Abubakar stressed that he did not become rich while serving in government.

He also pointed to the successes recorded in his private businesses as proof that he can deliver if elected president in 2019.

The letter reads in part:

“I Go Dye, I’m not a messiah. I do not promise Eldorado or $1 = N1. But I always ask to look at the economic progress we made under my leadership and what I am doing in private business and judge me by those. People say I became rich in government. It’s a lie. I had hundreds of millions of dollars in assets declared in 1999. My businesses (my shares of which were held in a Blind Trust while I was in government) continued to grow since then.

“I was able to personally bankroll the PDP back then, so surely I was not poor. But I understand it is politics. So it’s normal to be called names. But how come in all these years, none of my opponents has found any evidence to indict me? The people who are afraid of me changing the status quo they enjoy will always try to frighten young people about me.

“Some people believe youth empowerment is giving handouts to young people instead of building a strong economy. They are wrong. They want to give handouts so they can control young people. But how long can we continue like that? Our country is borrowing to pay salaries, yet we are still holding on to outdated models just so we can control young people for elections.

“The success of young Nigerian entrepreneurs in IT & technology, retail, music, and arts shows that given the chance, they can run anything. My job is to be a bridge, which supports our young people achieve these ideals.

I will never say only I can do this. I can’t do it alone. I need your support, I Go Dye, so help our economy grow, to ensure that within 10 years, our young people can take over completely.

“In summary, I Go Dye, I am not a person who says what he cannot do or show proof. I am giving you an invitation to sit down and ask me any questions you may have. I would also like to take you around, show you some of the businesses I have built, and let you speak to the young people who run those places. It is good to try to convince you that I can do better by our young people, but it is even better to show you. Send me a direct message on Twitter, and we will take it from there.”


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  • Wilson Eseago

    thank you a mr, ATIKU i would like you to sponsor a younger nigerian rather than your self. we need young leaders to take over from the older ones.

    • Abdussalami Yaro

      What did you say? Sponsor? My goodness! What will be the difference between 6 and half dozen?

  • “Dear I Go Dye, You Are Right, But We Can Fix Nigeria Together” – Atiku

    I read your post on Instagram. It was hard to miss it because it was on every major
    news website. I would like to say that you were mostly right. The
    questions you raised in your post are similar to the ones I have been
    asked by other young people on social media, so I am replying this not
    just to you as a person, but to all young Nigerians who have asked
    similar questions.

    Firstly, you are right. The Nigerian youth have often been taken for granted,
    and almost every leader in our history has taken young people for
    granted. But it’s important to point how this started — for people like
    me who saw Independence; our leadership was mostly driven by young
    people. Then came the coups, and the civil war, and then more coups.
    Nigeria ended up with a long period of military dictatorship for many
    decades, in which time; those young leaders aged, but still remained
    leaders. Fela, Gani, Enahoro, and Beko were young leaders, yet remained
    leaders until their demise. That was because of the stagnation brought
    on by decades of political instability.

    By the time we got to 1999, the young people of the day had not been
    prepared for leadership, because there was no leadership or
    apprenticeship process under dictatorships. This is one of the reasons
    the age of leaders has continued to rise. That was because of the
    leadership stagnation brought on by decades of political instability.
    Imagine a school that did not graduate any students for 5 years, by the
    time the top class finally graduates, you will have a backlog of
    undergraduates.

    Our young people are not to blame; we need to remedy this national failure.
    Last week, there were local government elections in Akwa Ibom State,
    with over 60% of the seats won by young people, less than 35 years old.
    That’s how progress can be made. Young people need to participate from
    the grassroots, all the way across board. Appointments are good, but
    getting elected is even better. I also understand the issues around
    funding elections which keep women and young people out, and I will
    address this in an article I am publishing soon.

    I do understand your frustration on the issue, however. I tell people my
    age that to understand young Nigerians, we need to understand the
    difference between Nigeria and Naija. Naija embodies the hopes and
    dreams of young Nigerians, the country they love and long to go home to
    when they are abroad. Naija is the country that brings them pride in
    music, film, comedy, fashion, and technology. It is the country of Wiz
    Kid, Asa, David O, Tuface, the Olympic bobsled team, Iwobi and Don Jazzy
    Again.

