Deji Elumoye in Abuja
Former Senate President, Senator David Mark, has promised to restructure the country if elected president in February 2019.
Mark, who was president of the Senate from 2007 to 2015, said this yesterday when he picked his presidential nomination form at the Wadata Plaza national secretariat of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Abuja.
According to him, “Irrespective of our political persuasions, it is incontrovertible that restructuring of the nation is an idea whose time has come,” he said, adding, “A restructured Nigeria will further strengthen our bond of brotherhood and unity more than ever before, because everyone would have a sense of belonging and live in harmony in any part of Nigeria without any fear of molestation and intimidation.”
Mark also promised to tackle the intractable security, economic and socio-political challenges, threatening the corporality of the country.
The former Senate president who is serving his fifth term as a senator since 1999, said his blueprint tagged ‘730’ will address critical areas of national life.
“Specifically, we will deal with poverty, unemployment and neglect, which have forced some of our young people to undertake the very risky route of going through the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean Sea in their quest for greener pastures in Europe,” Mark said.
The ‘730’ economic model, he explained, is a strategy that will turn the economy around within two years, adding that youth will be the drivers of the process.
He explained his plan, “We will concentrate on developing our infrastructure, delivering on affordable housing, roads, rails and power. We will focus on education and create a pool of highly trained citizens with excellent IT skills who will be employable as well as create jobs.
“We will support Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) as a matter of priority by providing interest free cooperative loans to produce optimally with appropriate technology which will be the main driver of the economy with attendant huge employment opportunities.”
Handing over the nomination norm to Mark, the National Organising Secretary, Col. Austin Akobundu (rtd), praised him for his steadfastness and belief in the party over the years.
Akobundu noted that the party has been reformed, rebranded and earned the trust of all Nigerians.
In the wake of the gale of defections by PDP faithful to the All Progressives Congress (APC) after the former’s defeat in 2015, Mark said he would be the last man standing for the PDP.
He had said, “I have no reason to jump ship. I will not leave the PDP. I will be the last man standing for the PDP. The party gave me the platform to be who I am today.
“I will stay in the PDP to contribute my quota to the rebuilding and restructuring of the party. This is democracy; winners emerge and losers go back to the drawing board to rejuvenate.
“Those drifting to APC now are fair weather friends of the PDP. They are seeking new green areas. When the PDP bounces back, they will seek another return to the PDP.”