Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, and now a presidential aspirant on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC, has welcomed the decision of a former head of state, Muhammadu Buhari, to join the contest for the party’s ticket for the 2015 general elections.
Mr. Buhari, while addressing his groups of supporters on Tuesday, declared his intention to seek the ticket of the APC.
“With your support, I intend to offer myself for the position of the president of the republic on the platform of our great party,” Mr. Buhari, who has contested for the position on three previous occasions without success, told his supporters.
On his part, Mr. Abubakar, who has also contested for president more than once, formally declared his intention to again run for the position on an APC ticket. He announced his interest September 24.
Both APC leaders are from the northern part of the country to which the party may zone the position.
In a statement he personally signed Thursday, Mr. Abubakar, said the task of rescuing Nigeria is a duty leaders of the APC are committed to and, “the more individuals ready to be part of the mission to rescue the country, the better.”
“Nigeria has floundered for far too long. Our people are yearning for a change and we must listen to them before they lose faith in the ability of their leaders to revive the country,” he said.
“You will recall that during my declaration speech penultimate week, I did mention that my priority, if given the chance to run and serve as the President of Nigeria is addressing the issues of jobs creation and providing decent employment for Nigerians, especially the youths.
“I believe that it is only when we can provide decent jobs for our young people, that we can have a hope for the decent future for our country.”
He said it was not in doubt that of recent, successive administrations had failed woefully in building the infrastructure that could promote a healthy economy, adding “our education system is in shambles, public health system is in virtual comatose, we have very poor network of roads totally at variance with the wealth of a country that is the seventh oil producer in the world.”
Mr. Abubakar said he believed that Nigeria had failed in these areas because of the excessive centralisation of functions and resources to the government at the centre.
According to him, the APC-led federal administration would devolve power and resources to state governments in line with the party’s manifesto.
The former vice president said, “I believe that the country has failed in these areas because of the excessive centralisation of functions and resources to the government at the centre. The government that the APC plans to lead in the next few months, by the grace of God, will be fully committed to devolution of powers and resources to the state governments in line with the manifesto of our great party. I also plan to march this resolve with a full commitment to ensuring transparency in all sectors of our national life.
“I am equally disturbed about the way our people have been divided along ethnic and religious fault lines and how we are steadily and dangerously losing a sense of community where every Nigerian can live together without mutual suspicion.
“I believe that the next president of our country, who by the grace of God will be produced by our great party, must be someone who is a unifier, bridge-builder and not someone who bears ethno-religious bias. Above all, he must embody a vision of a Nigeria for all.
“I have no doubt in my mind that we both share a common concern about rescuing our country from the deadly grip of the PDP and it is on this note that I do warmly welcome him on board in this very important national rescue mission. I look forward to meeting him in an open, free and fair contest for the ticket.”