By Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has described his endorsement by Afenifere Renewal Group, Middle Belt Forum, Ohaneze Ndigbo, Northern Elders Forum (NEF) and Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) as a loud statement that there is hope for Nigeria.
The Forum of Nigerian Elders and Leaders had during its meeting held at Sheraton Hotel Abuja on Sunday, thrown its weight behind the former vice president.
Atiku in a statement he personally signed on Sunday said that the endorsement had buoyed him to lead a Pan-Nigerian team that would give practical interpretation to what had been done by the time he takes leadership of the country on May 29.
He said, “I am moved to tears that in the midst of deep divisions and deliberate use of instrumentalities of state to set our people against themselves in the last three and a half years, responsible and respected leaders across Nigeria have agreed to come together for the purpose of endorsing my candidature for the February 16th, 2019 Presidential elections.”
“The endorsement by the leading lights of our nationalities – Afenifere, Ohaneze Ndigbo, Northern Elders Forum, Pan-Niger Delta Forum and Middle Belt Forum is a loud statement that there is hope for our country as we go to the polls in a few days.
“Today, we put aside all our prejudices to elect a President with religion and ethnicity playing no role in our elections. I profusely thank our leaders across the country who have created this wonderful moment for us to come to the table of brotherhood. Once again, and in the words of our old National Anthem, we can proudly sing: “Though tribes and tongues may differ, in brotherhood we stand”
The former vice president assured that he would run a properly federated Nigeria through constitutional reforms to bring out the best from all sections of the country to make Nigeria work again like in the past when the Saudi Royal family came to Nigeria to access Medicare.
Atiku said, “Many countries of the world have been led into disintegration by strongmen (one in each country) and we have seen how individuals who understand the management of diversities have rallied their people for unity.
“I have been chosen to unite our people and exactly that I will.
“We will promote an inclusive Nigeria based on productivity that every section of Nigeria will bring out the best under their soil, and in their brain to make Nigeria assume its position in Africa and the global community .
“It would be 100% for every section of Nigeria as I would not understand any arithmetic outside that.
“I enjoin our people across Nigeria to come out en-mass to vote on February 16 to pull our country from the brink and propel it to greater heights so we can live a better life.
“Take my words as a covenant with Nigeria.”