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Atiku Abubakar: The Best Man for the Job

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By Eric Elezuo

The year 2023 is no longer a mirage; it’s less than two months away, and fast approaching. And on February 25, 2023, Nigerians will troop out to various polling stations and booths to elect a president, who is expected to drive the economy with equanimity, tackle insecurity without bias, distribute infrastructure with equitable integrity and make rescue the people from the present maladministration.

On the roll call of front line candidates seeking to serve the country come May 19, 2023 are Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP), Senator Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) and Asiwaju Bola Tinubu of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

However, much as a cross section of party followers has identified their individual candidates as suitable, a greater collection of Nigerians has settled for the candidacy of Atiku Abubakar, saying he alone has what it takes to sincerely unify the country, and return it to reckoning after many years in the doldrum owing to the mismanagement occasioned by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal administration.

Atiku, a lot of people has reasoned, “occupies a pride of place among those contesting for the position of President in 2023 in terms of performance and experience on the job. This should be of paramount importance to the electorate because, even in normal times, the Presidency does not permit of a long learning period and the margin of error in the actions and decisions of the President must be minimal.” He is somebody who is set to create jobs like a practitioner. His antecedents in job creation and provision of employment is very much in the public domain. He is not just a politician, he is an entrepreneur, whose enterprises span across Education, Oil and Gas, Agriculture, Manufacturing and Logistics. This has unarguably made him one of the highest employers of labour in Nigeria.

The campaign organistion of the Atiku presidency has made it clear from both his biography and manifesto that the former Custom officer, who rose out of dint of hard work to become the vice president between 1999 and 2007 has all attributes that qualify him as the best President for Nigeria in 2023.

“The single most important factor that makes him most-suited for the high office of the President, particularly at this critical point in our national development, is ADEQUATE PREPARATION. This is what makes him tower well above all the other contestants for the 2023 Presidential Election.” The campaign quoted copiously from  Rudolph Giuliani, who said:

As I Progressed in my career, I realised that PREPARATION was the single most important key to success, no matter what the field. A leader may possess brilliance, extraordinary vision, fate, even luck. All these help. But no one, no matter how gifted, can PERFORM without careful preparation, thoughtful experiment and determined follow-through.”

It goes without saying that having shown interest in the presidency since 2007, and at each occasion, churning out speculative manifestoes that specifically addressed the challenges the nation is going through, Atiku remains the best prepared for the job of president come 2023.

The organisation noted: “For Atiku, it has been a life-time of meticulous preparation for leadership culminating in resounding success in all his endeavours. The circumstances of his birth and childhood, the challenges he faced, the deprivations he endured and the opportunities created for him by the existing order in those days largely influenced the choices he made, his values and principles, his entrepreneurial spirit, his passion for education and for creating opportunities for his fellow citizens, particularly the youth, to develop their full potentials.

“Atiku had been involved in politics long before the formation of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in 1998. He had participated in the struggle for the enthronement of Democracy, a Constitutional Conference and several Transition Programmes by the Military under the auspices of the People’s Democratic Movement (PDM) led by the late General Shehu Musa Yar’Adua. His involvement in the democratic struggle entailed a lot of courage and personal sacrifice as it inevitably brought him into collision course with the military establishment and even brought him into harm’s way especially when he joined others in demanding the exit of General Sani Abacha’s brutal regime. At the same time his principled stance made him to reject offers of political appointment to silence him.

“This long involvement in national politics came with two distinct advantages. The first is an intimate knowledge of the dynamics and complexities of Nigerian politics. The second is a formidable political network throughout the country. In fact, by the time preparations were in top gear for the return to civil rule during the General Ibrahim Babangida regime the PDM was the most cohesive, strategic and effective political group in the country. Atiku used the movement as the launching pad for his Presidential aspiration in 1993 on the platform of the Social Democratic Party (SDP). It is on record that the sacrifice he made ensured the emergence of Chief M.K.O. Abiola as the Presidential Candidate and the eventual winner of the election.”

His rare display of camaraderie and raw experience at governance set him aside as he was unequivocally chosen as the vice presidentially candidate, an office he handled with the dexterity of a man with a mission. His stewardship during the eight years he held sway as the second in commander, could be described as monumental, and a gracious in period in Nigeria’s economic upliftment. He is a man built in and out with veritable ideas that easily translates to prosperity.

