2015: Atiku formally declares presidential bid, pledges to fix Nigeria

Atiku Abubakar, A Former President of Nigeria

A former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, on Wednesday formally declared his intention to contest the 2015 presidential election on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC, with a pledge that his administration would have zero tolerance for corruption and nepotism, if elected.

He also denounced the current federal administration led by President Goodluck Jonathan, saying it is leading Nigeria on the path of decline.

Mr. Abubakar, who served as vice president in the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo between 1999 and 2007, made the declaration in Abuja at a ceremony attended by political associates, supporters and officials of the APC.

He had announced via a statement on September 5 by his media aide, Garba Shehu, that he would seek the ticket of the main opposition party to run in the February election.

Among the APC leaders in attendance are the National Secretary, Ibrahim Gubi, the National Youth Leader, Dasuki Jalo and the National Vice Chairman of the party in the North East zone, Bibi Lawal.

The APC Caucus in the Senate was represented by the Senate Minority Leader, George Akume, Bukar Abba Ibrahim, Aisha Alhassan and the party’s governorship candidate in the October 11 election in Adamawa State, Jubrila Bindow.

“I want to lead a government that will invest in its people because people constitute the wealth of any nation. I want to lead a government that will create “A Nigeria for All”. A Nigeria that is not about North or South, Christian or Muslim, but about a better tomorrow where every citizen will feel secure, act with patriotism, having assurance of the fulfilment of his or her aspirations,” Mr. Abubakar told his cheering supporters at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre.

“I want to lead a government that will rebuild the institutions of governance with zero tolerance for corruption and nepotism, where hard work and dedication are adequately rewarded.

“I want to assemble the best brains in the land and provide the political will and commitment so that jointly, and with the cooperation of all of you, build a Nigeria of our dreams.”

The former vice president, who is making his fourth bid for the presidency since 1987 when he became politically active, recounted the achievements of the Obasanjo administration in which he served, saying it integrated the country into the international community following years of isolation, professionalized the armed forces, embarked on fundamental economic reforms articulated by an Economic Team, which he (Atiku) had the honour to chair.

He said that administration focused on macro-economic stability and transformed critical areas such as banking, insurance, oil and gas, telecommunication, pension and the Civil Service and also created novel institutions that should lay the foundation for good governance and accountability such as the Bureau of Public Procurement (Due Process),
Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC,, SERVICOM, whose Golden rule is “Serve others as you would like to be served.”

He said most of these institutions are now mere shadows of themselves.

Mr. Abubakar also said that former President Olusegun Obasanjo administration not only paid off nearly all Nigeria’s foreign debt which was crippling the country; but stabilized the exchange rate of the naira as well as interest rates, reduced inflation, reformed the telecommunication sector and handed over a well-articulated master Plans for the development of multi-modal transportation system, including a contract for the modernization of the railways.

He said, “This is the story of the service of an administration, which I am proud to have been a part of,” adding that the achievements were made possible because of the vision, commitment and dedication of leadership.

“We know the story today. Rather than continuing to pay down our debts, our borrowing has actually been increasing even though the price of oil has consistently been above $100 per barrel since the inception of the current administration. The percentage of our budget that is implemented has diminished significantly since capital projects are poorly cash-backed,” he stated.

The former vice president lamented that a number of major manufacturers had divested from Nigeria and relocated to neighbouring countries while those that remain operate at far below their installed capacity due mainly to poor infrastructure.

According to him, “The environment for doing business, and our ranking in world competitiveness index have worsened. Therefore, job opportunities for our teeming youth have become harder to come by.

“We recall with sadness the avoidable deaths of job seekers during the poorly organized so-called Immigration Service recruitment exam just last year. Up to this moment no one has been held accountable for those needless deaths.

“On human development, our infant and maternal mortality, and poverty and illiteracy levels continue to be embarrassingly high. Thus, while countries such as Ghana, Gabon and Botswana are classified by the UNDP as being at the Medium Human Development Level, Nigeria is grouped with those at the Low Human Development Level.”

While vowing that Nigeria must retake its leadership place in Africa, Mr. Abubakar said he would assemble the best brains to re-fix the country, with the support of Nigerians.

“I want to assemble the best brains in the land and provide the political will and commitment so that jointly, and with the cooperation of all of you, build a Nigeria of our dreams,” he stated>

“Nigeria must rise to retake its leadership place in Africa and earn the respect of other nations. This places on us the responsibility of stewardship. It is the consciousness of this national responsibility that has guided my political adventures; and it is this call to serve that I have come to answer once again.

“Nigeria must and will be great. With your support and prayers, we will change this country for good. We will create a country that will truly be the pride of the black race. We will create a new Nigeria for all Nigerians.”

The former vice president, who said he lost his father at age 11 and with the help of his mother and other relatives and friends of his father pulled himself up from “doldrums and despair” faced the future with uncommon confidence, faith and hope in God, admitted that he had been asked several times why he was always seeking to become president.

He explained that his “passion for governance is that of a man who wants to do more because there is so much more to be done in fixing Nigeria.”

