Atiku Abubakar, the Peoples Democratic Party’s (PDP) presidential candidate, said yesterday that he would serve as the “stepping stone” for the region of the Southeast to produce a president.
Atiku Abubakar based this on his connections with the Igbo, especially those with his running mate Ifeanyi Okowa and Peter Obi of the Labour Party (LP).
“I am the stepping stone for an Igbo to become President of Nigeria,” he told Southeast PDP stakeholders in Enugu, Enugu State
“I’ve had a close relationship with the Igbo and this influenced my choices of Senator Ben Obi and Mr. Peter Obi as my running mates in my two previous outings as a presidential candidate. Again, I have chosen another great Igbo here (Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa) for the third time as my running mate,”, he pointed out.
To further buttress his association with the Igbo, he said: “I have three children with Igbo blood flowing in them. I am saying this for the very first time in public. So, my relationship with Ndigbo did not start today.”
If elected as Muhammadu Buhari’s successor the next year, Atiku-Abubakar, a former vice president, promised to give development projects in the Southeast and other geopolitical regions of the country top priority.
He made fun of the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led government for purportedly splintering some regions of the nation with a lack of projects.
“The second Niger Bridge in Onitsha is not a favour to the Southeast, rather it is or should be seen as a favour to Nigeria. This is because it is not only the people of the Southeast that will use the bridge”. Atiku-Abubakar said.
The potential presidential candidate also briefly discussed his conflicts with former President Olusegun Obasanjo, whom he served as his second in command, as well as the nation’s security concerns.
Additionally, he voiced alarm over sit-at-home in the Southeast, which he claimed had significantly hurt the region’s economy, and he urged Igbo elders to speak out against it.