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2023: Atiku unveils 5-point agenda

A former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, on Wednesday declared his intention to vie for the presidency on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).…

A former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, on Wednesday declared his intention to vie for the presidency on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Atiku, who started contesting for the presidency since 2003, made the declaration amidst hundreds of supporters, party chieftains, political associates, friends and well-wishers at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.

At the event, Atiku unveiled a five-point agenda which, he said, was aimed at rescuing the country from, “fatal destruction.”

His declaration came 24 hours after top shots of his party from the South West geopolitical zone demanded that the southern part of the country must produce President Muhammadu Buhari’s successor come 2023.

If elected, Atiku said; “I want to focus on five key areas: unity of Nigeria, security, economy, education and devolving more resources and powers to the federating units.

“Since the civil war, the unity of Nigeria has never been threatened as it is today. Nigerians are losing hope in the oneness of this country. My fellow Nigerians, I am the unifier that is coming to bond the broken union.

“Throughout my life, I have never looked at Nigerians as divided people. In my eyes, all Nigerians are the same. When I see you, I don’t see Yoruba or Hausa or Igbo or Fulani or a northerner or southerner; when I see you, I only see a Nigerian, and I expect the best from you.

“The APC administration has failed in its fundamental responsibility of protecting the lives and properties of Nigerians. The most significant human right is the right to life, which has not been protected under the APC administration.”

Atiku explained that the 2023 election is not just like any other elections; “it is a referendum to decide whether we want greatness or continuous destruction. It is a choice between two paths: the path of unity and progress or the path of division and backwardness.”

“In 2023, we want a president who has ideas on how to fix Nigeria. We want a president who understands, who inspires and is empathetic.

“The ruling party wants to divide us; they want to divide us along political, ethnic and religious lines so that we forget to blame them for the rising inflation.

“They want to distract us from holding them responsible for the insecurity and rising poverty. They want us to be facing each other and hating one another. We should focus on the issues, not our differences.

“Let us unite and fight our common enemies: the lack of unity, insecurity, poverty, inflation and unemployment.”

Nothing that he had contested for the office of president a couple of times in the past, he said; “My enduring persistence is borne out of my passion to rekindle the Nigerian dream that I was privileged to live.

“Who could have ever imagined, an 11-year-old village orphan, who had to rear other people’s cattle to raise money to feed his family, would have the opportunity to go to school for free, rise through the cadre of a decent profession, establish successful businesses, and become the vice president of this country?

“That is the Nigerian dream and that is my story. That is the possibility I want to pass to you and your children.”

Atiku said Nigeria is a sinking ship and must be rescued urgently, adding that “I would like to work more with young people. Young people are more agile, creative and conversant with contemporary opportunities and challenges.

“I too, I feel like I am a young man. So, you can call me a youth too. Our administration is going to be a transition of power from the senior generation to a younger generation.

“This campaign is not about me; it is about you; it is about the future of this country. Let our stories be told for generations to come that we are the ones that rescued Nigeria when it was on the verge of fatal destruction.”

Meanwhile, the party has unveiled its 37-man zoning committee. Saddled with the responsibility of giving direction to the zoning arrangement of the party, the committee is expected to be inaugurated on Thursday.

The committee was set up following a resolution at the end of its 95th National Executive Committee, NEC meeting held last week.

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