- The federal government has commenced plans to frustrate the 2019 presidential bid of former vice president, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar
- The decision to break the hold of Intels over logistics handling in Nigeria’s oil and gas port terminals is the first in a series of plans to clip Atiku's wings
- Atiku is the owner and founder of Intels, which is seen as a cash cow for his presidential ambition
A report by Vanguard indicates that the federal government has commenced plans to frustrate the 2019 presidential bid of former vice president, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
According to the report, the decision to break the hold of Intels over logistics handling in Nigeria’s oil and gas port terminals is the first in a series of plans to clip Atiku's wings.
NAIJ.com gathered that Atiku is the owner and founder of Intels, which is seen as a cash cow for his presidential ambition.
Even before news of the ailment of President Muhammadu Buhari emerged, Atiku was believed to have commenced mobilization to run for the 2019 presidential election using either the platform of the APC and where not, using the platform of another political party.
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Atiku’s associates, however, are unrelenting as one of them quoted in the report said they knew where the ‘thing’ was coming from, saying that they have enough information to hit back even at those instigating the move.
The presidency had, through a letter dated Friday, May 5, issued to the Managing Director of Josepdam Port Services Limited (JPSL) broken the seeming dominance of Intels over logistics handling at Onne.
Atiku’s associates see the move as simply a political witch-hunt by some power brokers to break Atiku’s backbone.
Intels, had during the privatization exercise done by the Olusegun Obasanjo administration won the concession to operate the terminal at the Onne Oil and Gas Free Zone and through it, took dominion over the sector it turned lucrative.
The new government policy aims to remove the advantages of Intels and allow other operators into the sector.
A top associate of Atiku, who spoke on the condition of anonymity said: “It is left to your imagination as a press man to see what could have been behind the move. But one thing that can be said is that we said we are looking for investors, and we are at the same time driving away those who are already there, does that not indicate policy inconsistency?
“People who are talking about monopoly, where were they when 30 years ago, Intels was developing its technical teeth? Intels saw an opportunity and took it. People cannot wake up and start talking.
“Is government saying that it would change the rules midway into the game? Is that not against the rules? We are looking for investors, and by your actions, you are driving away those who came in and made a stake when no one else was willing to do so.”
Another Atiku associate said that they had fought off more serious challenges during the Obasanjo administration, saying that this would not be as serious.
His words: ”Even those instigating it would sooner than later be at the receiving end because they would also have their challenges which would soon blow up in their heads.
“It is all politics and we are equal to the task. Even there was nothing Obasanjo did not do to stop Atiku during his administration, but when it comes to litigation, Atiku knows how to go his way.
“We know who is working at it and those behind it have a lot to answer for. Their own case is coming up, and we know that this is part of a project.”
Meanwhile, youths suspected to be loyal to Atiku recently clashed with supporters of former Kano governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso over 2019 presidency.
The clash happened on Wednesday, May 3 in Jada which is the birthplace of the former vice president.
Crisis broke out in the area as Atiku and Adamawa state governor, Mohammed Jibrilla, had visited the area ahead of the turbaning of the newly-appointed traditional ruler of the town.
Watch the NAIJ.com TV vox pop below as Nigerians react to the comments of northern elders regarding the 2019 presidential elections.