2023 Election: I Will Be Your Stepping Stone To Becoming President, Atiku Tells South-Easterners
The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, said he would be a ‘stepping stone’ towards the realisation of a president of Igbo extraction.
He said he would work towards having an Igbo successor if he wins in 2023. Atiku also promised that his administration would restructure the country.
Atiku said this on Tuesday during a meeting with PDP south-east zonal stakeholders in Enugu.
He said he had chosen running mates in past election cycles from the southeast, adding that he will support the process to ensure an Igbo president if he wins the 2023 presidential election.
“I make it quite clear and confidently too — I will be your stepping stone to becoming president,” he said.
He noted that his love for the region influenced his choices of Senator Ben Obi and Peter Obi as his running mates in his two previous outings as a presidential candidate, adding that he has chosen another Igbo for the third time as his running mate.
“I did that in 2019. Again, I brought another Obi as my running mate. So, how could you say I will not give the Igbo a fair chance to lead this country?”
He also praised the southeasterners for their “very positive roles in the development of my life and country”.
“You are a key contributor to the economy in this country and a government that wants to revive our economy must carry the south-east along,” he added.
He said if elected as president, his administration will provide quality education that would equip youths with the required skills and competency for a modern economy.
“We must be prepared to hit the ground running from day one if Nigerians give us their mandate,” he said.
“Our country is in very bad shape and rescuing it requires proper preparations and attention to detail, not just in terms of general issues affecting the whole country, but also issues specific to each zone and state.
“Our country is more divided today than it has ever been and it is our responsibility to unify through equity, justice and fairness. That way, we can all pull in one direction to develop our country and improve our people’s lives.
“This will require giving every segment of this country a sense of belonging, not just by meeting constitutional requirements on federal character, but through government policies, programmes, and projects, and in our body language and utterances.”
He said security and restructuring will be part of the priority of the government he leads.
“We will recruit, train adequately and reward police and other security personnel,” he said.
“We shall devolve policing powers to states that so desire and establish state police to help secure their states.
“We will restructure our federal system and devolve more power to the state with corresponding resources.
“I have already set up a constitutional review comprising constitutional lawyers to help me draft an amendment to our constitution so that from day one, I will meet with the governors, and leaders of legislatures so that we can have an understanding and pass that law or amendment to our constitution.
“That way, states will be able to set their own development priorities, while the federal government focuses on setting and maintaining standards. Our country needs restructuring to survive and thrive.”