The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has debunked media reports that he will hand over federal universities to state governments if elected president in 2023.
The media adviser to the former vice president, Paul Ibe, in a statement issued on Monday night in Abuja, described the report as false.
Mr Ibe said that they had noticed with dismay the mischievous misinterpretation of what Atiku said at the plenary of the 62nd annual conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) as it related to education and how to address the crisis in the sector.
“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.
“What the PDP presidential candidate referred to was his plans for a phased devolution of power to the federating units.
“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 panellist at the opening ceremony of the NBA conference,” Mr Ibe said.
He said that in answering the question posed to him, Atiku merely recalled his engagement with a university professor.
“Abubakar argued that the United States of America shared similarities with the first set of universities in Nigeria which belonged to the regional governments.
He added that with proper planning and phased devolution of power, federal universities which have now become unwieldy can be made to work better under the component federating units.
“Abubakar also maintained that education would remain in the concurrent list under his administration when elected,” Mr Ibe said.
He said that the report was clearly a misleading one designed to cast aspersion on the person of the former vice president.