He stressed, “This passion continues to grow as long as this government is not really doing the fixing. I have what it takes to bring people together and turn things around for the better. Therefore, I want to play a leading role in the trans-generational efforts to save this country and improve the lives of our people.”

Mr. Abubakar said to fix Nigeria, an APC government would promote a new socio-political order which would compel the leadership to always balance power and authority with service and accountability.

He said “with the support of the millions of Nigerians desirous of change and the hard work by all of us, the APC shall form the next government of this great nation.”

“That is why the 2015 election is about you. It is about how to ensure that you live safe and secured lives. It is about making sure that you feed well, receive quality and affordable education and training, secure good jobs, support your own families and contribute positively to the development of our country.

“This is what a responsive and responsible government owes its citizens. This is what our generation owes upcoming generations. This is what we must do to guarantee our country’s future. This is what democracy promises. This is what our party, the All Progressive Congress (APC), seeks to actualize.”

He further noted that at inception in July 2013, the APC, offered a great hope for many Nigerians as a potent alternative to the ruling PDP, adding “We have in our fold selfless leaders who cherish democratic principles and practice and who have demonstrated their patriotism in deepening democracy. “

“Regardless of the loud and lavish political propaganda, deceit, official impunity and unjust applications of powers of patronage and sanctions by the PDP administrations, let me assure you that our party remains strong and capable of fulfilling the nation’s thirst for change. And we shall do so united across regions, religions and generations.”

The former vice president said he was happy that the party adopted the innovative Modified Open Primaries in selecting its flag-bearers at all levels and that it would ensure the emergence of candidates whose mandate would be informed by the popular will of its members.


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  • the truth

    u have failed four times, you would continue to fail. All the money you stole is not enough for you but you want more.shameless man, if the people have said no to you four times, why do you think this time would be different. you are so greedy that i wouldn’t doubt if tomorrow a guiness book of world record comes out with you as the only politician in the world to cross carpet over four times between parties for power.

    • nija pikin

      This time is different because the mess created by the otuoke Dundee is too bad he has also co opted men of God in the looting, so patriotic Nigerians Are determine to change personnel no more on the job training as it is presently we want experience and tested and trusted PERSONNEL To Manage nigeria.

      • the truth

        you want to change to a man that has cross carped parties in more than 5 occasions, a man with no ideology. where in the world do you see a politician join political parties like atiku just to be president. not forgetting he was indicted by the us senate for corruption. google it yourself.

  • Umar Jibril Abdulkadir

    I think the man is more of democrat and politically sound than our jumbo dumbo who would have to ask his adviser before he talks, I believe in second time and I believe propaganda can make the best to look the worst and vice versa, whether he has failed before is not the matter now what matters is whether he has what it takes to rule this country, and I believe if GEJ can rule this country then even a novice with no idea of what politics is all about can do it, the only difference is too much kidnapping, too much oil theft, too much Killing to sum it all Anarchy is the topic of the day under Jonathanian draconian era.

    • Otile

      I know without saying so openly you are saying that you would rather have Musa Yar’Adua ruling from the morgue in Arabia than seeing President Jonathan a non-Northerner sitting at Aso Rock.

      • Umar Jibril Abdulkadir

        I have never supported wrong thing even if it is committed by own father, what is wrong is wrong, I have never say what those cabals did during yar adua was right, am just making a comparison between what Atiku said and what is happening now; during their regime they were able to establish EFCC, successfully privatise telecommunication, and clear all our debt, and there was sense of security everywhere, what of now? Even to privatise NEPA is an issue for them, they reintroduced ATM fee, in-security everywhere, the logic is when u are faced with two evils, the sensible thing to do is to go for lesser evil not the worst. Don’t you think?

    • the truth

      and this was not the case under abacha, abdusalami, babangida, yardua, gowon, murtula, shagari. your only anger is that how can a south south jonathan rule nigeria. but for your information all your insults on him would only make him stronger until 2019.

      • nija pikin

        Let’s compare Abacha and otuokes drunkard first Abacha created bayelsa state in the south south and looted 4billion dollars, otuoke drunkard finance book haram in the north and looted 20billion dollars through his girl friend baby frog eye. You can see who among them is a better thief at least Abacha family has refunded part of their loot.

        • the truth

          so it is 20 billion because sanusi an apc member told you so. i thought you would say its 45 billion i mean 34 billion(goofs) those are the numbers he first said was missing before deciding to settle for 20 billion. so jonathan finances boko haram, u must really be drinking that otuoke kie-kie as you claim

  • Supo Morakinyo

    I am really surprised that only few northern state office holders attended.
    Does that mean the remainder is already committed to another aspirant?
    A former Vice President of Nigeria should draw a weightier crowd than this one.
    Abubakar Atiku will have a lot of work to do to win the APC ticket based on this.

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  • Otile

    Atiku is gradually becoming a perennial runner like his master M Buhari. While both of them are running Imam Shekau is leading.

    • nija pikin

      If Imam shekau is leading oh then I think the otuokes basted is the financier abi

  • Comfortkay

    Alhaji Atiku has nothing to offer Nigerian.

    • J

      Why you dey castigate your Fulani/APC brother?

      • Comfortkay

        Am not castigating, old people should make a way for the younger one to run the show in Nigeria.

