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HomePoliticsWhy I am opposed to consensus option ~Atiku

Why I am opposed to consensus option ~Atiku

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Nigeria’s ex-Vice President and presidential aspirant, Atiku Abubakar has said that what Nigeria needed after seven years of ineptitude of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration was a leader who could bring together diversity in unity and encourage the people to respect and accept each other, despite their differences.

“I think after seven years of incompetence, Nigerians just want competence. Where it comes from, they do not mind.

“The challenges that we face today have so focused us on the need to elect leaders based on their competence, instead of their region or religion. Nigeria needs a unifier, not a pacifier. We will be pacified by unity. We will not be united by pacification,” the ex-vice president said.

On insinuations about a groundswell of opinion against his recurrent presidential bids, especially suggestions that the people might be tired of seeing his face on the ballot, Atiku said, “That is a fallacy. There is no groundswell, to use your word.

Yes, there are people who have large megaphones, but they do not constitute a groundswell.
“Some of these people have emotional and historic reasons for making their appeals, and one must be sensitive to them.

That is why I have gone round and keep going round this country to consult. I believe in the politics of addition. I am not a subtracting politician.”

Talking about moves for consensus approach in selecting the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku contended, “I just believe that no man should be a judge in his own case. Let’s go down memory lane.

“In 2010-2011, the North chose to go that route. However, it was not the aspirants who elected on their own to come up with a consensus candidate. It was the region. Specifically, the Northern Political Leaders’ Forum led by the late Malam Adamu Ciroma.

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“If the North as a region wants that option, then, it should be driven by our natural leaders and elders. It should not be promoted by partisans. Once it becomes like that, then, it may become a poisoned chalice.”

While addressing the issue of zoning, Atiku said, “I will add this: the Peoples Democratic Party, of which I am a founding member, should focus on winning, not on zoning!”

On why he still wanted to be president of Nigeria after five “failed attempts”, he said, “Please, allow me the liberty of rephrasing your question. I would rather say, after several attempts. They were not failed attempts, as I have already explained above.

“In the year 2022, Nigeria is the world headquarters for extreme poverty and the third most insecure nation in the world. Our economy is not growing, while our population is expanding.

“If you now look at my record in government, where under the leadership of President (Olusegun) Obasanjo, I was the chairman of the National Council on Privatisation, and a coordinator of our economic management team, you can clearly see my achievements.

“Those achievements need to be replicated if we are to turn the tide. In fact, it is almost as if providence thrust me out this time to do again what God had enabled me to do before.

“We provided jobs. Nigerians are now unemployed in record numbers. We paid off Nigeria’s foreign debt. Nigeria is now more indebted than at any time in our history. Through our policies and inclusiveness, we had relative peace.

“Now, Nigeria is in crisis due to insecurity. It would look to me that my curriculum vitae or my resume appears tailor-made to address the challenges we now face as a nation.”

enduring, the only thing that my political opponents could use against me are false allegations.  My only answer to that is that I have judicially been exonerated and vindicated of all of them.”

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