ormer Vice President Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has said he is the stepping stone for Igbos to become President of Nigeria.
TheNewsGuru.com (TNG) reports that Atiku disclosed this on Tuesday during the South East PDP Zonal Stakeholders’ Meeting in Enugu State, where he stressed that an Igbo person can become President after he has completed his tenure.
“I am the stepping stone for Igbos to become President of Nigeria. I’ve had close relationships with the Igbos and this influenced my choices of Senator Ben Obi and Mr. Peter Obi as my running mates in my two previous outings as presidential candidate.
“Again, I have chosen another great Igbo here (Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa) for the third time as my running mate. I have three Igbo children and I am saying this for the very first time in public. So, my relationship with Ndigbo did not start today,” Atiku said.
The PDP candidate, who maintained that he would win the 2023 presidential polls, said his great relationship with the Igbos would continue until they assume the presidency after his tenure.
While promising to prioritise projects in the Southeast, Atiku took a swipe at the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led administration for segregating some parts of the country with the paucity of projects.
“The second Niger bridge in Onitsha is not a favour to the Southeast, rather it is or should be seen as a favour to Nigeria. This is because it is not only the people of the Southeast that use the bridge,” Atiku said.
The PDP Presidential Candidate described the meeting as part of his consultation meeting with the leaders of the various zones to thank them for their support and listen to their various issues. The former Vice President said that he would be meeting both in consultation and the preparation of campaign, stressing they must hit the grand rally from day one if Nigerians gave them mandate.
He said the southeast was the key contributor to the economic activities in the country. According to him, any government that wants to revive Nigerian economy and bring out opportunities must carry the people of the South East along. Atiku said he was a businessman and for business to thrive, there must be conducive environment for Nigerians.
“When you understand the importance of infrastructure for economic development, jobs and wealth creation, your focus will be on infrastructure development. The five priorities of my government is to unify the country, improve security, fix economy, restructure the federation and improve human capital development. This is the critical part that has great impact in our national development and improve quality of lives,” he said.
The Presidential flag bearer noted that the country was so divided, pointing out that it was a collective responsibility of all to unite it with equity, justice and fairness. Atiku said that every segment of the country required to be giving sense of belonging.
“Our country is in a bad shape and rescuing it requires proper preparation as you know Southeast is close to my heart. You have supported me through thick and thin and I will always remember that your sons and daughters have played a very positive role in development of my life and country.
“They were key personnel who played important role in PDP when I was Vice President and they will continue to excel in other role across the world,” Atiku said.
2023: South East PDP stakeholders drum support for Atiku
eanwhile, PDP stakeholders in the South-East assured the former Vice President of the zone’s total support for his presidential ambition come 2023 general elections.
Some of them who spoke during the PDP Zonal Stakeholders’ Meeting with the presidential candidate in Enugu on Tuesday said the party’s blood ran in the zone.
The National Vice Chairman, PDP, South-East Zone, Chief Ali Odefa said, in his welcome address, that the party was one in the region and devoid of division as being speculated.
“Come election next year, we will demonstrate that Southeast is PDP and PDP is Southeast,” he said.
Speaking in the same line, Sen. Adolphus Wabara, said that Igbos were for Atiku, stressing that PDP played major impact in the South-East region.
Wabara, who is the Acting Chairman, Board of Trustees (BOT) of the PDP, said Igbos had not been favoured in the past seven years and still counting, saying that only Atiku, if elected, as president could wipe their tears.
“We will vote entirely in the zone for PDP as we did in the last election and we will do it again.
“Just go and sleep because all the political leaders of Igbo extraction are here. PDP will win Southeast clearly,” he said.
Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi in his address assured the presidential candidate that Enugu State was essentially for PDP.