Dear I Go Dye, You Are Right, But We Can Fix Nigeria Together

Dear I Go Dye, You Are Right, But We Can Fix Nigeria Together
Dear I Go Dye,

I read your post on Instagram. It was hard to miss it because it was on every major news website. I would like to say that you were mostly right. The questions you raised in your post are similar to the ones I have been asked by other young people on social media, so I am replying this not just to you as a person, but to all young Nigerians who have asked similar questions.

Firstly, you are right. The Nigerian youth have often been taken for granted, and almost every leader in our history has taken young people for granted. But it’s important to point how this started – for people like me who saw Independence; our leadership was mostly driven by young people. Then came the coups, and the civil war, and then more coups. Nigeria ended up with a long period of military dictatorship for many decades, in which time; those young leaders aged, but still remained leaders. Fela, Gani, Enahoro, and Beko were young leaders, yet remained leaders until their demise. That was because of the stagnation brought on by decades of political instability.

By the time we got to 1999, the young people of the day had not been prepared for leadership, because there was no leadership or apprenticeship process under dictatorships. This is one of the reasons the age of leaders has continued to rise. That was because of the leadership stagnation brought on by decades of political instability. Imagine a school that did not graduate any students for 5 years, by the time the top class finally graduates, you will have a backlog of undergraduates.

Our young people are not to blame; we need to remedy this national failure. Last week, there were local government elections in Akwa Ibom State, with over 60% of the seats won by young people, less than 35 years old. That’s how progress can be made. Young people need to participate from the grassroots, all the way across board. Appointments are good, but getting elected is even better. I also understand the issues around funding elections which keep women and young people out, and I will address this in an article I am publishing soon.

I do understand your frustration on the issue, however. I tell people my age that to understand young Nigerians, we need to understand the difference between Nigerian and Naija. Naija embodies the hopes and dreams of young Nigerians, the country they love and long to go home to when they are abroad. Naija is the country that brings them pride in music, film, comedy, fashion, and technology. It is the country of Wiz Kid, Asa, David O, Tuface, the Olympic bobsled team, Iwobi and Don Jazzy Again.

Nigeria on the other hand, is the country of their parents, the country where leaders are constantly failing them, of Boko Haram, of herdsmen violence, of recessions and joblessness. Our young people need us to make our country live up to the aspirations of Naija by fixing the problems associated with Nigeria.


I think it’s important to address the accusation about my tenure as Vice President, that I did nothing for young people. Firstly, as VP, I can only be judged on the responsibilities I was given. A VP obviously is not the driver of government. For example, you can’t blame Prof Osinbajo for all that is going on with the current government. He can only do what he’s allowed to do.

But let me speak about what you can judge me by, my assigned responsibilities. As VP, I assembled what is arguably the best Economic Team ever in Nigeria. It was made up of young, world class professionals, who came home to work. Some of those professionals are now political leaders, governors and world leaders in their own right.

If you ask what our first task was, coming into government in 1999, it was to bring stability to the economy after decades of military rule. For example, between 1999 and 2003, oil prices then were hovering between $16 and $28 yet we managed to pay up salary arrears from decades back, clear up our national debts and built up foreign reserves. Our GDP grew at the fastest rate we’ve seen since the return to democracy.

You mentioned that I never brought young people into leadership, but my record speaks differently. I have a proven record of bringing young, unknown professionals into service. Many of the professionals and ministers I brought in were in their 30s and early 40s. Some of those young leaders have become governors in their states. I went to the World Bank and met a bright lady, convinced her to come back home, and she became a star in our government. To show you we had effective leadership, the same lady could not replicate her exploits under a different government.

I was also in charge of privatization and I have witnesses that I never interfered with the process. I never bought anything belonging to the government. I was quite wealthy before coming into government, with declared assets worth millions of dollars in 1999 (which was put in a trust when I became VP); so it was understandable that many of the wealthy Nigerian business people who participated in the privatization programme were my friends. Did I use my influence to get them better deals? No. As the then DG of BPE testified under oath, I never used my position to interfere with his work.

My legacy as Vice President, I would say is the banking consolidation process, for which I gave political backing for. Many big people were putting a lot of political pressure to not change the status quo, but we knew that if that consolidation was not done, Nigeria could not grow. Because of that banking consolidation, Nigerian banks don’t fail anymore the way they used to.

I oversaw the telecoms revolution, which is why young people like you, I Go Dye, now have a flourishing career. Under our tenure, we witnessed a large repatriation of Nigerians back to Nigeria, driven by the hope of the recovering economy. It is sad that many of those young people are heading back abroad now – this is to show you that leadership matters.

