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Townhall: Atiku dodges question on using Nigerian hospitals if elected

Atiku says he would declare his health status if the need arises.

Millionaire former vice-president Atiku Abubakar, is again the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party for the 2023 election. (Punch)
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The former Vice President was among the three presidential candidates that attended ARISE TV’s Townhall on Sunday, December 4, 2022.

Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP), and Peter Obi of the Labour Party were the other two candidates that attended the townhall.

But the Presidential candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Bola Ahmed Tinubu failed to attend the event.

The candidates were grilled on issues regarding Education, Healthcare, Poverty and Human Capital.

On healthcare, the candidates were asked if they could declare their health status and also use Nigerian health facilities if elected.

Responding, Atiku said he would declare his health status if the need arises but failed to make a commitment that he would use the health facilities in the country if elected.

He said, “The Nigerian health facilities that carter for my health may not be available. You know that we have limitations. We have been talking about those limitations.”

He, however, promised to review the Nigeria Health Insurance Scheme, adding that his administration would prioritise the issue of primary healthcare.

He said, “I will review the Nigeria Health Insurance Scheme system initiated while I was Vice President, and make it inclusive and affordable for all Nigerians.

“We need to first address the issue of primary healthcare. After addressing this, which affects the majority of our citizens, then we can focus on the secondary and tertiary levels. The truth is that we are not investing enough as a government in the medical sector.”

On their part, Obi and Kwankwaso agreed to make their health status public.

While Kwankwaso claimed he currently uses Nigerian hospitals, Obi said he made use of such facilities when he was governor of Anambra.

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