Titi Abubakar, wife of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential candidate in the 2019 election yesterday said that her husband was nearly sacked at the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) over the controversial importation of 53 suit cases into the country in 1984 by a first class traditional ruler in the North.
Mrs Abubakar who disclosed this during her courtesy visit to the leader of Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), Chief Edwin Clark, in Abuja, said it was the intervention of Maj-General Muhammadu Buhari’s minister of finance, Dr. Onaolapo Soleye, that saved Atiku Abubakar from been sacked.
Titi said her husband was a young Customs Officer in Charge of the Murtala Muhammed Airport when the suit cases were imported into the country, saying the matter almost cost his job in Customs.
According to Titi,’the Customs bureaucracy then wanted him fired for insisting that the suitcases be opened to confirm their contents, but that the then Minister of Finance, Soleye refused the order for his sack.
‘’Consequently, my husband was transferred to Kano, same day the order for his transfer got to Soleye’’, Titi said.
She further stated that the perception that Atiku is corrupt is highly misrepresenting the obvious, arguing that they are into marriage for almost 50 years now and as such she is most qualified to narrate his story.
Titi said Atiku was Custom service commandant at Idi-Iroko border in Ogun state when circumstances brought them to know each other.
‘’I had just finished my secondary school and traveled to Benin Republic to visit my aunt living there. While returning, they gave me some piece of clothes, and at the Idi-Iroko custom check point they said I should pay duty for clothes.
‘’I told them that I am a student and don’t have money to pay the said duty. Atiku was watching the argument from his office. He ended paying the two pounds sterling from his pocket instead of directing his boys to let me go without paying the duty.
‘’However, from my information details in my passport, Atiku later traced me to my house and the rest is history. But the point is that if he is corrupt, he would have made me to evaded payment of the duty and still had his way thereafter.
Titi, however said she was instrumental to the enactment of the law by the National Assembly that led to the establishment of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), an agency set up by the Federal Government of Nigeria in 2003 to tackle human trafficking and other related matters in Nigeria.
However, the elder statesman, Edwin Clark said what qualified Atiku more than any other for the presidency right now is his avowed determination and plan for the restructuring of the country at this material time.
He said there is no time ever when the nation has been so divided, unsecure and impoverished.
‘’We interviewed 16 presidential aspirants under the PDP, starting with Atiku followed by Saraki. We spent two hours with each aspirants. Afenifere from south west, Ohaneze from south east, middle belt and south south representatives were all around for the interview.
‘’We are, however, looking for the person who will keep it together, who will restructure the country, who is most competent. Today 75% of Nigerians want restructuring Atiku started advocating for since 1994,” Chief Clark said.
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