I know many of these have been forgotten because it was a long time ago, and successive administrations did not follow up on the progress we made. But that is also not to say we were blameless. I was largely frozen out in the second term of our tenure, and I regret that we had that disagreement with my boss. Some say I was disloyal, but I looked at the events in Zimbabwe recently, and it gives me confidence that I did the right thing fighting the attempts to elongate the presidential tenure beyond eight years. If I did not win that fight, do you think we would be having a discussion on young people getting into leadership today?

Intels. I want to address this because you mentioned it. It was the Shagari government that started the Onne Port and later abandoned it. In summary, my business partner and I saw an opportunity to build Nigeria’s oil industry using world class infrastructure, but driven by Nigerians. The company went out and took loans to build the facilities, but as we went on, more opportunities opened up, which allowed us access to even more capital. The ended up borrowing hundreds of millions of dollars, mostly from Europe, to build the port, singlehandedly charting the course of Nigeria’s oil industry.

Honestly, I did not ever think we would be that successful, which was why I kept my day job, when we started it. It was just what you would call a side hustle, I held shares but was not actively involved in running it, but it grew so big, and I had to quit my government job to focus on the business. Today, every oil major uses the facilities we built. The government only became clients after the oil companies. Our company has expanded to several countries in Africa. Even the FG has seen that that company is the most competent logistics company in Africa, which is why it gives Intels the most complex operations to manage.


But Intels as a corporate citizen is loved in the locations it operates. That’s because we invest in scholarships, hire young people from the community and train them to become world class technicians. As CSR, we have gone into partnership with the NFF to train young Nigerian footballers, and provide support for the local league. We are loved by the youth in our local communities.

In my home state of Adamawa for example, I’ve created over 50,000 direct jobs and 250,000 indirect ones. We are the largest private employers of labour in the state only second to the state government. It’s not a lot, but it does help reduce unemployment. Who do you think are holding those jobs? Yes, young people.

I Go Dye, I’m not a messiah. I do not promise Eldorado or $1 = N1. But I always ask to look at the economic progress we made under my leadership and what I am doing in private business and judge me by those. People say I became rich in government. It’s a lie. I had millions of dollars in assets declared in 1999. My businesses (my shares of which were held in a Blind Trust while I was in government) continued to grow since then. I was able to personally bankroll the PDP back then, so surely I was not poor. But I understand it is politics. So it’s normal to be called names. But how come in all these years, none of my opponents has found any evidence to indict me?

The people who are afraid of me changing the status quo they enjoy will always try to frighten young people about me.

Some people believe youth empowerment is giving handouts to young people instead of building a strong economy. They are wrong. They want to give handouts so they can control young people. But how long can we continue like that? Our country is borrowing to pay salaries, yet we are still holding on to outdated models just so we can control young people for elections.

The success of young Nigerian entrepreneurs in IT & technology, retail, music, and arts shows that given the chance, they can run anything. My job is to be a bridge, which supports our young people achieve these ideals. I will never say only I can do this. I can’t do it alone. I need your support, I Go Dye, so help our economy grow, to ensure that within 10 years, our young people can take over completely.

In summary, I Go Dye, I am not a person who says what he cannot do or show proof. I am giving you an invitation to sit down and ask me any questions you may have. I would also like to take you around, show you some of the businesses I have built, and let you speak to the young people who run those places. It is good to try to convince you that I can do better by our young people, but it is even better to show you. Send me a direct message on Twitter, and we will take it from there


This post was written by

116 Comments on "Dear I Go Dye, You Are Right, But We Can Fix Nigeria Together"

  • Oyeyemi Ariyo says

    I read the full article, that’s profound sir.
    I like to be a part of that interactive session.

  • Echono Bako says

    Wow! Beyond reasonable doubt, I’m convinced by your achievements and your stand for the youth involvement in government as the best leader this country will produce so far. Your records are verifiable and your passion for this country, I perceive is beyond personal gain. Myself and youth of like mind will pray and vote for your emergence so as to help bring to bare your visions, dreams and aspirations concerning our beloved country. God bless Nigeria.

  • abraHam says

    Wow… Well said, but how comes we’ve never heard hat Sir @atiku_abubakar has done alot for the youth and Nigeria at large. Pls sir how do you prove this ???

