Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar, yesterday, flagged-off his 2019 presidential ambition on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Port Harcourt, vowing to create a ‘New Nigeria.”
Atiku also pledged to create a new Nigeria devoid of favouritism, segregation and ethnicity, but one built on a foundation of industrialization and economic revolution.
The former Vice President lamented that the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government has destroyed the country’s unity and cohesion.
Atiku said he wants to set the country on the path of growth in view of the failure of the APC, noting that the party has destroyed the education, health and infrastructural sectors through poor budgetary allocations and releases.
While stressing the country’s unity, he noted that no component part of the country can progress alone, just as he disclosed that the problem of Nigeria is not the lack of resources or skilled manpower, but the lack of leadership willpower to make conscious decisions and give adequate directions.
He said: “Since 2015, we have not seen a 100-kilometre road constructed by the APC Federal Government anywhere in the country.
“I have never seen Nigeria so divided along religious, ethnic and regional lines. This division is as a result of the mismanagement of the APC.”
He called for the country’s unity, saying that no component part of the country can progress alone, just as he used the opportunity to call on Rivers PDP stakeholders to support his ambition to emerge as the party’s presidential candidate.
In his remark, Governor Nyesom Wike urged Nigerians to take up the solemn responsibility of sacking the APC Federal Government in 2019.
He also declared that the position of the President is solely for an individual with experience and track record for excellence, noting that Atiku possess the needed track records to make Nigeria great.
Wike urged all PDP members, irrespective of their status, to ensure that the march to the Presidential Villa is not truncated by disunity, stating that Atiku has the right qualification to fly the PDP flag.
He, however, advised the former Vice President to extend his consultations.
Wike urged all PDP presidential aspirants to contest within acceptable limits as the race is not a do-or-die, but a movement to oust the APC-led Federal Government.
He said: “Every presidential aspirant must see himself as a member of the larger PDP family. We must do everything to ensure that PDP returns to the Presidential Villa in 2019.
“Only one aspirant will become a candidate. We will do everything to ensure that the party comes out with a candidate that has a track record to upstage the APC.”
The governor said that he has received former Jigawa State Governor, Dr. Sule Lamido and now Atiku, noting that other aspirants will be offered the platform to consult with Rivers PDP members.
Also speaking, former Enugu State Governor and onetime PDP national chairman, Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo, described Atiku as a detribalised Nigerian, with the capacity to rescue the country.
Atiku was accompanied to Rivers State by former Ogun State Governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel; Nwodo, former Attorney General of the Federation, Michael Aondoakaa and Senator Abdul Ningi.
The former Vice President met with state and federal lawmakers, caretaker committee chairmen of local government areas and party leaders.