Paul Osuyi, Asaba
Former Vice President and presidential aspirant on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, on Tuesday, in Asaba, Delta State restated his commitment to restructure the country if elected president in next year’s election.
Atiku who was in Delta State on a consultation visit to the state chapter of the PDP, said he will operate “a very small Federal Government with powers and resources devolved to the states to manage the affairs while they pay tax to the federal government.
He noted that with this approach, each zone can survive on its own without leaning on oil money, even as he outlined ways he intends to tackle the high rate of unemployment.
“To create jobs, you must liberalize the economy, support the private sector, create incentives to make the private sector boom and open up the economy to foreign direct investment,” the former Vice President explained.
He disclosed that he has been in the fore-front for the restructuring of the country since 2004 as it will bring out the best among Nigerians.
Atiku said his aspiration to be Nigeria’s president was borne out of his passion to ensure that the country make progress, disclosing that “the security architecture of the country must be reviewed and decentralized.”
He decried situation where security agencies do not take orders from the state governors, asserting that “as an individual, I don’t think this is true federalism, we must restructure the security architecture.”
Earlier at a courtesy call on Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, Atiku said he was in the state to consult the people and to seek their support to enable him emerge as the presidential flag bearer of the PDP.
While noting that Delta State was home to the PDP, he commended the developmental strides of the Delta State Government under the PDP since 1999.
“Delta State has been a PDP state, each successive government continues from where the previous one stopped in terms of infrastructure development, you (Governor Okowa) have continued to develop infrastructure, especially roads.
“Your efforts in executing your programmes and policies, especially in the creeks are highly commendable as they will reduce agitations. It requires wise leadership for communities to live in peace and have sense of belongings and I must commend you for doing this in the state,” he told the governor.
Responding, Okowa said he believe that the way out of the challenges of the country is to restructure and “have stronger states, stronger federating units.”
Okowa commended presidential hopeful for engaging in consultation, assuring that delegates to the presidential primaries of the PDP will make their decisions based on acceptability, reach, experience and level of intelligence of the individual aspirants.
He urged the aspirant not to relent in moving to different states of the country, stating that more efforts should be made for the PDP to be in control of more states of the country to enable it clinch the presidential position in 2019.
The former Vice President was accompanied on the visit by former governors Otunba Gbanga Daniel (Ogun), Achike Udenwa (Imo), former Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godsday Orubebe among others.