The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar has debunked the report of handing over federal universities to states.

Gatekeepers News reports that Atiku, while clearing the air in a statement signed by his Media Aide, Paul Ibe said, “Education will remain on concurrent list.”

Ibe said there was a misinterpretation of the former Vice President’s words while fielding responses to questions at the plenary of the 62nd annual conference of the Nigerian Bar Association as it relates to education and how to address the crisis in the sector.

He wrote, “For the avoidance of doubt, Atiku did not say that he will hand over 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.”

Ibe further explained what his principal meant, “What the PDP presidential candidate referred to was his plans for a phased devolution of power to the federating units.”

The statement read further, “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. He also maintained that education would remain in the concurrent list under his administration when elected.”

Ibe added that the misinterpretation was to “create an impression that he will shirk his responsibilities if he is elected president in the next presidential poll due in February 2023.

“We wish to restate Atiku Abubakar’s avowed commitment to education as a game changer for socio-economic development and national security. He remains concerned about the prolonged strike by university teachers and restates his position that under his watch the ASUU-FG imbroglio will be better managed in the interest of both the students and academic staff.

“To underscore his commitment to address the structural deformities in our system, the former Vice President also disclosed that he had empanelled a committee of judiciary experts to draft a presidential position paper which will guide his administration, if elected, from day one, on the terms and conditions of transfer of power and resources to the other layers of government aimed at making the federal government leaner and more effective in its core functions.”

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