Nigeria: Atiku Gave Me Greatest Fight Over Due Process Unit - Dr. Ezekwesil

Some of 2019's presidential candidates - Muhammadu Buhari, Obiageli Ezekwesili, Atiku Abubakar, Dr Adesina Fagbenro-Byron, Pastor Chris Okotie, Olawepo-Hashim, Hamisu Santuraki, Donald Duke and Omoyele Sowore.
22 November 2018

A presidential candidate of Allied Congress Party of Nigeria, ACPN, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, Thursday, took a swipe at the presidential candidate of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, for next year's general elections, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, accusing him of been consistently opposed to the establishment of Due Process Unit when he was a Vice President.

Dr. Ezekwesili, who made the revelation yesterday, while featuring as discussant at The Osasu Show Symposium, in Abuja, apparently reaction to interjection by Mr. Segun Sowomi, who represented Atiku Abubakar at the event said, "Can I tell you something, the candidate that this gentleman man happens to represent was the one who within office gave me the greatest fight to get Due Process Unit."

She recalled that the ideal behind the establishment of the due Process office was to erode the believe by international community, especially the United States of America, USA, that Nigeria was extravagant and reckless nation, when it comes to management of public resources.

The 2nd Osasu Show Symposium with theme 'Nigeria Rising! It's time: Establishing Social Accountability between the Electorate and Leaders was organised by Television Presenter, Ms. Osasu Igbenedion, a daughter of former Governor of Edo State, Chief Lucky Igbenedion.

Recall that Oby Ezekwesili, a former World Bank Vice President and anti-corruption campaigner, served as a Senior Special Assistant to former President Olusegun Obasanjo on Budget Monitoring and in the Price Intelligence Unit, also known as "Due Process Unit" from 2003 to 2005.

This role earned her the nickname 'Madam Due Process' because she instituted several reforms and established due process mechanisms and strategies that refined Nigerian government's public procurement and contracting practices.

And it was at that period that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar as the Vice President held sway as the Head of Economic team under former President Olusegun Obasanjo's administration.

According to Dr. Ezekwesili, who declared he was in the presidential race to win and chart a new direction, said, "But if you are still comfortable and you are saying that we can manage every four years then nothing about my entering into politics will matter to you.

40% of my govt. will be youth oriented- Atiku Abubakar

"The young man who talked about just waking up to do something, you don't have structures, can I tell you that the Nigerian people are the structures that all these dominant parties put to use.

"When they say we don't have structure, I think they assumed that Allied Congress Party of Nigeria was registered yesterday, it wasn't.

"This party contested in the 2015 election, it was number four in the performance in that election. I want to assure you that across the country, we have people who are running for house, who are running for senate and gubernatorial position.

"Nigeria is now number 14 in the global fragility index of countries, this is something that measures that a country has become so weak, it is on its way to becoming a failed state; if we continue governance at the rate that we have done it between one acronym and the other acronym, we are going to get into danger.

"You are the young generation, when you take a look at me, I have nothing to prove to anybody again so I am not running because I need to be something, I run because when I look at you and your contemporaries around the world, I feel angered by the past that you are held back by a failing country, a failing Nigeria must not hold you back.

"The reason I am running is for you sake, I may not be in the category of those that are able to offer you wads of naira but I am in the category of those around the world that when it comes to care about their young people, they ask you to come and tell them how to build economies that will take their young people out of poverty.

"If you are comfortable, we are being told that the choice you have is to take the lesser of two evil, the common denominator of the lesser of two evil is evil. And so if somebody has sold that to you, what I have to say as advice to you as a sister and a mother, you deserve much better.

"Human capital development is not something that you just merge, it takes a definitive approach, to take a person from one level of low productivity to a higher level of productivity.

"The first time I returned home to work in government, we have been at Harvard trying to get Nigeria gets reduction to be championed by American and they said no.

"They said Nigerian records of furthering of riches is so bad that if they gave that reduction to Nigeria it will amount to moral hazard, it means you have behaved badly but take a check and behave worse, so the Americans said they will not do that.

"And it fell on me to then come in and set a record that Nigeria was turning away from profligacy, misusing its resources and that was how come the due process happened, thank you very much for acknowledging the work that I did.

"Can I tell you something, the candidate that this gentleman man happens to represent was the one who within office gave me the greatest fight to get Due Process Unit. How can you be taking the glory of due process when at the time when due process was being effected as a programme you stood against it and today it has become a good CV, no you will not take it.

"The law that you can have quality people, people for whom character is everything because at the end of the day you may be competent, you may have capacity; you can buy competence if you don't have it, you can buy capacity if you don't have it but you cannot buy character if you do not have it.

"Any candidate in this election without character, we must say to them enough, Nigeria is on a new direction, we must have children, in the next 10 years it is going to matter to you what the nation looks like because you will begin to worry about your children.

"The only thing you can do for yourself is to change the trajectory of the story of Nigeria that will determine a different quality of leadership away from the Siamese twins of bad governance."

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