The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, says some people think he is corrupt just because he is successful.
Speaking in an interview with CNN Africa published on Friday, he reiterated that if he was corrupt, he would have been charged to court or indicted.
He said he had thrown an open challenge to members of the public for anyone with any evidence of corruption against him to present it but so far, nobody had come up with anything.
Asked by the interviewer, “Why do you think your name is linked to corruption?” Atiku said, “I have been successful. Secondly, I have never been charged; I have never been indicted. They are all allegations. And I have asked anybody, I dared people publicly, that is, if anybody has evidence of corruption against me, let him come out.
“Are you corrupt?” the interviewer asked.
“Certainly not; because if I am corrupt, I would have been certainly charged or indicted,” the former Vice-President said.
When he was asked what his views on gender equality was, Atiku responded, “As far as the party is concerned, since our inception, the PDP, we have always given women a quarter in terms of either appointments or election into party offices or in government.
“You know the PDP government, if you look at our record, we have had more women in government than any other government. This is the only government that is not PDP and it has less women in government. In my micro finance bank, I said 80 per cent of the loans should go to women. Why, because if you want to take people out of poverty, empower women.”
Again he was asked, “Insecurity is a big issue in this election. Boko Haram attacks on military bases. The UN says 30,000 Nigerians have fled their villages in the north east in just two days. What are your plans if elected president, to tackle this issue?
Atiku said, “I blame the political leadership for not equipping the military and for not giving them the necessary morale. We will make sure that we have a military that is professionally competent and professionally effective and also conditions of service that can take care of themselves and also their families. Unfortunately, that is developed. I think that has brought down the morale of the military.
“How will you be different? the interviewer asked.
Atiku said, “We have to make sure that the military is very well equipped, very well trained and we also review the conditions of service particularly of the lower cadre who sacrifice their lives for all of us to live.”