A document on Essential Atiku put it succinctly: “It did not take too long for Atiku to demonstrate that he was the most appropriate choice for the position of Vice President. He deployed effectively to the service of the new administration his political savvy and network, his ability to build consensus by inspiring confidence and trust, his cosmopolitan and detribalised nature, his profound understanding of the terrain and dynamics of Nigerian politics as well as his exposure to the private sector. He thus, became the critical bridge between the Administration and the political class, the Organised Private Sector, Labour Unions, the Legislature and the other tiers of Government and complemented the vast experience, tested leadership and international exposure of Chief Obasanjo to achieve the speedy stabilization of the Administration. This was a great feat for a country that was just emerging from prolonged military rule as it created the conducive environment for embarking on the much needed social and economic transformation of Nigeria.

“As Vice President, apart from his Constitutional role as the Chairman of the National Economic Council, Atiku presided over the National Council on Privatization which is charged with implementing the privatization and commercialization of public enterprises. Under his s effective leadership, Nigeria undertook one of the most massive privatization programmes in the world involving about 200 public enterprises. The enormity of the privatization programme with its exacting transactional regulations and timelines required great capacity for work, firmness, decisiveness and the ability to lead and inspire the sound technocrats at the Bureau of Public Enterprises. It is noteworthy that the National Council on Privatization’s mandate also included critical reforms in Telecommunications, Pensions, Tax as well as Ports and Debt Management.

“Perhaps it is in the area of reforms that the Obasanjo – Atiku Administration recorded its greatest achievements and most enduring impact on the socio-economic development of Nigeria. At the inception of the administration, the Public Service was literally crumbling under the heavy weight of bureaucratic inertia, corruption, inefficient service delivery and near-total disregard for due process, transparency and accountability. The Public Service Reforms, with SERVICOM as its face, brought about noticeable positive changes in work ethics and service delivery.”

If he could achieve so much and influence so much to the betterment of Nigerians as the number two man, it is therefore, better imagined what he can achieve and influence with the privilege of the executive powers to the advantage of Nigerians. It is on record that he influence major legislations and initiatives including, but not limited to

  1. National Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (NEEDS) I and II;
  2. Vision 20:2020 – a Strategic Framework for making Nigeria one of the 20 largest economies in the world and a major player in the global economy by the year 2020.
  3. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offenses Commission (ICPC) as effective institutional and legal frameworks for combating corruption.
  4. Public Service Reforms – to enhance work ethics and service delivery.
  5. The Fiscal Responsibility Act – an essential tool for Public Sector Financial Management.
  6. The National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
  7. Pension Reform – with the introduction of Contributory Pension Scheme.
  8. The Agri-Business and Agricultural Value Chain – to diversify the economy.
  9. Development of National Multi-modal Transportation Master Plan, Including the Railway Master Plan.
  10. Very aggressive and highly successful drive for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
  11. Debt Relief to tune of $18 billion by the Paris Club which was a measure of the confidence generated by our Good Governance and Reforms.
  12. Establishment of the Infrastructural Concessioning Regulatory Commission (ICRC) as the regulatory framework for Public Private Partnership.
  13. The Communication Reforms and GSM revolution (It is noteworthy that Nigeria had only about 400,000 functional telephone lines before the advent of the Administration in 1999).
  14. Banking Consolidation and Reforms – which revolutionised banking in Nigeria.
  15. Tax Reforms.
  16. Establishment of the Price Intelligence (Due Process) Unit which is the Precursor of the Public Procurement Act.
  17. Keying into the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative.
  18. Establishment of the Excess Crude Account (ECA) which is the Precursor of the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority, otherwise known as the Sovereign Fund.

