From Fred Itua, Abuja
Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has again, tackled his All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, over his same faith Muslim-Muslim ticket, describing as insensitive.
Atiku who spoke in Benue State, during the 82nd synod of the Universal Reformed Christian Church also known as NKST, in Mkar, said Christians must pray to God to provide healing for the land.
“I know that as good Christian leaders you must have prayed to God to provide healing for the land and to give us new leaders of the nation in 2023 who would rescue Nigeria from plunging into the abyss. My prayer is that, we must not become a failed state, where the centre can no longer hold and mere anarchy becomes our lot,” Atiku who was represented Professor by Iorwuese Hagher, Director Election Management, Presidential Campaign Council, said.
Speaking further, he said: “My party the PDP is sensitive to the balance of power between Christianity and Islam in this country, for us to have a good life where peace is assured and we are guaranteed liberty and pursuit of happiness. Those who fail to respect our religious diversity have done it with usual impunity.
“They will not get away with it this time around. I am running for President to guarantee our religious freedoms. We in the PDP have demonstrated this by presenting a Moslem – Christian balanced ticket.
“Our desire as a party is to bring happiness to the face of those who are refugees in their country, those who feel discriminated against where they live, work and study, because of their names, or the God they worship or where they were born.
“We believe that without your prayers the Nigerian House will be built on a sandy foundation, and it will fall. The biggest challenge our country faces today is the lack of competent and committed leadership. We stand before you to enjoin you to pray to God to translate my apprenticeship as Vice-President for eight years to be Nigeria’s elected President in 2023.
“With God, I will be the President that will wipe away the tears of Nigerians by rallying the best brains and minds to lead Nigeria to national greatness. With a new united and committed leadership of my Presidency, nation building will be our focus and national greatness our destination.
“The second reason I am standing before you today, is to seek the co-operation of the Church and by extension all faith based organizations in Nigeria to join hands with us the PDP as we roll back the terrible scourge of the last seven years of a failed economy, unemployment, corruption, failed infrastructure, failed education, failed health care as well as environmental challenges like global warming and flooding that is destroying lives and properties.
“Only you our Spiritual fathers can rally together our hapless citizens who are losing hope to know that they are more powerful than they think they are, and to unite with a common purpose to rescue Nigeria.
“Let those who have no hope because of politician’s failed promises, know the power of their PVC as the power to hire and fire elected politicians. I stand here with you to say that our democracy is failing because when people yield to temptation and become indifferent to elections they are infact killing our country Nigeria.”
“The third reason, I am standing in your presence today is to state why I am running for President and why I seek your vote in the coming Presidential elections and for all the PDP candidates. My five point agenda is : *Reunification, Economy, Security, Education and True Federalism ( RESET* ).
“I stand here for those who paid the supreme price in the Nigerian civil war for a united Nigeria and for our gallant Christians and Muslim young men and women of our Armed forces, who today continue to risk their lives and die to guard our freedom to worship, our territorial integrity and our diversity, from Boko Haram and other foreign invaders with strange doctrines who seek to destroy our way of life.
“Our experience in the last seven years has shown that our strength as a nation lies in our collective security and unity.
“I am running for President to rescue our people from becoming hopeless, we must stand up for this nation and not yield to hopelessness and despair. Let us hold stubbornly and firmly to our dear country, no matter how awful things seem.
“I pleading with my friends who in these moments of despair and darkness have seen me as a Fulani man rather than the Atiku Abubakar they knew. I remember how we stood together when I was Vice-President. I took a contrary position from our government against the pogrom at Zaki-Biam and Gbeji and Adoor.
“I stood with my Tiv brothers and sisters. We walked the streets of Zaki-Biam the day it happened, condemning the anti-Tiv violence and was vindicated years later when the army apologized. I am still the same person the Zege Mule u Tiv, I can assure you that when you elect me President, no Nigerian citizen will stay in bed unable to sleep because of foreign and domestic terrorists.
“My government will be a government of law and order and as a Pan-Nigerian President no ethnic group will feel excluded, marginalized and threatened. I am the same Atiku of yesterday I will stand by you as your President, Atiku Abubakar, the Zege Mule u Tiv and Waziri Adamawa.”