As the race to the 2023 presidency begins to gather momentum among top politicians in the country, former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar has assured that his passion for Nigeria’s progress drives his ambition and not personal aggrandizement.
The 2019 Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) stated this during a meeting with the party’s House of Representatives caucus in Abuja.
The Waziri Adamawa, who described the legislature as the most sensitive organ of democracy, commended the lawmakers for protecting the interest of the party and Nigerians at the National Assembly.
The former Vice President added that “I recognise your immense influence on our great party and my respect for you is beyond measure. That is why I chose you to be among the first set of people that I will be meeting to personally declare my intention to contest for the President of Nigeria in 2023.
“Therefore, I humbly present myself to you and seek your support to win our party’s Presidential ticket.”
He lamented that Nigeria was in trying times with the increase in poverty, joblessness, insecurity, inflation, economic recession and serious division, noting that “there has never been a time when Nigeria needs credible leadership than now”.
He also affirmed that the PDP was in a better position to offer Nigerians the desirable and competent leadership.
He stressed that he wants to offer a solution to Nigeria’s problems, but requires the support of the lawmakers.
“I have experience at the highest and lowest levels. As the Vice President of Nigeria, I ensured many progressive and national transformations and constitutional law. As a businessman, I have solved grassroots problems and provided jobs for thousands of people,” he said.
Atiku, who declared that he has the mental and physical energy to serve to the fullest, said “above all, it is my passion for the progress of this country that drives my quest for the Presidency of this country”.
“This is the last chance for this country to get it right. Any failure to elect the right leaders now means Nigeria is doomed. That is why this election is not for us or our personal interest, it is about salvaging the country and I want to seek your support to help me do that.
“Nigerians are in desperate need of us and that is why we have to offer them the best. And this time more than ever before, we need a leader with versed experience who will fight for the people and a President who can bring this country together. I guarantee you that I have what it will take to be that kind of President. Therefore, I seek your support.
“This victory of our party depends on the candidate we produce at the primary elections at all levels. That is why we must choose those that can easily win at the secondary election.”
In his reaction, the House of Representatives Minority leader, Hon. Ndudi Elumelu said the PDP needed to be united to defeat the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in 2023.
He said, “we do not doubt that you have the mental and physical capacity needed to drive the PDP to win the election.
“But what we have always said is that we are not happy with the way we are not trying to unite ourselves. What is important is that we must unite ourselves to take over from the APC led government.”
The minority leader stressed the need for all Presidential hopefuls to avoid any form of assault or attack on themselves, saying, “it will not help us”.
Elumelu lamented that “the APC came with all manners of lies, they came that they will turn one naira to one dollar, they came that they will give us quality education, they came that they will guarantee the security of lives and property, they came that they will write off all our debts. But today, they are trying to mortgage our country with so many loans.
“The hope for Nigeria in 2023 and beyond is in the PDP, and I believe we can make it happen”.