Cultured and well mannered, Atiku has not directly or indirectly threw a jab at any of his rivals even as the campaign progresses, and amid unwarranted provocations. Recall that he only advised the vice presidential candidate of the APC, Kashim Shettima, who derided him over his bottle water business. He has not till date attacked Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, or the other four governors, who have consistently taunt him, and practically withdrew their support for him. That is the hallmark of a leader and leadership. These, Atiku is endowed with, and many more

It has been revealed that his Policy Document is basically a revelation of of the “high premium he places on Human Capital Development with education and health as the main building blocks. For him, adequate education and sound health not only have social but economic benefits in the immediate and long run because a well-educated and healthy child is a potentially more productive and self-reliant citizen who will NOT constitute great social costs in the future. Not surprisingly, he has proposed a budgetary provision of 25% and 15% for education and health respectively.” This is in conformity with the United Nations standard.

Highly detribalised, Atiku is also gender friendly, and has women empowerment as a core agenda in his administration. He has said severally that his decision to establish a Microfinance Bank was to defeat poverty particularly among women. He has also disclosed that 80% of the bank’s customers are women who, significantly, have an impressive repayment record.

I AM ATIKU ABUBAKAR

To come to grasp the personality of the PDP presidential candidate, it is much profitable to hear from the horse’s mouth. Below is a brief autobiography of the man built for the job, as at 2014.

Childhood:

I was born on the 25th of November 1946 in Jada village, Adamawa State Like many of my generation, my father was opposed to Western education and tried to keep me out of school. When the government discovered this, my father spent a few days in jail. I was then enrolled in Jada primary school.

When I was only 11 years old, my father drowned and died while trying to cross a small river. The task of raising me then fell on my mother. At that age I resolved to work hard, remain focused and be successful in life to make my her proud. In 1960, I was admitted to Adamawa Provincial Secondary School in Yola.

Academically, I did well in English Language and Literature but I struggled with Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics. I spent most holidays working to earn extra money. In 1961, when I was 15 years old, my mother’s elder brother sold the family house in Jada without her knowledge and rendered us homeless. I spent that holiday working and from my earnings, I bought a house for my mother in Ganye. I became an orphan when my mother suffered a heart attack and died in 1984.

Post Secondary School

I graduated from secondary school in 1965. After that, I studied at the Nigeria Police College in Kaduna for a short while. I left when I was unable to present an O-Level Mathematics result. I worked briefly as a Tax Officer in the regional Ministry of Finance, from where I gained admission to the School of Hygiene in Kano in 1966.
I graduated with a Diploma in 1967, having served as Interim Student Union President at the School. In 1967 I enrolled for a Law Diploma at the Ahmadu Bello University Institute of Administration, on a scholarship from regional government. After graduation in 1969, I was employed by the Nigerian Customs Service.

Family

I met nineteen year old Titilayo Albert when I was serving at Idiroko, Lagos, and in December 1971 I married her secretly, because her family was initially opposed to the union. On 26 October 1972, Titi delivered a baby girl and we named her Fatima. Titi later gave birth to Adamu, Halima and Aminu.

In January 1979 I married Ladi Yakubu as my second wife. I wanted to expand the Abubakar family. I had no siblings and I felt extremely lonely as a child. I did not want my children to feel that way.

This is why I married more than one wife. My wives are my sisters, my friends, and my advisers and they complement one another. Ladi gave birth to Abba, Atiku, Zainab, Ummi-Hauwa, Maryam and Rukayatu.

In 1983 the late Lamido of Adamawa who had become like my father made me the Turaki of Adamawa. This position was usually reserved for one of the Emir’s favorite sons and was rarely given to non-royals like me. To ensure that I met the ‘blood tie’ requirement for the title, the Lamido gave me one of his daughters, Princess Rukaiyat, to marry.

She gave birth to Aisha, Hadiza, Aliyu, Asmau, Mustafa, Laila and Abdulsalam. I married Fatima Shettima in 1986. She gave birth to Amina (Meena), Mohammed and two sets of twins Ahmed and Shehu, Zainab and Aisha and then Hafsat. Jennifer Jamila Atiku-Abubakar is my last wife. She gave birth to Abdulmalik, Zara and my youngest child, Faisal.

Customs

My Customs career commenced on 30 June 1969. My first posting was at Idi-Iroko, a border town between Nigeria and Benin Republic. My other assignments included the Lagos Airport, Apapa Ports (1974), Ibadan Customs Command (1975), Kano Command (1976), Maiduguri (Area Comptroller, 1977), Kaduna (1980) and the Apapa Ports in 1982.