  • larry

    CHEI , ATIKU YA MUTU.

  • Alhaji yusuf

    Nigerians would have been enjoying all this your promises by now if not that you and your cohort made the country ungovernable for GEJ. Well, I wish you GOODLUCK in the 2015 election.

  • jek

    GOODLUCK is the right person for Nigeria. ATIKU stop wasting your time. Remember what you said in 2011? To make Nigeria ungovernable… BOKO HARAM is the result. You have plenty of questions to answer over BOKO HARAM including Buhari….so don’t waste your time and resources…. sorry go ahead and waste it afterall it is our looted treasury.

  • Goodluck_Nigeria

    APC PLEASE HAVE MERCY ON NIGERIA ……. DON’T UNLEASH ATIKU ON US !!!

    Atiku has 38 officially declared children from 5 wives (one Divorced but still around).

    I have also been told (I am yet to confirm) that Atiku keeps 317 active mistresses all over the world in addition to 54 non-active mistresses that he still caters for.

    Following from these mistresses are 455 Atiku fathered children scattered all over the world.

    These numbers will definitely increase if Atiku becomes President (God forbid).

    What this means is that the the entire National Budget will be spent on maintaining Atiku’s family and mistresses with nothing left for running the government and for taking care of vital national needs.

    In fact, Atiku’s so called love for Youth Empowerment is a grand plot to ensure that the financial responsibility for his over 500 children are sustained from the Federal Budget.

    Atiku has no plan to empower any Youth except his children and their like ……. just like he did with his so called American University in Yola.

    APC please spare us !!!

    • J

      Hahahaha! Customs man say he wan get zero tolerance for corruption.

      Na wa o. One popular damsel in Lekki Lagos has lived in regret of the negative impact her anal sex relationship with Atiku has had on her life. she confirmed leaking from her butt once in a while, so she lives with very strong perfume althrough.

      Biko, we have enough troubles already, na who wan wake up Homo sexual debate again if Atiku comes near the presidency?

      I beg make Nigerian youth beware, a predator is on the prowl!

      • nija pikin

        What does that have to do with being president I pray almighty God try you with that disease you will never lie against people and no amount of falsehood can pull someone down ordained for greatness Atikus slippers are better than the otuokes drunkard

  • Gbo_lee

    Atiku looks really prepared and is exhuming lota of experience…which is essentially what Jonathan lacks and has haunted Nigeria. It is Atiku or Buhari but certainly only APC can provide the new Nigeria that we seek

  • True Nigerian

    Dear Atiku, I’m sorry, Sir! I cannot wait to see the back of Jonathan. But I’m afraid you are NOT the change that Nigeria needs. I have to be fair to you by admitting that the major difference between you and Jonathan is that you are not going to be the crass incompetent, confused, perennial inconsistent liar and daily dossage of national and international embarrasment that Jonathan is.

    However, on the most important question of all – corruption – you are as dangerous to Nigeria as Jonathan is. And that point alone disqualifies you very badly from smelling Aso Rock as the Commander-in-Chief. I don’t want to see another common thief in Aso Rock. And that’s exactly what you are.

    Besides, in 2003, Nigeria was under the excruciating weight of an incompetent, despotic, corrupt, murderous and devilish Olusegun Obasanjo. You had a chance to help us say goodbye to him, if only you backed Ekwueme. But you betrayed Nigerians and perpetuated Obasanjo’s horror for another 4 years because it suited your parochial interests as the most powerful vice-president that Nigeria has had in many decades.

    You also do not have the reputation of a democrat which you often make your selling point. In 2003, you stoutly defended the monumental fraud nicknamed general election. But when similar fraud was perpetrated again in 2007, you called the spade a spade because you happened to be one of the victim on that occasion. But you forgot that in 2003 when you were enjoying your consortium in power, you marched yourself, your foot soldiers and your hatchet men to Illorin in Kwara State and literally stole the mandate that was clearly going the way of a candidate whom you and Obasanjo did not want to be a governor because you wanted to impose a wicked taskmaster on the people of Kwara State. Therefore, you cancelled the gubernatorial primary election which Deacon John Dara had already won. The people of Kwara state have now paid dearly for your megalomania as they have lost 12 years to a politics of nepotism, intimidation, roguery, thievery, cronyism and imposition.

    I haven’t even mentioned your ashawo partisanship. One year, one party; another year, another party!

    For all of the above reasons and more, you are clearly NOT the change that Nigeria needs. If APC will not field Buhari or Oby Ezekwesili, we can as well forget the idea of change until real change comes or until Nigeria becomes another Soviet Union disintegrating into fine pieces.

    • Mr. Abdin

      It seems you are not praying for good for our country by comparing Nigeria with the old soviet Union, remember no country can prosper when it has an inexperience leader like GEJ, Atiku remain the most qualified politician who has all what it takes to move this country forward he is a National figure who believe in the Nigerian project he has wives from the three (3) major tribes in Nigeria and for corruption comparing Atiku to Jonathan in terms of corruption Atiku is a Saint can you recall the rcent happening in the House of Reps and the CAN President Jet please think about your country as a true Nigerian.