National Chairman and Presidential Candidate of the National Interest Party (NIP) shares her thought on the candidacy of Abubakar Atiku.
When I set out on this journey in 2016, I promised myself one thing – to always put Nigeria first!
I invested so much into bringing together all the alternative candidates and when that failed, I invested even more into my race for the Presidency. I pursued my bid for the Presidency like my life depended on becoming the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in 2019 and I have no regrets whatsoever.
Indeed, no institution in the entire world could teach me the things I learned racing for the Presidency in Nigeria in 2018/2019, particularly as I started out being an overly idealistic young woman determined to save her country from demise overnight. The experience so far is a compulsory element in my political development and exposure to the electioneering processes in Nigeria, so I am grateful.
My race for the Presidency was programmed to end on 16th February 2019, and it ended on that day. Therefore, the Presidential Election proposed to hold on 23rd February 2019 due to the last minute postponement on the part of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) does not involve me. In fact, that race is only between the incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar. Therefore, every well meaning Nigerian particularly those whose party logos are on the
ballot sheets should pick a side. Whatever we do on Saturday 23rd February, we will be voting either Atiku or Buhari i.e. either PDP or APC for the 2019 Presidency.
So my people, having committed to always put Nigeria first, having gotten to know most of the candidates vying for the Presidency in 2019 one on one, having investigated most of them independently, and having seriously considered the inherent dangers in allowing the incompetence of President Buhari to continue, I choose to fight for the benefit of every Nigerian on the side of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
I cannot defend PDP for giving us bad leadership from 1999 to 2015, yet I cannot help but blame the APC for doing a much worse job from 2015 to 2019. Plus, whether we call them PDP, APC, PPA, ANN, YPP, or NIP, we are all the same people moving from one political platform to the other in search of a place to speak out and be heard, or a place to come to power to serve our people, or a place to run free with our desire to steal our country dry. To my mind, the political party platform is not the real
issue nonetheless, it’s either Alhaji Atiku Abubakar under the PDP or President Buhari under the APC this time. I make bold to state unequivocally that I stand with Atiku under the PDP this time.
It is Alhaji Atiku Abubakar for me this time because:
1) Alhaji Atiku Abubakar picked an amazing VP. In fact, even though I have NEVER met or spoken to Mr. Peter Obi, it is thanks to him that I am today the Founder and National Chairman of a youth led, digitally organised political party (NIP). His exemplary leadership as Governor of Anambra State led me and several of my team members to politics. Quite unknowingly, he set the benchmark for me and several others. If Mr. Peter Obi could do all that he did in Anambra State and survive as a Nigerian politician, then I can too, and I will. To me therefore, provided he is the same man who governed Anambra State, I have no doubt that Mr. Peter Obi will help Alhaji Atiku Abubakar provide us with a leadership which will always put the interest of
2) Alhaji Atiku Abubakar contested the SDP presidential primaries in 1992 but willingly dropped his ambition so that MKO Abiola could emerge. He also accepted defeat when President Muhammadu Buhari emerged the APC candidate in 2014 and invested heavily to get him elected. These to me are signs that Alhaji Atiku Abubakar is not self-interest driven. This to me
means he will put Nigeria and Nigerians first in his dealings for and on our behalf as our President.
3) Alhaji Atiku Abubakar may not have done things perfectly at all times whether as a customs officer, Vice President, or businessman, but who amongst us has always done right by Nigeria and Nigerians? Is it IBB? Dangote? Obasanjo? Otedola? Adeleke? Me? You? Is it our incumbent President Buhari? Who is innocent and can therefore throw the first stone? None of us! Just like Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, absolutely all of us are guilty of one malfeasance or the other when it comes to dealing with our country and her people. None of us is completely innocent, so I am happy to support Alhaji Atiku Abubakar this time even as he is not perfect. In my opinion Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has done so much more than President Muhammadu Buhari has done
to convince all of us that he will not waste the opportunity when we give him a chance to lead us. And like I said, it is either Atiku under the PDP or the incumbent this Saturday 23rd February 2019.
4) Maybe I am the only one who has noticed, but Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has refused to use propaganda or make bogus promises in his bid to win the Presidential election in 2019! Indeed he promised to restructure Nigeria within 6 months of becoming President, however ask 50 Nigerians what restructuring is, and you would get 50 different answers. So, whatever he means by restructuring in 6 months, I already believe he would deliver because he tells us the truth about what he would do for us as our President. I believe Alhaji Atiku Abubakar could deliver on all he has promised us on Education, Security, Health, Power, Diversification of our Economy, Taxation, even Amnesty for our Commonwealth looters etc. For me, it is always better to go with the realistic aspirants than those who promise manna from heaven.
5) Finally, an Atiku/Obi led Nigeria promises to be a Nigeria to be proud of. A forward thinking Nigeria where we remember that everything we do today has direct and equal effect on the lives of Nigerians yet unborn. That is the Nigeria of my dreams, so I stand with Atiku and Obi.
I believe strongly that a Nigeria led by Alhaji Atiku Abubakar will drastically reduce the suffering we have all endured under the President Buhari led maladministration. I believe we will come out of the bottom pile of all human development indices, particularly the crown of being the poverty capital of the world. I believe there will be respect for human life, less nepotism, tribalism, religious fanaticism, insensitivity and outright disregard for the wishes of the Nigerian people. I strongly believe more
competent Nigerians will be brought together from different places of origin, religions, creeds, genders, ages, backgrounds etc. to form the Alhaji Atiku Abubakar led government. And I believe he would select that government to include the best Nigerians from every corner of the country. I believe it will be a government of national unity, and for all these reasons and many more I cannot state, I enjoin all Nigerians of voting age with a PVC to please join me and all of mine to vote for Alhaji Atiku
Abubakar, the candidate of the PDP.