Atiku promises restructuring, devolve more powers to states
..Says 'we won’t take any section for granted'
Atiku Abubakar, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Presidential candidate, on Tuesday said he would work to restructure Nigeria by devolving more powers to the states, if voted into power in 2023.
The former Vice President made the promise on Tuesday in Enugu where he assured that no region would be left behind in his economic agenda.
He noted that Nigeria had operated a faulty federal structure since the late 1960s, which concentrated too much power and resources at the centre, thereby turning the federating states into appendages or parastatals of the federal government.
He said a PDP government if elected into office in 2023, would work with the legislatures to restructure the federal system and devolve more powers to the states with corresponding resources.
“That way, states will be better able to set their own development priorities while the federal government focuses on setting and maintaining standards. A federal system that does not encourage the federating units to compete among themselves in order to be better is a faulty one. This restructuring is not a favour to any section or group of sections of the country. Our country needs it badly in order to survive and thrive,” he said.
He also assured that he would work to tackle insecurity, address genuine grievances and issues that divide the country.
Atiku said he would hit the ground running in 2023, if he wins the Presidential election, adding that “we cannot leave anybody behind and we cannot take anybody or anything for granted.”
The PDP flag bearer, while noting that the country is in very bad shape, added that “rescuing it requires proper preparations and attention to details, not just in terms of general issues affecting the whole country but also issues specific to each zone and the states therein.”
“We must be prepared to hit the ground running from Day One, if Nigerians give us their mandate,” he further pledged.
Atiku who said that “the South East is close to my heart,” added that the region had supported him through thick and thin.
“I will always remember that. Your sons and daughters have played very positive roles in the development of our country. They were key personnel who played important roles in the PDP government in which I served as Vice President. And they have continued to excel in other roles across the world,” he said.
Atiku acknowledged the key contribution to economic activities of the region to national development, and noted that a “government that wants to revive our economy and provide opportunities for our people must carry the South East along.”
He said: “I am a business man and I know that businesses need supporting environment to thrive and when they thrive the country thrives. I do not see the provision of infrastructure in any part of the country as a favour to that part.
“If anything, it is a favour to the country because we are one country, one economy.
He recalled the five pillars of his campaign strategy, which he said include “reunify the country, improve security, fix the economy; restructure the federation; and improve human capital development.”
According to him, “These are the areas that I believe would have the most impact on all other aspects of our development and our quality of life as citizens and as a country.”
He also assured that his government will address the root causes of insecurity including the lack of opportunities, collapse of education, climate change and its impact on agriculture and animal husbandry, and lack of modernization of same.