  • Adeleke Adewale says

    Sir I read one of ur recent quotes with tears in my eyes u said and I quote that education can really change people’s story and it gave u everything but I may I let u know today sir that the same opportunity u had den is not giving to youth today. It may interest u to know that thousands of educated youth out there don’t even know if they have a story that can be changed, first class are out there without job, Distinction, second class who have devoted all the life and time believing ur quotes sir and today their lives is miserable cos they cannot even get a job with their education, it may interest u to know sir I finished with Distinction accounting as a course of study three years down the line now no job and have watched a lot of ur live video sir where you claim to have created over 250 000 jobs for people of adamawa so sir does it mean u will be the president of adamawa alone if voted in. Going out and engaging youth everyday show that youth have given up on this country because intelligence is not being celebrated and I dont know if u come across an online post where the best graduating of a university in Nigeria was given 10,000 and u are telling us sir education can change people’s story with all this failed policies by government which u are one of them sir, like I always said to people I encounter on daily basis the government of this country is case of Peter deceiving Paul whosoever got there is a deceiver. When the likes of CBN, FIRS, NNPC etc politicians knows how to send their children name but when it is npower of stipend pay monthly they throw it out to nigerian have got a lot of questions for u sir. I don’t agree with ur quotes sir cos for me it is misleading in a country like Nigeria I am a distinction graduate of accounting I don’t have a job and lot of first class distinction second class upper are out their without a job

  • Sir, I have great respect for you,and I’m one of the people that will vote for you cos I’m not ignorant to know age is nothing but numbers,It’s your state of mind and your cycle of delivery that matters.i know you can do it judging by your precedence.obasanjo demonized you,but I know it’s u said you are not the messiah but I know you can stir the ship in the right path.i have only but one vote but I hope it makes the difference.
    Yours sincerely

  • Quadri Subair says

    I am convinced with your write up. However, to ensure that you are prominent to bring the young people across board into leadership, as you are starting up your campaign, I want you to have more young people’s participation and I want you to include me (Quadri Subair) in your team.
    Thanks while waiting for your response.

  • Dear Organization,

    I am an IT Professional, internet professional, business development practitioner.

    The future of IT is internet, cloud and security, I have some ideas that I believe the your organisation to promote on behalf of the campaign of the Honourable Vice President for Presidency.

    The idea will allow the youth to be engaged for the future in the area of internet, cloud and security regardless of their location remote or in the urban. This will serve as hub for organisation to improve its social media presence and campaign through the youth that participates in it. It will create job for the youth but drive attention for the course of the honourable VP.

    I want to know if you organisation is looking at this area for us to discuss further.


    Oluwafemi Olafusi
    [email protected]

  • Peter Iyaki says

    Good Afternoon Sir,
    Seen you left APC back too PDP i have took my time to follow all your words you said about the youth, this is all our pass leaders have fail us. Me as a person never believe any words or comment said by any of our leaders because they are failure reading your reply on I Go Dye letter too you and what you have said, you have giving alot of youth job in your state. My question is how can i no that what you are saying truth i will like to see it also you are taking about the youth hope you not saying it to catch the youth support for you.
    Best regards
    Peter iyaki

  • James Chindo says

    Baba Atiku, I am not completely convinced that you care because as a sound and intelligent secondary sch. cer. holder I could not afford your University fee because the cost was very high! And so I was only left with the option of attending Federal University. And many many folks believe you cannot perform any better and no matter how hard someone tries to convince them, they won’t listen.
    At your time you had it easy, but in our time you people made us wallow like orphans begging to survive. Life has been very hard for the youth but easy for the leaders who were supposed to serve us. We are hopeless

  • Andrew O. says

    Dear Sir,

    I want to thank you for taking out time to explain your position and the role you plaid in the past, present and intentions for the future of our beloved country Nigeria. I only wish the youths of this country would give you a chance to pilot a real government based on truth and facts by so doing mentor them till they are primed to take the mantle of leadership. I believe and appreciate this letter to Nigerians, indeed the facts are there. Unfortunately the politics of hyenas of today keeps meddling your name in mud without proof, especially those that have been accused of being CIA agents in a book I read long time ago by Brigadier Maimalari. I pray the masses gives you a chance, because you are the only aspirant who has a clear, feasible and laid down plan to rescue this country and it’s youth from hitting rock bottom. If you will permit me, I will like to share this letter in my social media page and I will like to request to follow you on twitter. May God bring you aspirations and vision f this country to past, your excellence

    Andrew O.

  • Bashiru Pakka says

    Your reply is quite compressive and direct. It clearly explain the issue of “allowing the youth to lead”

    About mentorship sir, are you going to pick a young, vibrant, intelligent and hardworking person as your VP?

