Nigeria’s Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has officially flagged off his presidential campaign in Yola, the Adamawa State capital on Saturday. Atiku while addressing the crowd, decried the rate of unemployment in the country and accused the All Progressives Congress (APC) led Federal Government of poor leadership and worsening the nation’s economy.
“Today, we have the highest unemployment rate in the history of our country. More than 10 million youth are unemployed,” Atiku told a gathering of supporters and members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) at the rally.
Condemning the repeated killings in parts of the country, the former Vice President said Nigeria was facing its worst security challenge since it gained independence.
He, however, promised to revamp the nation’s security architecture, ensure the safety of lives and property, as well as fix the economy if elected as Nigeria’s president.
Less than 210 days to the presidential election, Atiku was confident that he and the PDP would reclaim power at the centre from President Muhammadu Buhari and the APC if he was given the party’s ticket.
“Today I have returned to reclaim what rightly belongs to the PDP,” the presidential aspirant said. “My fellow Nigerians, the government of APC has failed; it has failed to unite Nigeria.”
“Today, we are more divided than any other time in the history of this country. The APC government has destroyed our economy. They took over an economic growth of seven per cent and brought it down to less than two per cent,” he claimed.
Atiku, a former APC chieftain, announced his defection from the ruling party in November 2017 through his aide, Paul Ibe, after which he returned to the PDP.
In his quest to become the nation’s number one citizen, he contested against President Buhari and three others for the APC ticket in the build-up to the 2015 general elections.
Having lost to the President in the APC primary conducted in 2014, the former Vice President reportedly collapsed his structure to support President Buhari during his campaign.
He had left the PDP to join the APC in February 2014, after he lost the presidential election of 2007 on the platform of the then Action Congress.
While he was in the PDP, he had declared his intention to run for the Presidency in 2011 but lost to former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Atiku also contested for the Presidency in 1992 on the platform of the then Social Democratic Party (SDP), but later stepped down for late MKO Abiola who won the convention primary.
— Atiku Abubakar (@atiku) July 21, 2018