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The presidential candidate of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, said on Thursday, November 29, that he is convinced beyond any doubt that he would defeat President Muhammadu Buhari and other candidates in 2019.
According to Atiku, the general elections will be a victory walk for the PDP. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Atiku said this during the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting in Abuja.
The presidential candidate this is in reaction to the momentum the party had gathered through its transparent primaries and the people working together. He said victory was awaiting the party.
Atiku, a former vice president, urged the leadership of the PDP to build on the momentum from its national convention and the just concluded primaries. Atiku said he was shocked when the leadership of the PDP invited him and informed him of the details of the money realized from the primaries.
He said that this had never happened before and had posed a very big challenge to him.
“I said that should we win and we must win the presidential election, we will have to enthrone the best fiscal responsibility this country has ever known or ever seen. “This is simply because our party has given us that leadership, chairman I commend you. “I believe with the genuine support of all of you, particularly of governors and members of the National Assembly, of party leaders, of local levels, and of course, party supporters, if we work together, I am convinced without any doubts that this election is for us to win.
“We have built up so much momentum after the Port Harcourt convention, it is now time for us to pick up the momentum again until we land in Aso Villa,” he said. Speaking at the meeting, the president of the Senate, Bukola Saraki, said through the party’s national convention in Port Harcourt, the PDP had demonstrated to the world that it was ready to regain power and it was time to work together to achieve that. “We must stay strong. It is not easy in a third world country to defeat an incumbent government, but it has been done before by everybody and we will do it again. “I say so because the people are with us, and when the people are with you, God is with you, PDP by God’s grace will succeed,” Saraki said stressing the need to make 2019 general elections credible.
The Arewa Youths Consultative Forum, AYCF, has given one reason President Muhammadu Buhari and the All Progressives Congress, APC, cannot rig the 2019 general election.
Speaking in an interview with DAILY POST, President of the AYCF, Alhaji Yerima Shettima, said that the rigging formula of the current administration as allegedly applied in Ekiti and Osun States, will not work in 2019.
Shettima noted that the police has been a major tool for rigging elections in recent time, but maintained that the government will not have enough manpower in the police force to rig elections in the 36 states and the FCT.
Shettima alleged that the government massively rigged the governorship elections in Ekiti and Osun but expressed his confidence in the judiciary to return the peoples mandate to them.
He said, “The 2019 general elections will not be like what we saw in Osun and Ekiti because this is a case where every policeman will be in his post.
“With this, it means that if you have succeeded in deploying 40,000 policemen to Ekiti or Osun to rig election, you cannot take them anywhere in 2019 February general election. You cannot do that.
“They [APC] will be completely dis-centralized and embarrassed. You will see that the kind of embarrassment that befell Jonathan’s administration; I mean, the same way Jonathan was sacked, even, this one will be worse than what Jonathan saw.
“Nigerians will decide because it is a moment of decision and we’ll all decide. Nigerian Democracy must be saved.
“The international community accepted the fact that the election in Osun State was massively rigged and they are in court and I’m happy court will decide on that.
“The judiciary will rise to the occasion and they’ll do what is right. Forget about what is going on; the intimidation of the judiciary under this present administration.
“They ‘ll do the right thing at the right time. I have no doubt about Osun State.
“Then in Ekiti we all saw how a sitting Governor was messed up. An elected executive Governor was messed up and his immunity was completely downplayed.
“He was dealt with decisively because they wanted to take over Ekiti State by force but they forget that we are watching.”
Influential southern groups, Afenifere, Ohanaeze N’digbo and the Pan Niger Delta Forum, have announced that they would support the candidate that has been most vocal about the restructuring of the country.
Former vice president and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Atiku Abubakar appears to have been very vocal on the need to restructure the country.
Atiku has over the years insisted that restructuring was what Nigeria needed to attain its full potentials.
Recently, he and vice president, Yemi Osinbajo fired salvo at each other over the issue.
Speaking, Afenifere’s spokesperson,Yinka Odumakin, lamented that all efforts to engage the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration on the need to restructure the country since 2015 had been futile.
He told Punch: “Atiku has been very strong on restructuring and he has also picked a running mate (Peter Obi) who has also expressed very strong opinion about the issue of restructuring. Obi is from a zone where the people are clamouring for restructuring.
“We have reached out to the Presidency through some of the governors who are close to him (Buhari) from the South-West.
“We drafted a list of leaders across Nigeria that the President should summon across Nigeria to discuss the issue of restructuring. Many months after, the governors did not get across to us probably because they met a brick wall.
“There is a consensus among leaders of the South-West, South-East, South-South, the Middle Belt and Arewa. We have said we will wait for the consensus candidate that would be produced by the CUPP to enable us to make our choice among the candidates.”
Ohanaeze Ndigbo’s Deputy National Publicity Secretary, Chuks Ibegbu, said besides restructuring, the region will support a candidate who is ready to address the marginalisation of the Igbo and also implement the recommendations of the 2014 national conference.
He said, “Ohanaeze is not a political party but we are going to support and identify with anyone that will restructure Nigeria. Any of the presidential candidates that is genuinely and sincerely ready to restructure Nigeria will have our votes.
“Besides restructuring, there are other demands. Our youths are agitating for Biafra and that is due to the marginalisation of the Igbos over the years. We are politically, economically and infrastructurally marginalised and we want these issues addressed effectively.”
Also, the Pan Niger Delta Forum said it would support any candidate who showed strong commitment to the restructuring of the country.
National Secretary of the group, Dr. Alfred Mulade, said, “PANDEF met with 16 presidential aspirants before the parties concluded their primaries.
“What we put on the table is that we will support any candidate that has restructuring as the backbone of his administration.”