Thursday, 25 September 2014

How Nigeria can be great again, by Atiku Abubakar

Atiku  (left)  with Senate Minority Leader  George Akume  during Atiku  and Senator Bukar Abba Ibrahim  when he declared to run for President in Abuja... yesterday.                   Photo Abayomi  Fayese
Atiku (left) with Senate Minority Leader George Akume during Atiku and Senator Bukar Abba Ibrahim when he declared to run for President in Abuja... yesterday. 
Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar threw his hat in the ring yesterday, becoming the first member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to announce his intention to seek the party’s ticket to run in the February 14, 2015 presidential election.

Claiming to be the most experienced man for the job, Atiku said at the Shehu Yar’Adua Centre in Abuja that security of lives and property and fixing the economy will be on top of his table if he gets his party’s ticket and wins the general election.

Some of the APC leaders at the event were Senate Minority Leader George Akume, who represented members of the APC Senate Caucus, former Yobe State Governor Bukar Abba Ibrahim, a former member of the House of Representatives, Dino Melaye, APC governorship candidate in the October 11 election in Adamawa state, Senator Jibrilla Bindow, Chairman of the APC in Adamawa State, Hon. Binat Koji and the Director- General of the Atiku Campaign Organisation and former Education Minister Prof. Babalola Borishade

Atiku is worried that Nigeria is more divided today than it was during the civil war between 1967 and 1970, with a disturbing rise in ethnic nationalism and religious bigotry as insecurity and disharmony thrive.
He lamented that the gains recorded by the Obasanjo administration had been eroded by the Jonathan administration, with everything practically working backwards.

He said “good leadership is what it takes to make good things happen”, stressing that the glaring mismatch between the nation’s potentials and its achievements has become for many a frustrating puzzle; for others a topic for national debate; and yet for another group, it is doomsday lament.
Atiku lamented that while the Obasanjo administration paid off nearly half of the nation’s foreign debt, the Jonathan’s has continued to borrow more money when the price of oil has consistently been above $100 per barrel since its inception.

Implementation of the budget, he said, has continued to be on the decline since capital projects are poorly cash backed. Some major manufacturing firms have divested from the country while the remaining ones have continued to operate far below installed capacity due mainly to poor infrastructure, the appointment said.
Atiku continued: “The environment for doing business and our ranking in world competitive index have worsened. Therefore, job opportunities for our teeming youths have become harder to come by. We recall with sadness the avoidable death of job seekers during the poorly-organised so-called Immigration Service recruitment exam just last year. Up to this moment, no one has been held accountable for those needless deaths.

“Resentment, disillusionment and hopelessness are the emotions on which insecurity and disharmony thrive. Our country is more divided today than at any other time since the civil war.
“There is a disturbing rise in ethnic nationalism and religious bigotry. This is promoting social tension and mutual distrust amongst the people of Nigeria. All over the country, there are daily breaches of security resulting in loss of lives and property.

“Armed robbery kidnapping and human trafficking continue to ravage many parts of the country. A bunch of extremist insurgents are hoisting flags on large areas of our territory, claiming to have conquered. Unspeakable horrors are now being committed daily against our people by anti-social elements in the name of religion and other causes.”

The APC chieftain explained that the government has a responsibility to do everything possible to halt the dehumanisation of Nigerians, adding that rather than do that, “what we have is a serious deficit”. “To put it bluntly, our country seems to be on auto pilot with no one in charge,” Atiku said.

He added: “We need a strong, dynamic, decisive, competent and visionary leadership that can halt the current drift of state fight corruption, create jobs, rebuild our infrastructure, provide social services and tackle insecurity in a decisive, robust, multi-pronged way.

“This is the change we want. And deserve and this is the change the APC is primed to offer. And that is why I am a proud member of the platform for change. To fix Nigeria, an APC government will promote a new social political order, which will compel the leadership to always balance power and authority with service and accountability.”

While admitting that people have asked him many times why he is always seeking to be President, Atiku  said: “My passion for governance is that of a man who wants to do more because there is much to be done in fixing Nigeria. This passion continues to grow as long as this government is not really doing the fixing.

“I have what it takes to bring people together and turn things around for the better. Therefore, I want to play a leading role in the trans-generational efforts to save this country and improve the lives of our people.
“With the support of the millions of Nigerians desirous of change and the hardwork by all of us, the APC shall form the next government of this great nation. I have, therefore, decided that I will, along with other respected leaders of our party seek nomination as a candidate of the APC to contest the presidential election of 2015.”

“I want to lead a government that will rebuild the institutions of governance with zero tolerance for corruption and nepotism, where hard work and dedication are adequately rewarded,” he said.
The former Vice President extolled the virtues of the APC, saying “at its inception in July 2013 offered great hope for many Nigerians as a potent alternative to the ruling PDP”.

“Regardless of the loud and lavish political propaganda, deceit, official impunity and unjust applications of powers of patronage and sanction by the PDP administration, let me assure you that our party remains strong and capable of fulfilling the nation’s thirst for change,” he told his audience.

On leadership, Atiku said: “Some people have argued for a generational shift to get leaders without much experience. However, I believe that it is the responsibility of my generation to offer our political shoulders to the new generation to climb upon, improve their vision and expand their horizon.

“It is this trans-generational collaboration and partnership that represents the best model to create the future we desire and deserve. This is a well-tested model and the future of this nation should never again be subjected to leadership experimentation or learning on the job”.

Source- nationonline

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