In April 1984, when I was the Murtala Muhammed Airport Area Administrator, my name was associated with a scandal that made headlines. As part of efforts to cripple corrupt politicians who had stashes of stolen cash in their possession, the new military government had phased out the old naira currency and replaced it with new ones. Orders had been given to ensure that all luggage entering the country was properly screened to prevent smuggling of the old notes. The Emir of Gwangu and Ambassador Dahiru Waziri had arrived from Saudi Arabia with many suitcases. As is customary, the suitcases were supposed to pass through Custom officers for check
but the Emir’s son, who was a Major in the Army and also ADC to Head of State Gen Buhari drove straight to the Tarmac with soldiers, off-loaded the suitcases there, picked up his father and the Ambassador and drove away. The soldiers had threatened to shoot the Custom officers who had protested and tried to stop them. My officers reported in writing to me and I in turn reported the incidence to my boss, the Director of Customs. A few days later, one of the officers leaked the story to Guardian Newspapers and their correspondent called me to confirm if it was true. I did.

Soon after, Newspaper Headlines read, “Passenger with 53 suitcases leaves airport unchecked”. This scandal embarrassed the government and they tried to make me deny it happened. I refused and they threatened to throw me out of service. The Minister of Finance then, Soleye, who oversaw the Customs Service played a big role in ensuring I wasn’t dismissed. He had said it would be unfair to punish me for being honest and standing by my officers.

In 1987 I was promoted to Deputy Director of Customs and Excise in charge of Enforcement and Drugs. In April 1989, when I was 43, I voluntarily retired from Customs after 20 years of meritorious service.

Business

I’ve always had a good nose for business. In my early years as a Customs officer, I received a 31,000 naira Housing Loan, built a bungalow in Yola, and rented it out. With the rent I collected in advance, I bought a second plot and built another house. I continued building new houses with rent from completed ones and after a few years I had built 8 houses in choice areas in Yola. When I was transferred to Kaduna, I continued this process and in a few years I had 5 houses there.

In 1981, I moved into agriculture. I became the largest maize farmer in the whole of Gongola state. Unfortunately, due to Government policies that increased the cost of production, the business fell on hard times and closed in 1986.

The most successful business I ever ventured into was with Gabrielle Volpi, an Italian businessman. He intimated me about how profitable Oil and Gas Logistics business could be and, trusting his abilities, I partnered with him to form NICOTES which started operating from a container office at Apapa ports.

When the business began to grow, we relocated to Onne, Rivers State. The company, now known as INTELS (Integrated and Logistics Services) is a multi-billion naira company that has a staff of over 15,000 people and pays huge dividends to its shareholders. My other businesses include agriculture, feed making, plastics, printing, TV/radio media, and beverages.

Politics

I met Shehu Musa Yar’Adua towards the end of my Customs career. He invited me to the political meetings that were happening regularly in his Lagos home; and that was how my foray into politics began.

In 1989 the political meetings became Peoples Front of Nigeria and I was elected as the National Vice- Chairman.

First Governorship Run (1990)

I won the Adamawa state SDP gubernatorial primaries in November 1991, but the FG later disqualified me from contesting the election.

First Presidential Run (1992)

When Shehu Yar’Adua was disqualified from contesting the 1992 presidential primary of the SDP, he pushed me forward as the focal point of SDP’s ambitions. I came third in the convention primary. But because MKO Abiola, the winner, had won by only about 400 votes a run-off was due. I stepped down for Abiola, asking my supporters to cast their votes for him, with an unwritten agreement that Abiola would announce me as his running mate. He eventually won the SDP ticket, but announced Babagana Kingigbe as his running mate.

Second Governorship Run (1998)

I won the Adamawa State governorship elections in December 1998, but before I could be sworn in, I was chosen by Olusegun Obasanjo, as his vice-presidential candidate. We won the 27 February 1999 Presidential Elections with 62.78 percent of the votes.

