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Atiku Will Not Handover Federal Universities To States – Media Aide

Media Adviser to Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Paul Ibe, has termed the report in some section of the media concerning Atiku Abubakar’s stand at the plenary of the 62nd annual conference of the Nigerian Bar Association(NBA) as it relates to education and how to address the crisis in the sector, as untrue.

In a press statement, the media Aide said that what the PDP presidential candidate referred to was his plans for a phased devolution of power to the federating units, as opposed to the report that he will handover Federal Universities to state governments if he is elected president come February next year.

The statement reads in parts; “We have noticed with dismay the mischievous misinterpretation of what the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and former Vice President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar, said.

“For the avoidance of doubt, Atiku did not say that he will handover Federal Universities to state governments if he is elected president come February next year. The report is false, untrue, unfounded and not a true reflection of what Atiku Abubakar said while responding to a question on devolution of powers, a key component of his policy framework.

“The report in some sections of the media is therefore a misleading and false account of what transpired when the PDP Presidential candidate fielded questions as a panelist at the opening ceremony of the NBA conference.”

According to Ibe, Atiku said that education would remain in the concurrent list under his administration when elected.

“In answering the question posed to him, Atiku Abubakar merely recalled his engagement with a university professor where he argued that the United States of America shared similarities with the first set of universities in Nigeria which belonged to the regional governments and noted that with proper planning and phased devolution of power, federal universities that have now become unwieldy could be made to work better under the component federating units.”

Ibe said the report was clearly a misleading one designed to cast aspersion on the person of the former Vice President and to create an impression that he will shirk his responsibilities if elected president in the next presidential poll.

The media adviser also restated Atiku Abubakar’s avowed commitment to education as a game changer for socio-economic development and national security, maintaining that under his watch the ASUU-FG imbroglio will be better managed in the interest of both the students and academic staff.

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