  • Greetings His Excellency Turaki Atiku Abubakar!
    First time in my life I became a card carrying member of the APC at age 28 in 2015 with the hopes and aspiration the party emitted. But in reality that seem bleak as we speak. Nigeria is a GREAT NATION (capital letter emphasized) with a clay and iron foot; in translation, our multi ethnic predilections makes it near difficult to cohere us as a people.

    This nation needs a LEADER free of bias and religious centrifuges and bond this nation to the great heights it is destined for.

    Truly Turaki, you’re heaven sent and destined against the odds and aspersions thrown at you, you this and you’re that! My “palaver” writing this is that young people believe in you that you will not dash their hopes, be a mark of distinction for us young people.

    Your popularity since the day you moved to your party PDP is unprecedented, thus I have a support for you with a Toyota Hiace to assist your campaign outreach in the southern part of Nigeria.

    God blesses, protection and guidance now and assumption of office Amen!

    I am Patrick Inengite CT
    Program Officer – ISPED
    Twitter @patnengii

  • NLE says

    I took time to read your replies to I Go Die and other young Naijas.
    And from your post I wish to mention some few things that enlightens my Naija heart:
    1. That though you are not young yet you understand the yearnings of the Naija youths and upcoming generations.
    2. You justify your wealth as a product of your hard work and personal efforts and that you have never robbed even the unborn generations through fraudulent means.
    3. You are available to be the bridge that will Move people from ‘Nigeria’ to Naijaland.
    4. And base on the topic of your post, you simply mean that the mess can be clean if the Naija youth join you.

    Once again Sir, many thanks for expressing your thoughts and giving us hope that it can be fixed.
    Thank you also, because your replies was timely and quick which is what is experienced in Naija.
    Thank also, because you are virtually available on the same medium by which the Naijas frequent themselves.
    Thank you for finding time amidst your very tight and busy schedules to write a post with well over 8000 English characters at your age. It shows you are still strong and capable.
    Thank you for replying to one of Naijas finest in particular and the Naija youths in General.
    Sir, kindly consider my question simply in the spirit of your replies which among other things seek to rekindle hope in a nation and our heritage.
    I have a question because in your post, there is something missing which in a typical land of reasonableness qualifies one to be a promising leader and it was not directly or indirectly mentioned in your post. And one of that missing thing that endears an elder or a potential leader to his people is reproduced in this true life story which I personally witnessed in my neighbourhood in Abuja Naija:
    A hardworking and self employed Naija youth who lost job since 2014 had an encounter with staff of the public electricity company – AEDC. They brought his bills to him to either pay or be disconnected. He told them that the bill does not reflect the true condition of the light given and so he can not accept the bill. Eventually, they pleaded with him to pay something, and the young man vehemently refused and said, he cannot pay them not because he does not have money to pay but because they were billing him wrongly and no metering. He insisted and told them to disconnect his house from the pole which they did. He later call his children and family together and explain to them that it is wrong for him to pay for bills he did not owe. And ever since that incidence, while in the entire neighbourhood other houses have lights he stays in the dark with his family. Neighbours encourage him to pay something but he remains adamant saying that things must be done rights before he connect his house to the electric pole. On a closer look, few people in the same neighbourhood, pay something while some connected their lights illegally and also keep paying something yet this particular Naija guy refuse to pay something. When I visited him to know why, I discover that it was not pride, ego, wealth, stupidity, but something that is missing in your post. I notice that it is the same missing lines in the biography of many great Nigerian. While you want to be the bridge to move people to Naija, I wish you work with this Naija guy and I know there may be so many of this kind of Naija guy who are already residing in Nigeria and fixing the Nigerian mess in their own style.
    Once again, thanks for taking the time to read my question and I hope that you will find the missing line because I doubt if you can fix Nigeria without it.

  • A.S Gadole says

    We, the young people, have already loss confidence in you, our old leaders.
    You hold the economy of the nation so tight to the extent some of us only have hope in life when they associate with you.
    Economic godfatherism is our political system.
    Even President Buhari that promised to govern with young people, the minister of youths and sports is 60 now. And all the heads of government agencies and commissions that the President appointed and said he includes young people in his administration, no one among them that is at his 30s and they are almost all from abroad.
    We voted for him but he directs his appreciation to those in abroad.
    Sir, you have many actions to take before we can be convince.
    There are many challenges in relation to youths living in Nigeria.