Vice Presidency (1999–2007)

I was sworn in as Vice-President of Nigeria on 29 May 1999. Coming in after decades of military rule, Nigeria was in a very bad shape all round. Priorities were decided. We started by stabilizing the polity. I was put in charge of the economy in the first tenure. I oversaw the sale of hundreds of loss-making and poorly managed public enterprises. We curbed
inflation, fixed our foreign debts and consolidated the banks. I supervised the telecoms reforms which brought us GSM. In my second tenure, due to issues like fighting the bid to amend the constitution that would allow the President run a third term, so many things went wrong. At a point, all my staffs were even withdrawn. But I have put all that behind me.

Second Presidential Run (2006–2007)

On 20 December 2006, I was chosen as the presidential candidate of the Action Congress. On 14 March 2007, INEC released the final list of 24 aspirants for the 21 April presidential election and
my name was missing from the ballot. INEC issued a statement stating that my name wasn’t there because I was on a list of persons indicted for corruption by a panel set up by the government. I headed to the courts on 16 March to have the disqualification overturned and on the 16th of April, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that INEC had no power to disqualify candidates. This was barely 5 days to the election, when most people had given up hope that I would be allowed to contest. In the end, as announced by INEC, I came third, behind Umaru. Yar’Adua and Muhammadu Buhari.

Third Presidential Run (2011)

On the 22nd of November 2010, a Committee of Northern Elders selected me as the Northern Consensus Candidate, over former Military President Ibrahim Babangida, former National Security Adviser Aliyu Gusau and Governor Bukola Saraki of Kwara State. In January 2011, I contested for the Presidential ticket of the PDP alongside President Jonathan and Sarah Jubril. I came second.

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Ebonyi Rally: Atiku Reiterates Commitment to Restructuring, Devolution, Says APC Deceitful

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Former Vice President of Nigeria and presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, on Thursday, pledged his total commitment to power devolution and restructuring if elected the president, next month.

Atiku spoke while addressing a mammoth crowd of PDP supporters at Pa Ngele Oruta township stadium Abakaliki, Ebonyi State capital.

While noting that the people of the South-East zone, had been clamouring for restructuring to enable them have more powers to deal with their local affairs, the presidential hopeful assured the people that restructuring and devolution of power would be a major policy of his administration.

He described the rulling All Progressives Congress (APC) as a deceitful alliance and not a political party, even as he claimed the alliance that brought APC had collapsed.

He said the APC promised to restructure the Nigeria but failed to do so.

Atiku said: “I am committed to power devolution and restructuring. All the South Eastern states have been yearning and have been propagating for restructuring of this country because they want to have more powers, more resources to deal with their own local affairs. We agree entirely and that is why it is a major policy of our government, if you support us and if you give us the opportunity.

“APC had promised the same. Did they do it? They abandoned the issue of restructuring, they are very deceitful alliance, very deceitful.

We are committed and we mean what we say and if you give us the support, we will deliver.

They said some people formed a party, it is not a party. It is an alliance and the alliance is collapsing and it has collapsed”.

He promised to empower women and youths to take over power from old politicians if given the mandate to be president of the country.

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Niger Delta Will Benefit from Our Resource Control Agenda – Atiku

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Presidential Candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, on Tuesday said if voted into office, his administration would change the security architecture in the country and grow the economy.

He gave the assurance at the party’s Presidential Campaign in Delta held at the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba.

Abubakar said that between 1999 and 2015, PDP grew Nigeria’s economy and made it the largest in Africa, but that the All Progressives Congress (APC) destroyed it with its inept leadership.

He said that with adequate security and right economic policies, a PDP administration led by him would attract Foreign Direct Investment that would grow the nation’s economy, adding that the security of the country was paramount because no nation could develop without security.

He told Deltans that the team was not in the state to campaign, saying “we are here to show our gratitude and appreciation to say that we are with you in all respects because of the support we have received from you from 1999 to date.
“All through my political journey, Delta state has always supported me and I want to promise you that I shall not betray the trust of Delta and the entire Niger Delta.

“That is why in my modest appreciation, I chose one of you as my vice presidential candidate and you know that a running mate is always a stepping stone.

“Therefore it is up to you to show your support by giving Governor Okowa the massive support to enable us to rescue and rebuild our dear country.”

On his policy document, the PDP Presidential flag bearer stated that his administration would pay attention to developing the education sector, and promised that under his watch, strikes by members of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) would be eradicated.

