APC has divided Nigeria in all aspects ― Atiku

The All Progressives Congress (APC) administration has divided Nigeria along several faultlines including Christian-Muslim and north-south, the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has observed.

He made the declaration while addressing a rally in Asaba, Delta State on Tuesday, reiterating his promise to restore national unity if he is elected president in February.

The former vice president said: “This APC government has disunited Nigeria, north-south, has disunited Nigeria Christian-Muslim, has disunited Nigeria in all aspects. It is our commitment to restoring the unity of this country.

“How do we do it? How do we achieve it? We will make sure every part of this country, every religion in this country has a sense of belonging in the federal government. That one I promise you.”

He also spoke on other pledges he has made to Nigerians such as paying due attention to the education sector and ensuring an end to industrial disputes in tertiary institutions.

Specifically, he told the people of the Niger Delta that his plan to devolve more power and resources to states will be of immense benefit to them as it will more means available to them.

The PDP flag bearer added: “What else did I promise you? I said the security of this country is paramount. You cannot develop education, the economy and cannot live in peace without security. It is our responsibility and commitment to make sure we secure this country safe wherever you may live.

“You must believe in PDP. Do you know why? Delta State has been PDP since 1999. Have you seen the kind of progress that has been achieved in Delta State? Is that not PDP? Is that not PDP? Why will you go to another party for God’s sake? You have no reason to do so.

“I promised in my five-point agenda to make sure the economy has a commanding height. Once you improve all those things, I am saying you will see foreign investment trooping in just like when the PDP was in power and we had the biggest economic growth until we became the biggest economy in Africa. Is that not so?

“We had no problem with foreign exchange, high inflation, scarcity of goods, prices of goods and services. Why will you go to another party that has now suffered us in the last eight years?”

Continuing, he said: “In my policy document, there shall be no more ASUU strike.

“One of the items that are of benefit to you is the issue of resource control or restructuring. You as Niger Delta shall benefit from that policy because it is our intention to devolve more powers and more resources to your respective states to deal with your problems instead of waiting for the federal government to do so.”

He explained that he was in the region to thank the people for the support that he has enjoyed over the years, which said he had repaid by picking the Governor of Delta State, Ifeanyi Okowa, as his running mate.

Atiku noted that since the vice president’s position is a stepping stone, it is up to the people of the region to massively support one of their own.

“We are in Delta State to show our gratitude and also to say that we are with you in all respect. Because of the support we have received all along, particularly in my entire political career from 1999 till date. Delta State has never failed me and I want to tell you that I shall not betray the trust of Delta State and in fact united Delta sub-region altogether.

“That is why as my modest contribution to your support over the years, I decided to take one of you as my running mate. As you know, a running mate is always a stepping stone. It is up to you to give Governor Okowa the massive support that he needs to show the people of this country that he has committed to your own future,” he added.

He thanked Delta State students who endorsed him for president, saying: “I want to assure you that in my agenda is education. I want to commend this young man who on behalf of all the students in Niger Delta has today endorsed our candidature.”

In his address to the supporters, PDP National Chairman, Iyorchia Ayu, explained that Okowa was chosen as the party’s vice presidential running mate because of his achievements in office.

He said: “Last year in April, I came here and I commissioned so many projects executed by your governor. Last month I was in Warri, it was my first time to enter a boat for two hours. I have never seen a market floating on top of the water before but this time, I commissioned a market in Warri floating on top of the water, I commissioned roads and schools.

“This governor, Okowa, you chose is not an ordinary person. He has done so much and we came from Abuja to see it. That’s why we chose him to be the next vice president of Nigeria.

“On election day, come out with your PVC so that we can get the two million votes.

“Today, I am happy to receive so many decampees who have moved from the APC to the PDP. Today, we declare Delta state 100% PDP.”

Also speaking, the Chairman of the PDP Presidential Candidate Council and governor of Akwa Ibom State, Udom Emmanuel, expressed confidence that when PDP returns to power, the International Oil Companies (IOCs) which had left the Niger Delta, will return for business to make the region’s economy to boom again.

He stated: “We are not campaigning in Delta, we are just here for the celebration. We salute all of you. You have shown us that you are ready, you are not the least among all the states. Out of you shall come the next vice president, who shall be the Chairman of the National Economic Council and through him, all the IOC shall return to Warri, they shall return to Delta.

“All the companies that were here, they have all gone, but with your son as the next Chairman of the National Economic Council and with our president, the man who knows the business, who has done business, in this life if you cannot run a kiosk, you cannot run a multinational, it takes someone who has managed business, education, people to be able to manage Nigeria out of the situation we are today and the only person is Atiku and Okowa of the PDP.

“In those days, when you enter Warri and other areas, you will see the activities of the oil companies and our area was booming, because we owned 50 per cent, the foreigners own 40 per cent. So, the chairman together with the president will return all IOCs to the Niger Delta and the economy will boom again. The whole Niger Delta region will return to its economic power.

“I want to assure you that with our incoming president, our refineries will work again, we will take the refineries back to production. You can imagine how many youths will be employed and students that want to do research will benefit from it also. The Niger Delta will give Atiku not less than 5 million votes.”


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