The Peoples Democratic Party’s presidential candidate – Atiku Abubakar – Friday reacted to the criticism and allegation by the presidential candidate of African Action Congress – Omoyele Sowore – that $16 billion earmarked for fixing Nigeria’s chronic electricity problems during Obasanjo’s administration was only used to procure darkness for the nation.
Sowore made the statement shortly after Atiku – who was Obasanjo’s vice – complained about the collapse of the national grid that threw the country into blackout.
When asked to comment on Sowore’s criticism in a pre-recorded exclusive interview with Arise TV on Friday, Atiku said the Obasanjo administration initiated the building of nine additional power stations which successive governments improved on, adding that Sowore knew nothing about policy and Nigeria because he lives mostly outside the country.
Sowore, swiftly reacted to the former vice-president’s comment on Twitter, insisting that Atiku should explain why $16 billion did not yield any tangible result on power generation across Nigeria.
“Dear @atiku, I watched a clip of your @ARISEtv interview this morning wherein you were asked about my view on power scam under your regime.” Sowore tweeted. “You failed to address how $16 billion was used to procure darkness, instead you claimed ‘he doesn’t even know.’”
He added: “Well these are some things I know: You ran for office for the first time in 1992 as a presidential aspirant of the SDP, I also ran for the post of the SU (Students’ Union) President of the UNILAG (University of Lagos); you lost, I won.
“You left, I stayed, to deliver democracy to Nigerians.
“I then left for the US in 1999 at the age of 28. You went on to become the VP of Nigeria. You left Nigerians in darkness after spending $16 billion on power, I stayed with Nigerians, shining light on the mess you and your boss created in that sector. You left, I stayed!”
Speaking further, Sowore said: “After your failed plan to succeed your boss (Olusegun Obasanjo) who wanted a third term in office, I stayed to botch his third term bid.
“You, however, joined another political party and tried your luck, you left after you couldn’t win. You left, I stayed.
“Since 1999, you have lived in about five countries outside of Nigeria. I know this because your IP keeps changing the same way you kept changing political parties.
“We both contested in 2019, it was my first time contesting, but after the elections, you left, I stayed. I’m still here!
“You’ve done your rounds from SDP- UNCP- PDP- ACN-PDP- APC back to PDP, you have never done anything for the Nigerian people, you’ve only taken care of your needs and those that benefit your family, cronies, and friends.
“It is time to quit and let Nigeria experience electricity!
“My question again, is this; what happened to the $16 billion dollars released for electricity during your tenure as Vice President?”