“The Niger Delta and other parts of the country will benefit from our resource control and restructuring agenda because it is our intention to devolve more powers to the states and local governments to tackle peculiar challenges facing the people.

“The APC government has disunited Nigeria in all aspects and it is our commitment to restore the unity of this country by ensuring that every part of this country has a sense of belonging.

“You must believe in PDP because as a party we built the biggest economy in Africa until the APC came and destroyed it in 2015.
“Why vote for the same party that has suffered us in the last seven years plus? Let us vote them out to unite and rebuild our country again,” he said.

The Vice-Presidential Candidate of the party and Governor of Delta, Sen. (Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa, said that Atiku knew how to address the socio-economic challenges bedevilling the country and urged the people to vote for the party.
According to him, we all know that the APC-led Federal Government brought poverty to the nation; they destroyed our economy to the extent that Nigerians are now hungry, without food to eat.

“How can a bag of rice be sold for almost N50, 000? It is only Atiku that can solve the problems in the country because when the PDP took over the reins of power in 1999, Atiku and Obasanjo were able to restore the nation’s lost glory.

“Atiku has assured Nigerians that he will revive the economy of the country and reposition it for optimum productivity in all sectors of the Nigerian economy.

“For over 20 years, Atiku has been advocating for the restructuring of Nigeria where states and local governments will get more money that will stimulate growth and development and this is what we want in the Niger Delta.

“Atiku has also promised that his administration, if elected, will put in place a constitutional framework that will enable states to have State Police so as to stem the tide of insecurity in the country.

“Atiku is an experienced politician that has the capacity and pedigree to reset the country and I call on all eligible voters in the state to ensure that they have their PVCs to enable them vote in the forthcoming general elections,” Okowa stated.

National Chairman of the party, Dr Iyorchia Ayu, on his part, congratulated Deltans for the choice of Okowa as Vice-Presidential Candidate and lauded previous governors of the state for their contributions to the growth and development of the state.

He called on sons and daughters of the state to vote massively for all PDP candidates in the general elections.

The rally was attended by former Vice-President, Namadi Sambo, former President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki; Governors Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, Udom Emmanuel of Akwa-Ibom, Godwin Obaseki of Edo, Douye Diri of Bayelsa and Ahmadu Fintiri of Adamawa.

Earlier, Atiku Abubakar had held a meeting with traditional rulers in Delta, at their Secretariat in Asaba, and assured that if elected, he would ensure that clear constitutional roles were given to monarchs in the country.

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Atiku Campaigns in Bayelsa, Promises Devolution of Power, Restructuring

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The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar, has promised the Niger Delta people that his administration will devolve powers from the centre and restructure Nigeria if elected.

Atiku, who spoke at the campaign rally of the PDP in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, on Monday, noted that the people of the region had been clamouring for resource control and the restructuring of the country and that his government, when elected, would accede to their demands.

He reiterated the implementation of his five-point developmental agenda for the nation, which he listed as the unification of the country, tackling insecurity, the economy, ending the strike in universities, and restructuring.

He said, “I promised to tackle insecurity. Here in Bayelsa State, you have faced a number of security challenges. You have lost so many people due to breaches of law and order. I promise I will restore security in this country.

“We proposed to restructure this country. You people in the Niger Delta need more restructuring than any other part of this country. We will give you more resources and more powers to deal with your problems. You don’t have to always start begging the Federal Government.”

In his remarks, the Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri, said Atiku was the only presidential candidate who had pledged to give the Ijaw people, and indeed the Niger Delta, restructuring.

Diri said partly, “Now, the only candidate who has keyed in and who has talked about what the Ijaw people want and what the people of Bayelsa want is Atiku; we have been talking about: resource control, Atiku is the only candidate that has talked about the restructuring of this country. Therefore, Atiku and the PDP are the only candidates and parties for which the Ijaw people will vote.”

Also speaking, the vice presidential candidate of the PDP and governor of Delta State, Ifeanyi Okowa, called on the people of Bayelsa State to give the party no fewer than 700,000 votes, while the geopolitical zone should deliver at least five million votes for the PDP at the presidential polls.

The Pinch

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