Former Vice President of Nigeria and Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has promised to change the nation’s security architecture and grow the economy if voted to power.
Atiku made the promise at the party’s Presidential Campaign in Delta held at the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba.
He recalled 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.
The Presidential hopeful said with adequate security and the right economic policies, a PDP administration led by him would attract Foreign Direct Investment that would grow the nation’s economy, adding that security of the country was paramount because no nation could develop without security.
Atiku told Deltans that the party was not in the state to campaign, saying “we are here to show our gratitude and appreciation, and to assure you 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 if given the mandate.
“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 reciprocate by giving Governor Okowa the massive support to enable us 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 the 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 intention to restore national unity 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, Senator (Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa, said Atiku had the capacity to address the socioeconomic challenges bedeviling 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 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 and other parts of the country.
“Atiku has also promised that his administration, if elected, will put in place a constitutional framework that will enable states to have their own 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 recorded the defection of many members of APC in the state, including the State Secretary, Chief Nick Ovuakporie, to the PDP.
The party also got the endorsement of the leadership of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) Zone B, led by the Zonal Coordinator, Comrade Great Tamarapreye.
The students said the endorsement was in recognition of Okowa’s efforts at establishing three new Universities in the state and ensuring that lecturers in the institutions were on duty while ASUU was on nationwide strike for over eight months.
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 before the campaign rally, Atiku met with traditional rulers in Delta at their Secretariat in Asaba, and assured that if elected, he would ensure that clear constitutional roles were assigned to traditional rulers in the country.