The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has explained that he will grant amnesty to looters of the nation’s treasury in order to recover the money in their possession.
Atiku made this known on Wednesday in Abuja when he spoke on how he plans to battle the problem of corruption, being one of the major challenges in the country.
He spoke while appearing on “The Candidates,” a television programme organised by MacArthur Foundation in collaboration with NTA and DARIA media.
He said a similar experiment was carried out in Turkey and the nation gained immensely from it.
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Answering a question by the anchor of the programme, Kadaria Ahmed, on whether he would grant amnesty to looters, he said: “Why not? It worked for Turkey. Turkey gave an amnesty and all the money abroad came back. The government said that if you bring the money, there is not even taxation. We want you to invest in manufacturing, technology and real estate. Look at Turkey today. It’s like any other European countries in terms of development. They drew a line. Why not, we can consider it.”
He stated further: “I believe there will be need for dialogue between the various branches of government. We are at a crisis point in this country in the issue of fight against corruption. We can’t afford delay. Before we review our procedures and laws, I think there is need we do something immediately. Then, I believe everybody will understand if you really intend to fight corruption.
“There was a recovery panel set up by President Obasanjo under my chairmanship, the attorney general and the national security adviser. By calling various people who have been alleged to have stolen money, we recovered over $4 billion which we paid back into the treasury. If you are to prosecute these people, up till now, you will still be prosecuting them.”
The presidential candidate also spoke about the possibility of his government, if voted in, probing the leadership of the military over the issue of the fight against terrorism in the country.
“We cannot continue to accept that kind of situation whereby commanders lose lives, lose equipment to terrorists and then nothing happens to them,” he said.
On the outcome of the coming election, Atiku said he would accept the outcome even if it does not favour him as long as it is credible.