  • Onimisi Omonowo says

    Atiku Abubakar sir, My kind did advise is for you to learn from APC failure….
    Apc promised Nigerians job without structuring down how they are going to create it….. If you really want myself and other Naija supports…. Let people know the type of job and how you are going to create the job when you emerge as the number one of this nation…. Be specific about the job you will create for the youths not just by giving empty promises like APC did.

  • Ugochukwu IBEABUCHI says

    I have never heard any “OLD” politician in Nigeria respond directly to issue just the way you did without throwing in a lot of rhetorics in it the way you just did, and even wanting to prove your stance with verifiable facts. It is a good way of response to younger generations considering your fatherly age, while responding to his children. Times have changed and you have accepted that fact.

    Even though you have not defined yourself effectively the way you’re just doing through most of your political life, which makes people define you the way they wish, it is a good start, and believe me, the younger generation can trust once they see the sincerity you emit.

    You have it all, wealth, knowledge and style. Nigeria needs that now to unite us. I pray for your honest and sincere, and good intentions towards this broken nation. God bless

  • Abdulkadir Abdulsalam says

    I believe for everything there is time and I pray may this (now) to be the right time for our yough people to realize the truth and follow it to where ever it was, so that you may lead us to the promise land.

  • Ekene orji says

    This is the time I have been waiting for and this is the time I will use all what I have for this day .I know in my spirit from the day I know the name atiku .that this name have a hand to fix nigeria and make it great again .Atiku is the man .let us not mistake again by voting another person. This time is not for party or tribe but for the person in the party .Please nigerians let join hand together and do it .We will never regret it .thanks and God bless us .

  • Idema osuani Fyneface says

    Thank you sir, I have this conviction that you can be a good leader that can make Nigeria succeed, my uncle Henry Aselemi( a caterer who baked the cake during Adamu’s wedding) told me how detribalized you are when he worked for you in the American university. #IamAticulated.

  • Andrew Nwachukwu says

    Dear Mr. Atiku, what I have just read is well articulated. It is a very valid and positive point to build on. I have been looking for a way to communicate and suggest something to you.

    One of the weakest point you had in PDP Presidential primaries speech was the personal attack on GoodLuck Jonathern. Am sure they must have schooled his tempers before he came to the podium, be I noticed unusual delay after your speech. At the time he stood and said he was not going to join issues with, the atmosphere as I could watch from TV was like, he has already won without vote been cased.

    In this 2019 election, do not waste your opportunity by personally publicly telling people what they already know about Buhari. You can hire people to do that since propaganda has become a thing in Nigeria. Focus all your energy in the positive things that you have done and can do.
    Even when they attack you personally, your public response should be that you dont want to join issues with them. While your media or campaign org may respond in what ever manner.
    If you can build on not personally attacking anyone this time, you will win more hearts.


  • Queen Blessing usen says

    Dear Atiku Abubakar…
    A part of me has been touched by these reply…
    but would you ever give a young intelligent smart girl and beauty Queen like me a place in your government…

  • nnochiri chinomso says

    dear atiku I have read all about you and am convinced that you share Nigerians youth pain… pls in as much as we the youth have been used am dump pls try get youth as ur vice it will give us sense of belonging
    sir u said u were in charge of privatalization pls what was ur role in alscon company…. an aluminum company in akwa ibom state cos their is nothing to rite home about
    am ever willing to work with you

  • Chibuikem Okoro says

    Am very happy by the way our formal VP replied I Go Dye.
    Am also wowed on formal VP given a direct invitation to him too. Thats Okay.
    If I Go Dye will have direct invitation to talk to you sir! just for asking questions. What will be my own for reading from up to the end and also commented too?
    Thank you sir!
    From Chibuikem.

  • Madubuko Chibueze says

    Perfect article! I want to tell you sir that I believe in your dream and I’ve pitched my tent to campaign and vote for you come 2019… you cleared every doubt, so any every reasonable youth that reads this will understand that you’re the best man for the job, after this sham we call a government… I’ve started campaigning for you not for any gain whatsoever, but for the sole purpose of knowing you’re the only leader that can take us out of this rot we’re in right now… no 1 else has the experience, and entrepreneurial skills to take ya outta the mess, 1 that can bring together the different factions these government have created or worsened by their loop sided appointments and favouristm. God bless you sir. My handle is @Pellentini on twitter.

  • ismaila says

    Sir it is really interesting and i can see what it has transform into due all the period and the other thing is about the KILLING in KWARA STATE recently it is a great-loss

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>