    Nigeria on the other hand, is the country of their parents, the country where
    leaders are constantly failing them, of Boko Haram, of herdsmen
    violence, of recessions and joblessness. Our young people need us to
    make our country live up to the aspirations of Naija by fixing the
    problems associated with Nigeria.

    I think it’s important to address the accusation about my tenure as Vice
    President, that I did nothing for young people. Firstly, as VP, I can
    only be judged on the responsibilities I was given. A VP obviously is
    not the driver of government. For example, you can’t blame Prof Osinbajo
    for all that is going on with the current government. He can only do
    what he’s allowed to do.

    But let me speak about what you can judge me by, my assigned
    responsibilities. As VP, I assembled what is arguably the best Economic
    Team ever in Nigeria. It was made up of young, world class
    professionals, who came home to work. Some of those professionals are
    now political leaders, governors and world leaders in their own right.

    If you ask what our first task was, coming into government in 1999, it was
    to bring stability to the economy after decades of military rule. For
    example, between 1999 and 2003, oil prices then were hovering between
    $16 and $28 yet we managed to pay up salary arrears from decades back,
    clear up our national debts and built up foreign reserves. Our GDP grew
    at the fastest rate we’ve seen since the return to democracy.

    You mentioned that I never brought young people into leadership, but my
    record speaks differently. I have a proven record of bringing young,
    unknown professionals into service. Many of the professionals and
    ministers I brought in were in their 30s and early 40s. Some of those
    young leaders have become governors in their states. I went to the World
    Bank and met a bright lady, convinced her to come back home, and she
    became a star in our government. To show you we had effective
    leadership, the same lady could not replicate her exploits under a
    different government.

    I was also in charge of privatization and I have witnesses that I never
    interfered with the process. I never bought anything belonging to the
    government. I was quite wealthy before coming into government, with
    declared assets worth millions of dollars in 1999 (which was put in a
    trust when I became VP); so it was understandable that many of the
    wealthy Nigerian business people who participated in the privatization
    programme were my friends. Did I use my influence to get them better
    deals? No. As the then DG of BPE testified under oath, I never used my
    position to interfere with his work.

    My
    legacy as Vice President, I would say is the banking consolidation
    process, for which I gave political backing for. Many big people were
    putting a lot of political pressure to not change the status quo, but we
    knew that if that consolidation was not done, Nigeria could not grow.
    Because of that banking consolidation, Nigerian banks don’t fail anymore
    the way they used to.

    I oversaw the telecoms revolution, which is why young people like you, I
    Go Dye, now have a flourishing career. Under our tenure, we witnessed a
    large repatriation of Nigerians back to Nigeria, driven by the hope of
    the recovering economy. It is sad that many of those young people are
    heading back abroad now — this is to show you that leadership matters.

    I know many of these have been forgotten because it was a long time ago,
    and successive administrations did not follow up on the progress we
    made. But that is also not to say we were blameless. I was largely
    frozen out in the second term of our tenure, and I regret that we had
    that disagreement with my boss. Some say I was disloyal, but I looked at
    the events in Zimbabwe recently, and it gives me confidence that I did
    the right thing fighting the attempts to elongate the presidential
    tenure beyond eight years. If I did not win that fight, do you think we
    would be having a discussion on young people getting into leadership
    today?

    Intels. I want to address this because you mentioned it. It was the Shagari
    government that started the Onne Port and later abandoned it. In
    summary, my business partner and I saw an opportunity to build Nigeria’s
    oil industry using world class infrastructure, but driven by Nigerians.
    The company went out and took loans to build the facilities, but as we
    went on, more opportunities opened up, which allowed us access to even
    more capital. The ended up borrowing hundreds of millions of dollars,
    mostly from Europe, to build the port, singlehandedly charting the
    course of Nigeria’s oil industry.

    Honestly, I did not ever think we would be that successful, which was why I kept
    my day job, when we started it. It was just what you would call a side
    hustle, I held shares but was not actively involved in running it, but
    it grew so big, and I had to quit my government job to focus on the
    business. Today, every oil major uses the facilities we built. The
    government only became clients after the oil companies. Our company has
    expanded to several countries in Africa. Even the FG has seen that that
    company is the most competent logistics company in Africa, which is why
    it gives Intels the most complex operations to manage.

