Former Vice-President, Atiku Abubakar, caused confusion on the Nigerian social media space on Saturday, when he declared on Twitter that he is not as rich as award-winning music producer, singer and songwriter, Don Jazzy.
A Twitter user, Dahiru Mustapha, tweeting via @ZizouQA, had asked Atiku why he had not been giving out recharge cards on the social network as Don Jazzy used to do.
The ace music producer enjoys creating a buzz on the micro-blogging service with the way and manner he shares money and recharge cards to his followers, a move many describe as a publicity stunt.
“Why can’t @atiku share recharge cards like @donjazzy?,’’ Mustapha asked in a tweet. But while responding swiftly to the inquiry, Atiku declared that he is not as rich as many Nigerians may have been made to believe.
He replied, “But I’m not as rich as Don Jazzy #smile.’’ Atiku’s reply immediately went viral on social media as tens of people retweeted it. The comment stirred up a debate among social media users.
Don Jazzy on noticing the claims of the Turakin Adamawa, expressed shock. He first moved to confirm the originality of the Atiku’s Twitter handle from one of his daughters, Meena Abu.
He asked, “Hello @MeenaAbu is this really daddy’s (Atiku’s) account? Abeg hail him for me o. Tell him to ignore dis kids on my Twitter handle o. lol.’’ Meena Abu replied saying, “@atiku is daddy’s Twitter handle. @Donjazzy.’’
Having noticed the buzz Atiku’s statement created online, Don Jazzy tweeted, “Ahhhh, good afternoon, sir!’’ He added, “These children will not koba me o. If I get half of baba Atiku’s money, you think say I go still dey holla Eminado Eminado. hissss. I go need another session of #MakeOverbyGod oo.’’
A Twitter user said very soon, some Nigerian politicians seeking to underestimate their wealth status would start lying that they borrowed money for their campaigns from the music producer.
“Soon, politicians will be like ‘I borrowed money from Don Jazzy for my campaign,’’’ Ade Sleek stated.
But as the Twittersphere was agog with retweets and mentions about Atiku’s statement, Don Jazzy shared a link to a scholarship programme being spearheaded by the former VP. Atiku, who appreciated the gesture said, “Thank you, @Donjazzy. You are an inspiration and role model for your generation. Keep flying high.’’
Meanwhile, the controversy Atiku’s statement generated did not deter him from having an engagement with many of his followers.
One of his followers, Nwachinaemelu, said he noticed the link to the “Education Solutions Scholarship” scheme he introduced and wondered why he did not introduce such in his capacity as Vice- President of the country.
“I read @atiku’s Twitter handle, and I wonder where was this fount of wisdom between 1999 and 2003 when he was VP? I didn’t notice it then,’’ Nwachinaemelu said.
Atiku, however, said the job of a Vice-President is one that is usually “unseen.”
He said he made himself relevant while in power by being “assertive.’’ He described his then boss, former President Olusegun Obasanjo, as a “strong character.’’
He tweeted, “My job was in the background. Like managing the team (1999-2003), and the economy. I honestly think I did well in the capacity.
“When the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission was set up, there were no funds to run it. I had to personally approve startup funds through the presidency.
“Most of a Vice-President’s work will be unseen, although I did push myself to be more assertive. My boss was a strong character too.’’
However, one Nnayelugo, tweeting via @eloka51 said he disagreed with his explanation. He argued, “I disagree with you Atiku. Between 1999 and 2003, you guys did not find your feet. No infrastructure, no clear cut policy on anything. You bungled privatisation.’’
One Alkali Mamman said Atiku’s assertion that the job of a Vice-President is one that is usually “unseen” was not tenable excuse for under-performance in office. “But the position of a VP in the Nigerian constitution did not make the occupant an employee of a sitting president,’’ Mamman argued.