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Atiku’s grievance against Tinubu’s son hypocrisy – Onanuga

Bayo Onanuga, special adviser on media and information strategy to President Bola Tinubu, has responded to the accusation of conflict of interest against the Nigerian leader by opposition politician Abubakar Atiku.

Atiku had expressed his grievance against President Tinubu on the claim that his son, Seyi, is on the board of a company that also has businessman,Albert Chagoury. Chagoury is believed to be one of the owners of Hi-tech construction company, which is currently handling the Lagos-Calabar Coastal highway.

In his response to Atiku, Onanuga faulted Atiku for linking Seyi’s involvement in a tile manufacturing business to his father, because Chagoury includes its owners.

He said: “We found it strange that Alhaji Atiku could accuse President Tinubu of conflict of interest in the award of Lagos-Calabar Coastal highway to Hitech Construction Company which he claimed is owned by Chagoury family because the President’s son, Seyi Tinubu, sits on the board of CDK, a tiles manufacturing company, based in Sagamu, Ogun State.”

The presidential aide accused Atiku of “hypocrisy”, reminding him of owning a business while serving as a customs officer.

“Is it not amusing that the former Vice President, a man who openly said he formed Intels Nigeria with an Italian businessman when he was serving in the Nigeria Customs Service, a clear breach of extant public service regulations, is now the one accusing someone else of conflict of interest?

“When he was Vice President of Nigeria between 1999-2007, he maintained his business links with Intels that won major port concession deals.

“Was this not an abuse of office, a flagrant violation of his oath, that a company where he was a co-owner won major government contracts and concessions when he was vice president?

“As Chairman of the National Council on Privatisation, he approved sales of over 145 State-owned enterprises to his known friends and associates and openly said during his failed campaign for the presidency last year that he would do the same, if elected.

“It is important to state clearly that Seyi Tinubu is a 38 year-old adult who has a right to do business and pursue his business interests in Nigeria and anywhere in the world within the limits of the law. The fact that his father is now the President of Nigeria does not disqualify Seyi from pursuing legitimate business interests.

“For the records, Seyi joined the Board of Directors of CDK in 2018, more than six years ago. He is representing the interest of an investor company, in which he has interest. He is not a board member because his father is a friend of the Chagourys. 

“Information about owners and shareholders of CDK is a matter of public record that can be openly accessed from the website of the Corporate Affairs Commission and CDK’s.

“Atiku and his proxy did not need a little-known journal to recycle open-source information to make a fallacious argument.

“The Chairman of CDK and the highest shareholder of the company is respected General TY Danjuma (rtd). The Chagourys are minority shareholders in the company, and only one member of the clan is on its five-man board.

“We wonder how Seyi’s membership of the board of  CDK conflicts with Hitech Construction Company’s work on Lagos-Calabar Coastal superhighway.

“Alhaji Atiku has been waging an unrelenting war against this all-important and transformative project for no justifiable reasons other than bad politics.

“Atiku knows that its grand success and other projects to be unfurled, such as the Badagry-Sokoto superhighway, will be a major boost for President Tinubu and finally upend his perennial presidential ambition.

“How can an elder-statesman be waging a campaign of calumny against the economic fortunes and prosperity of a country he wishes to govern or trying to scuttle a project that will bring prosperity to nine coastal states and the nation in general?”

 

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