Former Nigeria’s vice president, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is the best option for Nigerians as President in 2019 as he has the requisite qualities required for nation building.
According to the Director General of Atiku Abubakar Campaign Organisation, former Governor Gbenga Daniel, Atiku possesses the best credentials that would take the nation out of the woods in 2019.
Addressing selected journalists in his Lagos residence on Tuesday, Daniel stated that having worked in virtually all the regions of the country, either as a customs officer or a businessman, Atiku has the needed experience to take the country to the next level.
“Nigeria is a very complex country and we cannot compare it to a country like France, where 40 years old Emmanuel Macron is the President. They have systems that work. Theirs is not about the person, but it is about the systems. This is also applicable in a country like Britain and some others.
“The same does not apply in Nigeria. If you vote for a greenhorn or a young man as President, he will have nothing to offer. Some of the young men, who want to be Nigerian President don’t even know most parts of the country. Some of them don’t even know their states like some of us that have travelled wide.
“We need someone that is widely exposed and who understands all the regions such as Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. He is well ahead of others. “His first wife, Alhaja Titilayo Abubakar is a Yoruba woman and he has worked in many parts of Nigeria as a customs officer,” he said.
Daniel revealed that the contemporary classical economic theory has failed Nigeria and that the nation needs someone like Atiku, who understands the New World Economy.
The New World Economy, he said, is the ability of the government to attract foreign investment, adding that this is what is making places and countries such as Dubai in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) that has become an economic hub for traders all over the world as well as Saudi Arabia, which he said is now opening up her economy for foreign trades, thick.
The former governor warned that the oil, which Nigeria depends on for foreign exchange, would soon come to nought as he said that automobile vehicles are fast giving way to electric vehicles.
He said: “We need someone that can create an environment for investors to come in for business and grow the economy.
“I was shocked when I saw the American University established by Alhaji Atiku Abubakar in Yola, Adamawa State. He told me that he was not making profit from the institution and that he has been funding it for about 10 years now.
“If we say he used government funds to establish the school, if others that have served in government had done what he did we would not have the kind of graduates we are churning out in Nigeria today.
“I see Alhaji Atiku as someone, who has passion for education and he is not a Muslim fundamentalist.”
On the chances of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar in 2019 if he is eventually chosen as the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), the DG said that the political climate has changed and that most northerners have lost hope about President Muhammadu Buhari, who he said has become a subject of abusive songs in the northern part of the country.
Daniel revealed that northerners now gather to sing against Buhari in Zamfara, Sokoto, Kano and other parts of the north, saying that this is not the change Nigerians voted for in 2015.
“All the indices such as economy, inflationary, transparency and others have failed. The change you voted for in 2015 is not the change you wanted, you have all made a mistake.
“Nigerians now feel that they need to change the change. I could as well be an on-looker and do my business and edge into retirement, but I feel this is not the way to go and there is no other choice for us than to participate in the whole process,” he stated.
The DG told the journalists further that poverty knows no bounds and that people who voted for President Buhari in 2015 felt that their lives would be improved, but that they have been disappointed.
He pointed out that people now discovered that things have gone bad, which he said is why the likes of Galadima of the Reformed All Progressives Congress (rAPC) are now speaking against the incumbent Federal Government of the APC.
“President Buhari has declared his interest for the 2019 elections and the PDP has zoned it’s candidature to the North. So, the 12 million votes Buhari got in 2015 will no longer be there for him in 2019 as the votes would be divided,” he stated.
Daniel then urged Nigerians to be careful in tagging or perceiving people as being corrupt.
He stated that Alhaji Atiku has been out of government for about 11 years now and even once left the ruling party for the opposition party as he has done now and that yet he has never been arrested for corruption.
“Atiku lost immunity since 2007 and he has not been charged for corruption since then. He moved from the ruling party to the opposition party, yet he has not been charged for corruption.
“He resigned voluntarily from the Nigerian Customs and Excise Department of those days to go into private business. A man is innocent until proven guilty by a court of competent jurisdiction,” he said, while stressing that the PDP is not exclusively corrupt.
Corruption, he said, is not partisan and that it is clear that the APC is no less corrupt.
According to the former governor, corruption is a leveler and the entire Nigerian fabric is a corrupt system, while alleging that the party in power today is also corrupt.
He said: “It is the PDP that is being persecuted. What is happening in the senate now is an example of corruption. Perception is what led us to where we are today. We believe that one person has the magic wand to solve our problems as a nation.
“We should remove that perception. I was perceived to be killing people as a Governor. We have a job to do on the issue of perception. There are rules guiding every society. There is the persecution of the rich by the poor.
“It is believed that anyone in government must be corrupt. We must avoid tagging all rich people as corrupt. It is like we are celebrating the poor, then what is the essence of hard work.”
He then agreed with those calling for the restructuring of the country and the creation of state police, saying that this is one of the ways to end the incessant killings and insecurity in the country.
While disabussing the minds of the people about the constant movement of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar from one party to another, Daniel said that this is not peculiar to him and that it is a fallout of the kind of system the country is operating.
He said that the Nigerian political system is dynamic and that it is either one belongs to the progressives or conservatives, but that most Nigerian politicians have been moving from one party to another.
“President Buhari has moved from one party to another, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu moved from Alliance for Democracy (AD) to Action Congress (AC), then to Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), now he is in APC.
“It is not fair to accuse only Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of changing parties. The same thing happened to the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, who moved from the PDP to the APC, ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo has also moved, same goes for people like former governor Orji Uzo Kalu, who is now in the APC from the PDP.
“We are building institutions, so we cannot blame people for moving from one party to another, he said and urged the journalists not to sit on the fence, but to do their best to contribute to nation building through their reports.