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Atiku hails endorsement by Northern elders, Middle Belt Forum, others

Atiku Abubakar
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Former Vice President and Presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, has hailed Sunday’s endorsement of his candidature by Nigeria’s five main socio- cultural organisations for the 2019 election, stressing that the pan- Nigerian endorsement by the groups challenges him more for the assignment to rescue Nigeria.

The leadership of Pan- Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), the pan Yoruba socio- cultural association Afenifere, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Northern Elders Forum, Pan-Niger Delta Forum, and Middle Belt Forum, on Sunday endorsed Atiku for the elections, which comes as a boost to his quest to unseat President Muhammadu Buhari.

Atiku in a statement he personally signed and made available to BusinessDay on Sunday, noted that he was moved to tears by the nationalistic disposition of the groups to endorse him in the midst of deep divisions and deliberate use of state institutions by the Buhari administration to set the Nigerian people against themselves in the last three and a half years.

“Responsible and respected leaders across Nigeria have agreed to come together for the purpose of endorsing my candidature for the February 16th, 2019 Presidential elections,” Atiku said.

He noted that his endorsement by the leading lights of Nigerian nationalities – Afenifere, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Northern Elders Forum, Pan-Niger Delta Forum and Middle Belt Forum – is a loud statement that there is hope for the country as the nation goes to the polls in a few days.

“Today, we put aside all our prejudices to elect a President with religion and ethnicity playing no role in our elections,” he said.

He thanked leaders from the various parts of the country who provided the “wonderful moment for us to come to the table of brotherhood.

“This has buoyed me to lead a Pan-Nigerian team that will give practical interpretation to what has been done by the time I take leadership of our country, by the grace of Allah, on May 29, 2019.”

Atiku noted that many countries of the world have been led into disintegration by strongmen (one in each country), not added that individuals who understand the management of diversities have rallied their people for unity,” Atiku said.

Atiku said further that he has been chosen to unite the Nigerian people, adding that he will do his best to do that and run a properly federated Nigeria through constitutional reforms to bring out the best from All sections of Nigeria to make Nigeria work again like in the past when the Saudi Royal family came to Nigeria to access Medicare.

“We will promote an inclusive Nigeria based on productivity that every section of Nigeria will bring out the best under their soil, and in their brain to make Nigeria assume its position in Africa and the global community,” he said.

“It would be 100% for every section of Nigeria as I would not understand any arithmetic outside that.
He enjoined people across Nigeria to come out en-mass to vote on February 16 “to pull our country from the brink and propel it to greater heights so we can live a better life.”

Association leaders who attended the Sunday meeting at Sheraton Hotel, Abuja, included Chief Ayo Adebanjo (Afenifere), Chief Nnia Nwodo (Ohanaeze), Ango Abdullahi Northern Elders Forum), Chief Edwin Clark (Pan-Niger Delta Forum) and Bitrus Pogu (Middle Belt Forum).

The groups said they endorsed Atiku because he possessed the intelligence, capability and knowledge to lead Nigeria.

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