Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar on Saturday formally declared to contest in the 2019 presidential election.
The former Vice President stood before a cheering crowd in Adamawa explaining why he is the best candidate for the top job.
Decrying the large-scale killings that have touched many parts of the country in recent months before thousands packed into Yola town square at the heart of Nigeria’s north-east, Atiku said President Muhammadu Buhari’s government would go down in history for its bloodshed than any development it brought to citizens.
“Today, we are witnessing the most insecure atmosphere,” Atiku said of the killings largely blamed on herdsmen, bandits and militias, before promising to tackle them headlong if elected. “More people died under APC than people killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
Atiku told a crowd chanting “Atiku! Atiku!” shortly after 2:00 p.m. that he would curtail inflation and unemployment rate in the country, saying Buhari and the ruling All Progressives Congress has displayed a common lack of capacity when it comes to the issues that matter to citizens the most.
“Today, we have the highest unemployment rate in history of this country, more than one million of our youth are unemployed,” Atiku said, adding that the PDP would secure the country, ensure unity and security of life and property.
Blasting the incumbent president further, Atiku said: “Today, we are more divided than at any other time in Nigeria’s history.”
Recall that the president had in recent times been accused of packing key federal offices with people from his region, with critics slamming him as flouting the federal character and affirmative action principles enshrined in federal laws as necessary fabrics for holding an ethnically and religiously diverse entity like Nigeria together.
However, the president and his aides have often pushed back against the claims, saying instead that his appointments have been balanced where they are not skewed towards the south.
If granted the PDP presidential ticket, the former vice president will be President Muhammadu Buhari’s major challenger at the 2019 polls.