Christopher Isiguzo in Enugu
Former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, thursday in Enugu State vowed to unite Nigeria if elected president in 2019, lamenting that the country has never been “this divided in its history from independence till date.”
Atiku, who is also one of the politicians seeking the ticket of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the 2019 presidential election, stated this when he took his nationwide tour to the state where he met with party leaders at the party’s secretariat.
The former vice president who literally shut down the Coal City state, having driven through major roads from the Akanu Ibiam International airport with thousands of supporters to the party office, declared that he remained the most prepared of all the aspirants to pull the country out of its present decrepit level.
While urging Nigerians to unite against the re-election of the All Progressives Congress (APC) led-President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration in 2019, Atiku lamented that the administration had almost destroyed all the fabrics holding the country together and as such, does not deserve a second mandate.
He said the present administration had totally abandoned all its electioneering promises of enthroning genuine change in the country, adding that while insecurity had assumed a higher proportion, the economy had totally crumbled.
The presidential aspirant appealed to party leaders and delegates from the state PDP to support his bid to clinch the party’s ticket during its primary election later in the year, insisting that he possessed the political, economic and administrative acumen to lead Nigeria from poverty to prosperity.
The ex-VP expressed dismay that the present administration had grounded the economy from economic growth rate of seven percent it inherited from former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, to less than two percent.
He added that unemployment was on the increase, while every year, since 2015 when APC took over the reins of governance, about three million jobs had been lost annually.
“So if you are looking for an experienced politician, I’m here. If you are looking for a politician who has the experience of governing, I’m also here. If you are looking for a politician who is a business man, who can create jobs for you, who can bring about investment for this country, I’m also here. If you are looking for a politician who can unite this country, whether you are Igbo, Yoruba, Hausa or Fulani, whatever you are, I’m also here.
“So, my brothers and sisters of Enugu State, we are facing challenging times in our country. Today, our economy is at its lowest ebb. You know what? The last PDP government of President Jonathan achieved an economic growth of over seven percent; this government took it over and crashed it to less than two percent.
“This government has brought the worst insecurity in this country. Today, in my part of the country, our traders cannot go to the market, our farmers cannot farm simply because they might be kidnapped and killed,” he lamented.
Some of the party leaders who spoke at the event, including former National Chairman of PDP, Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo; former Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Chief Dubem Onyia; Senator. Fidelis Okolo, Senator Hyde Onuaguluchi and the state Chairman of PDP, Chief Augustine Nnamani, represented by his deputy, Mr. Innocent Ezeoha, extolled the leadership credentials of the former vice president.
According, to them, the presidential aspirant possessed the wherewithal to lead the country out of the woods and to economic prosperity.