- Former vice president Atiku Abubakar has declared intention to run for president in 2019
- He made the declaration in his home state Adamawa on Saturday, July 21
- Abubakar said that he would end insecurity in Nigeria if elected the president in 2019
Former vice president Atiku Abubakar on Saturday, July 21, in his home state of Adamawa declared that he would seek the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ticket for president next February.
Premium Times reports that while 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, Abubakar said that he would stop killings largely blamed on herdsmen, bandits and militias if elected.
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NAIJ.com gathered that Abubakar said that he would curtail inflation and unemployment rate in the country, saying that the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) have displayed a common lack of capacity when it comes to the issues that matter to citizens the most.
He said: “Today, we have the highest unemployment rate in history of this country, more than one million of our youth are unemployed. The PDP would secure the country, ensure unity and security of life and property. Today, we are more divided than at any other time in Nigeria’s history.”
The president has 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.
Buhari has often pushed back against the claims, saying instead that his appointments have been balanced where they are not skewed towards the south.
Abubakar is only one of several top political players eyeing the PDP ticket, having other top contenders like Sule Lamido and Ahmed Makarfi.
Recently, political analysts expect the race to get even more fluid when the likes of Musa Kwankwaso, Aminu Tambuwal and other elements of the so-called newPDP make their expected formal return to the largest opposition entity.
Yet, Abubakar’s stature as a former vice-president and serial presidential contender with vast political and financial muscle made him a top favourite for the ticket.
He has visited most of the southern states for consultations, and his office said he plans to take the tour to all the 36 states before the party’s primaries in a few months’ time.
He also sees himself in a good light, aiming directly at Buhari rather than his party ticket challengers.
But critics are dismissing his campaign as a sideshow that would soon hit the rocks because of Abubakar’s unanswered allegations about corruption.
Still dogging his ambition has been the mystery surrounding his failure to travel to the United States since he was named in a corruption trial in that country the previous decade.
He has dismissed all allegations of corruption and challenged his opponents to bring forth any evidence of his culpability in graft practices.
Although Abubakar said the Nigerian Constitution did not require that a citizen must possess American travel credentials to be eligible for presidential election, he also said that he had approached the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria for visa, but was turned down.
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With him at today’s rally were Uche Secondus, the party’s chairman, Gbenga Daniel, his campaign director, and Ben Murray-Bruce, a serving senator who also emceed the televised event.
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com had previously reported that former vice-president, Atiku Abubakar, said he would shock everyone by fighting corruption like never before if he ever gets the chance to become president of Nigeria.
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