    But Intels as a corporate citizen is loved in the locations it operates.
    That’s because we invest in scholarships, hire young people from the
    community and train them to become world class technicians. As CSR, we
    have gone into partnership with the NFF to train young Nigerian
    footballers, and provide support for the local league. We are loved by
    the youth in our local communities.

    In my home state of Adamawa for example, I’ve created over 50,000 direct
    jobs and 250,000 indirect ones. We are the largest private employers of
    labour in the state only second to the state government. It’s not a lot,
    but it does help reduce unemployment. Who do you think are holding
    those jobs? Yes, young people.

    I Go Dye, I’m not a messiah. I do not promise Eldorado or $1 = N1. But I
    always ask to look at the economic progress we made under my leadership
    and what I am doing in private business and judge me by those. People
    say I became rich in government. It’s a lie. I had hundreds of millions
    of dollars in assets declared in 1999. My businesses (my shares of which
    were held in a Blind Trust while I was in government) continued to grow
    since then. I was able to personally bankroll the PDP back then, so
    surely I was not poor. But I understand it is politics. So it’s normal
    to be called names. But how come in all these years, none of my
    opponents has found any evidence to indict me?

    The people who are afraid of me changing the status quo they enjoy will always try to frighten young people about me.

    Some people believe youth empowerment is giving handouts to young people
    instead of building a strong economy. They are wrong. They want to give
    handouts so they can control young people. But how long can we continue
    like that? Our country is borrowing to pay salaries, yet we are still
    holding on to outdated models just so we can control young people for
    elections.

    The success of young Nigerian entrepreneurs in IT & technology, retail,
    music, and arts shows that given the chance, they can run anything. My
    job is to be a bridge, which supports our young people achieve these
    ideals. I will never say only I can do this. I can’t do it alone. I need
    your support, I Go Dye, to help our economy grow, to ensure that within
    10 years, our young people can take over completely.

    In summary, I Go Dye, I am not a person who says what he cannot do or show
    proof. I am giving you an invitation to sit down and ask me any
    questions you may have. I would also like to take you around, show you
    some of the businesses I have built, and let you speak to the young
    people who run those places. It is good to try to convince you that I
    can do better by our young people, but it is even better to show you. Send me a direct message on Twitter, and we will take it from there

  • David Puff

    A Well written and engaging write up, Mr Atiku.
    Although, I dislike PDP with a passion.
    On an individual note, I think you probably have something different to offer Nigerians.

    • Omnipsalm Sam

      In fairness to Atiku, and anyone for that matter who has contributed in the development of the Nigerian Economy, employment wise, Citizen of Nigeria, must be thought of seriously, at a time many hide their worth in safe financial havens. Taking inventory of these achievements of Mr. Atiku is a worthwhile venture for the records and posterity of course.

    • Abdussalami Yaro

      He will indeed offer you surprise, surprise!

  • deedee

    I go dye, take Atiku on his offer so that you can factually tell the world what you find.

  • deedee

    I don’t believe in anyone sponsoring any youth or elder. If you know that you have something to offer, to lift Nigeria out of the current morass stand up to be counted. I believe the people of Nigeria can discern ability and clear intention to serve from propaganda and self aggrandizement.

  • Abu-Mu’awiya

    Mr. Atiku to judge you by the successes in your private businesses or to judge your by the successes in your public lootings?.
    This man is so much desperate to loot Nigeria to the finish.

  • Abdussalami Yaro

    My Nigerian youths, don’t lend your ears to Atiku. The man has no scruples to tell you that, as a successful business man of less than 30 years, he is more than capable to manage and lead this country to the promised Land. He forgot to tell you that, he is an unapologetic bourgeoisie capitalist, with no human social feelings in terms amassing wealth.

  • Steve

    Believe this fraudster to your detriment. If this clown called Atiku is being honest about giving the Nigerian youth a chance to leadership he should step aside and create the enabling environment to let younger leaders emerge.