Rose Ejembi, Makurdi & Mohammed Nasir, Gusau
Nigerians in the United States of America have thrown their weight behind the aspiration of the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and his running mate, former Governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi.
The leadership of the various Nigerian communities in the United States said after taking a holistic view at the Nigerian situation, they were convinced that “Atiku is the only presidential candidate who has the capacity to take the country out of the woods.”
They said that the former Vice President “is passionate about a cohesive, integral, transformed and economically viable Nigeria that creates opportunities for all the citizens, thereby closing the wide inequality gap and uplifting millions of Nigerians out of poverty.
Dr. Nnanna Okafor, chairman, organizing committee of Nigerians in the United States said: “The only reason Nigeria is still among the undeveloped or third world countries is as a result of the unprogressive unitary system of government that is in practice under the disguise of presidential system.
He said the current system in operation “has killed industry, creativity as well as the need to think out side the box. Instead of thinking of how to develop their states, all the governors do is, at the end of every month, they would send their commissioners of finance to Abuja for hand out for recurrent expenditures and leaving infrastructure unattended to.”
He said Atiku “is a true democrat and a pan Nigerian and if elected, he would unify the country and restore human rights.”
Dr. Gideon Nwagbara, vice chairman, said Atiku as Vice President and Chairman of the National Council on Privitisation, played an instrumental role in the privatization process of the telecommunications industry, “described as one of the best economic decisions of the Obasanjo administration.
“He also carried out other reforms of the Obasanjo administration, which saw Nigeria`s economy experiencing turnaround after being bastardized by successive military regimes.”
He expressed optimism that an Atiku presidency would open up the frontiers for development and many professionals abroad would come back.
Dr. Nwata said Atiku has vast experiences from the public and private sector, to lead Nigeria to economic prosperity and national cohesion
In his remark, Nnaemeka Okonkwo, West Coast Coordinator, said with unemployment hitting 23 million, Nigerians need somebody who understands the economy as president: “Atiku is a thorough-bred businessman and is today, one of the biggest employers of labour in the country.”
Chief ObinnaOgbo, East Coast coordinator, made a passionate appeal to Nigerian voters to support Atiku/Obi ticket. He said that Atiku and Obi “have distinguished them in both public and private capacities.”
Chief Grald Udemezue, secretary, West Coast also appealed to Nigerians to support the aspiration of Atiku
Meanwhile, Atiku yesterday promised to bring an end to banditry and bloodletting activities in Zamfara State and other parts of country, if elected president. He gave the assurance in Gusau during the PDP presidential rally. He blamed the current down turn of the economy of the state on the activities of bandits, cattle rustlers, kidnappers and other criminals, which he said keep abetting due to bad leadership in the state and country.
“Zamfara is known for its agricultural prowess but the sector which is the mainstay of the state has been paralyzed but insecurity, I am assuring you that if PDP is elected we shall end insecurity in the state and country, he said.
Atiku who apologised for coming a bit late blamed his lateness on the lack of airport in the state: “PDP government in the state with support from PDP-led Federal Government will build a modern airport for Zamfara State to easy movement in and out of the state.”
PDP national chairman, Prince Uche Secondus said the adoption of Atiku by elders and leaders from all parts of the country “is an indication that the All Progressives Congress (APC) has failed.”
Secondus warned the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and security agencies to ensure that the “elections are credible, free and fair.” He presented the PDP flag to the state governorship candidate, Alhaji Bello Mohammed Matawalle.
In another development, Atiku’s wife, Titi, yesterday in Makurdi, Benue State, said her husband has the capacity to turn things around for the good of the country and would always do the right thing if voted into power.
Mrs. Abubakar who stated during the PDP Women Presidential Campaign Rally posited that as a former vice president of the country, her husband “is well vast in the knowledge of the challenges confronting the country and is armed with all the answers to them.
‘’He is a job creator, an economist, an educationist and a philanthropist who has a lot of compassion for the country. He wants Nigeria to start working again that explains why he is vying for the position.”
Governor Sam Ortom said Atiku “is the only presidential candidate with the capacity to liberate the country from ignorance, disease and the like.
‘’He had been tested and trusted. As a result of this and other sundry reasons, Benue people are prepared to vote him en masse. Benue remains for him and other PDP candidates.’’
His wife, Eunice, said: ‘’Our president in waiting has made adequate provision of 40 percent for women mainstreaming in governance.’’
Wife of former governor of the state, Mrs. Yemisi Suswam, enjoined the people to vote for all PDP candidates during the general elections, adding that they should also guard their votes against manipulations.
Wife of the former Senate President, Mrs. Helen Mark, said that with the support given PDP so far, Atiku and other PDP candidates could go to sleep but victory would smile at them during the polls.
She added that Atiku would run an inclusive government where all and sundry would be given a sense of belonging:
‘’He would ensure that the dividends of democracy trickled down to all Nigerians irrespective of party and religious affiliations.’’